History[ edit ] Ancient and medieval[ edit ] The use of prisons can be traced back to the rise of the state as a form of social organization. Corresponding with the advent of the state was the development of written languagewhich enabled the creation of formalized legal codes as official guidelines for society. The best known of these early legal codes is the Code of Hammurabiwritten in Babylon around BC.
Introduction From the first day in graduate school in psychology, psychotherapists and counselors 1 in training have been instructed to pay great attention to the "inherent power differential" in psychotherapy, to be aware of the "imbalance of power between therapists and clients", and they have been repeatedly told to "never abuse or exploit our vulnerable and dependent clients.
As early asthe prominent psychoanalyst Ernest Jones, raised a concern about the assumption of therapists' omnipotence, and labeled it as the "God syndrome. Ethics texts and risk management advice columns in our professional newsletters have all presented a similar unified message about therapists' unilateral power and clients' inherent vulnerability.
While the universal assumption about the "power differential" is like an undercurrent in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, and counseling, there is paradoxically a split between the ethicists, risk management experts and boards who over-emphasize the "power differential", and the clinicians and the theoreticians who largely avoid or ignore any reference to power Heller, Clinicians tend to ignore the issue of power that is a reflection of the culture at large that often associates power with coercion, abuse, or injustice, in order not be perceived by themselves or others as controlling and dominating Proctor, The exceptions to the rule have been some feminist, humanist, narrative and postmodern psychotherapists.
As a result, the discussion of power has been primarily confined to ethics and risk management classes, licensing boards and court hearings. In these settings the emphasis has been on harm and on the supposed vulnerability of clients to therapists' immense power and influence.
Many psychotherapy or counseling clients are, indeed, distressed, traumatized, anxious, depressed and therefore vulnerable. Many others are also very young, impaired and vulnerable and can be easily influenced by their therapists.
Then, on the other hand, other clients are strong, authoritative and successful. Many modern day consumers seek therapy to enhance the quality of their lives, improve their loving relationships or find meaning and purpose for their lives.
They are neither depressed nor traumatized nor vulnerable. A more inclusive look at power reveals that the power differential in some instances is completely valid, but in many other instances it is a myth. The error is to see the power differential as always relevant - as if all clients are the same and all therapist-client relationships identical.
Despite the evident fact that some therapists and counselors are successful and powerful while many others struggle financially and are, at times, emotionally fraught, the faulty belief that all therapists hold ultimate power over all their clients lives on.
Throughout this paper, the context of the material will make it obvious when it discusses the valid power differential and when it refers to the myth.
While there seems to be a consensus on therapists' power over their clients, there are four views regarding this power. The minority group is composed of those who are highly critical of psychotherapy and counseling in general.
The majority of scholars and ethicists i. They view it as potentially harmful if abused and warn against such misuse of power. The third group is composed of feminist, humanist, existentialist and postmodern scholars i.
A fourth perspective was introduced by Lazarus in his ground breaking article titled "The illusion of the therapist's power and the patient's fragility: Exploring the myth of therapists' omnipotence and patients' fragility" c. This latter approach is the main theme of this paper.
It looks at power as dynamic rather than static Zur, It refutes the notion that power in therapy is exclusively possessed by therapists, and it equally rejects the simplistic notion that power is imposed by therapists exclusively on their clients.
It claims that the dynamics of power and how it affects all the players involved can only be understood within the context of psychotherapy. It also identifies the many forms of power and elucidates how not only therapists, but also clients, often possess them or bring them into the therapeutic exchange.
This paper expands on Lazarus' and Zur's original work and reviews the different approaches to power offering a detailed and inclusive view of the complexities and diverse forms by which power may manifest itself in the psychotherapeutic arena.
The goals of this paper are to bring the issue of power out of the clinicians' closet and to critically look at the ethicists' and legal experts' assumption of therapists' omnipotence and clients' inherent vulnerability.
While the general topic of power obviously extends to economic, political, racial, gender and many other realms, the focus of this paper is on the therapeutic arena. The hope is that the paper will help psychotherapists, counselors, and clinicians review and discuss issues of power in therapy without being trapped in the two extremely unhelpful positions of denial or blind belief in the "power differential" myth.
By exploring the complexity, variability and the intricacy of power relationships in psychotherapeutic relationships, therapists will be able to view their relationships with their clients in more realistic and helpful ways.
Most importantly, by having a better understanding of the multiple types and forms of power, therapists are likely to increase their clinical effectiveness.
This paper presents, in all probability, the most extensive and up-to-date account of the myth of the power differential by providing numerous direct quotes from the most prominent scholars in the field, codes of ethics, court rulings, state laws, and other sources. It also provides direct quotes from those who have perpetuated the myth that all therapists have influential power over all their clients long after the termination of the professional relationship and those who claim that: It then provides a rather complex view of power in therapy and details how therapists and clients are vested with different forms of power.
Next, the paper looks at the diverse ways that therapists attempt to bolster their power over their clients. The last several sections of the paper discuss: Finally, the paper proposes new ways to view power relationships in psychotherapy that are realistic to the field of therapy and counseling and are, at the same time, respectful to clients.
And most importantly, how this new approach can help increase therapeutic effectiveness. The Myth of the Power Differential: From the Horse's Mouth Following is a compilation of quotes that exemplify the prevalence of the message regarding the supposed power discrepancy between therapists and clients.Drawing upon decades of experience, RAND provides research services, systematic analysis, and innovative thinking to a global clientele that includes government .
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The evaluation forms propose is to make sure the probation officers are doing their job properly and providing a safe service to.
A Probation Officers View of Effectiveness In the newspaper’s evaluation they only had the interest of the public in mind when they did their evaluation.
The paper wanted to bring attention to the probation department and let the public know that they felt that they were not doing their jobs correctly. Archives and past articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and attheheels.com