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5 Common Signs Of Mental Health Malpractice

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

Addressing and treating mental health issues is as important as dealing with physical health problems. Patients trust mental health professionals to help them in any way possible. Sadly, some psychiatrists take advantage of their patients’ trust. Or they act unprofessionally.

According to Medscape, 41 percent of psychiatrists in the United States faced a malpractice suit at least once during their careers. If you’re going to see a mental health professional, watch out for these signs of mental health malpractice.

They fail to respect your privacy

A mental health professional should not discuss therapy sessions outside of appointments. However, some might violate that rule by sharing conversations with their family or posting them on social media.

They do a “role reversal”

When a psychiatrist or psychologist does a role reversal, they tell you about their issues instead of focusing on assisting you with yours. For instance, you can’t get a word in edgewise because they’re too busy discussing their childhood trauma.

They refuse to respect your boundaries

Examples of boundary violations include:


-Hugging you without your consent

-Giving you money or gifts

-Treating you like a potential buddy, e.g., asking you to hang out with them outside of sessions

They fail to diagnose (or they misdiagnose) 

A therapist might play down your symptoms by telling you to wait and see if things improve. (This could make you suffer more as you delay getting adequate help.) Or, they might confuse a temperament like introversion with social anxiety.

They plant false memories

Suppose a therapist convinces you that your great-uncle sexually abused you when you were nine. But after conducting some research, it turned out that he died when you were five. Plus, you never met him.

Unfortunately, some mental health professionals use those they’re supposed to help. Consider reaching out to legal guidance if you or a loved one suffered from mental health malpractice.