A Risk of Confidentiality

in Moral Stealth

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780226301204
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226301365 | DOI:
A Risk of Confidentiality

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The idea of a “background” is prominent in certain philosophical circles, but it may also apply to psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Over time the ordinary and accustomed ways in which analysts and therapists operate become so routinized that they fade into the background and are no longer subject to concern and attention. This chapter develops the idea of the fading of ideas into the background, utilizing the assumption of a basic right of confidentiality. In order to handle the inevitable pressures brought upon a therapist for breaks in this absolute position, Christopher Bollas and David Sundelsen offer the position of “social therapist” as one (in sharp contrast with a psychoanalyst) who both treats the patient and actively intervenes in the patient's life. If one were to list the rather ordinary requests and demands for breaks in confidentiality, they would fall into two categories. The first would have to do with those which would benefit the treatment, and the second with those which would benefit others but may either harm or benefit the treatment.

Keywords: background; confidentiality; psychoanalysis; psychotherapy; Christopher Bollas; David Sundelsen; social therapist; treatment; patient

Chapter.  5482 words. 

Subjects: Ethical Issues and Debates

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