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Silver Linings Playbook Therapist Portrayal - Draft 1

Silver Linings Playbook Therapist Portrayal - Draft 1

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Published by Justin Vacula
I comment on the portrayal of a mental health professional in the 2012 film Silver Linings Playbook. This essay is for a graduate-level class I am currently enrolled in. Enjoy.
I comment on the portrayal of a mental health professional in the 2012 film Silver Linings Playbook. This essay is for a graduate-level class I am currently enrolled in. Enjoy.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Justin Vacula on Mar 11, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Running Head: MOVIE REVIEW 1 Movie Review Justin Vacula Marywood University
Running Head: MOVIE REVIEW 2 Dr. Patel -- the mental health professional portrayed in the 2012 film
Silver Linings  Playbook 
 -- violates numerous ethical principles within the
 ACA Code of Ethics
 (American Counseling Association, 2005) -- diminishing the therapeutic relationship he has with his client. While Pat Jr. --
Dr. Patel’s client
-- seems to benefit from therapy, Dr. Patel could be a more effective therapist steering clear of problematic behaviors. Early in the film, Dr. Patel knowingly plays music which triggers Pat Jr. upon Pat Jr.
entering a waiting area outside his office. Pat Jr.
 following shouting and feverishly searching the waiting area for a speaker by which to silence the music
 asks Dr. Patel about the source of the music. Dr. Patel admits to playing the music, noting that he wanted to see if it would still trigger Pat Jr. Rather than playing music without permission which knowingly triggers Pat Jr., Dr. Patel should avoid harm by first asking Pat Jr. whether playing the music would be permissible. Section A.4. of the
 ACA Code of Ethics
 stipulates counselors avoid harming clients. Section A.1. of the
 ACA Code of Ethics
 stipulates counselors respect the dignity and promote the welfare of clients
. Playing triggering music without a client’s permission is contrary to the
imperative to avoid harm and does not respect the dignity of a client. Dr. Patel may incorporate triggering music into therapy, but could have done so in a different manner
 perhaps gradually working to desensitize Pat Jr.
 working with Pat Jr. in a more ethical way to overcome fear and negative feelings/memories associated with the music. Dr. Patel should first explain the rationale for incorporating the music in a therapy session and
Running Head: MOVIE REVIEW 3 discover if Pat Jr. were in favor of this; informed consent is required. Dr. Patel may also have eliminated the music from therapy altogether. During one therapy session, Pat Jr. asked Dr. Patel to deliver a letter to Nikki
Pat Jr.’s
wife who has a restraining order against Pat Jr. Dr. Patel correctly dissuaded Pat Jr. -- refusing to deliver the letter -- noting that delivering the letter [and contacting Nikki] would be illegal. Dr. Patel not only acted according to local, state, and national laws, but also protected both Pat Jr. and Nikki by refusing to deliver the letter. Regardless of legality, therapists should avoid delivering letters on behalf of their clients because this is something clients, exercising their autonomy [when it is legal to do so], should partake in. Pat Jr. -- later in the film -- encountered Dr. Patel outside of a football stadium and asked Dr. Patel if it was okay for Dr. Patel to be at the football game with him. Dr. Patel responded,
telling Pat Jr. that he was his “brother in green” (referring to the colors of the Philadelphia Eagles
 National Football League team) and,
for the day, “not [his] therapist.” Dr. Patel also informed Pat Jr. that it was “wonderful” to see him at the football game.
Code of Ethics
 section A.5.c. notes that counselors should avoid nonprofessional interactions
with clients or clients’ family
members except when the interactions would be  potentially beneficial for clients
and clients’ family members
. Rather than saying it was wonderful to see Pat Jr. and claiming that, for a day, he was not his therapist, but rather a
“brother in green,” Dr. Pa
tel should have avoided Pat Jr. if possible and, if not possible, informed Pat Jr. that since he is his therapist, he could not spend time with him outside of therapy
  perhaps also explaining this rationale at the moment or in a future therapy session.

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