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Psychiatry ethics guidelines need to be revised

Vol. 7, No. 11 / November 2008

At a time when 28.4% of psychiatric practices provided no psychotherapy during a typical week,1 applying psychotherapy principles to ethical judgments involving psychiatrists is inappropriate and should be abandoned (“Psychiatrist/patient boundaries: When it’s OK to stretch the line” Current Psychiatry, August 2008).

The American Psychiatric Association should revamp its ethics annotations by removing psychoanalytic references and terms such as “identification” to make these guidelines relevant to all psychiatric practices, even those without psychotherapy.

H. Berryman Edwards, MD
Bellevue, WA


1. Mojtabai R, Olfson M. National trends in psychotherapy by office-based psychiatrists. Arch Gen Psychiatry 2008;65(8):962-70.

To comment on articles in this issue or other topics, send letters in care of Erica Vonderheid, Current Psychiatry, 110 Summit Avenue, Montvale, NJ 07645, or click here.

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