- Center for Ethical Practice - https://centerforethicalpractice.org -

Ethical Issues in Multidisciplinary Collaboration

Regardless of whether we work in private practice or in a multidisciplinary setting, we are expected to be competent at collaborating with other professionals.  This can include those from other mental health disciplines, or from other professions, including prescribing physicians, teachers, attorneys, etc.  Why might this raise ethical dilemmas?  Can we avoid them, and if not, how can we resolve them?

I. Possibilities for Professional Relationship    

                   Collaboration

                             Referral; Co-Therapy; Colleague Backup

                    Consultation

                             Consultation; Supervision; Mentoring; Teaching                      

                   Consolation

                             Support  (clinical; ethical; legal; self-care)                

                    Confrontation

                             Gatekeeper:  Confronting/Reporting Unethical Practices

   II. Ethical Standards Related to Colleague Relationships                           

 III. Legal Standards Relevant to Colleague Relationships

 IV. Practical Issues in Colleague Relationships

                  Differences in Ethical Standards & Expectations

                  Potential Competitions that Affect Patient Care

  V. Potential Ethical Complications

                   Informed Consent about Confidentiality

                             In Shared Cases ( Referrals; Co-Therapy; Separate Family Members)
                            In Consultation (Individual or Group)

                   Dual (Professional + Personal) Relationships

                            Colleague + Friend
                            Colleague + Patient
                            Colleague + Therapist
                            Other

                    Confrontation of Unethical/Unprofessional Behavior


Learning Goals:
1. Name some possible ethical complications in multidisciplinary collaboration.
2. Describe how such complications have affected your own multidisciplinary relationships.
3. State ways of avoiding or resolving such complications.