ETHICS CODES AND BEST PRACTICES
The fields of psychology and social work recognize the best practices for giving psychological help to various groups of people. It's important for you to know that the person you are seeing has a recognition of these guidelines.
Summaries from a selection of Guidelines from the American Psychological Association (APA) are listed below. A comprehensive list of all of our practice guidelines can be found here: http://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/index.aspx
APA GUIDELINES ON MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION, TRAINING, RESEARCH, PRACTICE AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE FOR PSYCHOLOGISTS
All individuals exist in social, political, historical, and economic contexts, and psychologists are increasingly called upon to understand the influence of these contexts on individuals' behavior.
GUIDELINES FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTICE WITH TRANSGENDER AND GENDER NONCONFORMING PEOPLE
The purpose of the Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People (TGNC) is to assist psychologists in the provision of culturally competent, developmentally appropriate, and trans-affirmative psychological practice with TGNC people.
GUIDELINES FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTICE WITH GIRLS AND WOMEN
The aim of this document is to articulate guidelines that will enhance gender and culture sensitive psychological practice with women and girls from all social classes, ethnic and racial groups, sexual orientations, and ability/disability status in the United States. These guidelines provide general recommendations for psychologists who seek to increase their awareness, knowledge, and skills in psychological practice with women and girls.
GUIDELINES FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL PRACTICE WITH LESBIAN, GAY, AND BISEXUAL CLIENTS
Guideline 1. Psychologists strive to understand the effects of stigma (i.e., prejudice, discrimination, and violence) and its various contextual manifestations in the lives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.
Guideline 2. Psychologists understand that lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not mental illnesses.
Guideline 3. Psychologists understand that same-sex attractions, feelings, and behavior are normal variants of human sexuality and that efforts to change sexual orientation have not been shown to be effective or safe.
Guideline 4. Psychologists are encouraged to recognize how their attitudes and knowledge about lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues may be relevant to assessment and treatment and seek consultation or make appropriate referrals when indicated.
Guideline 5. Psychologists strive to recognize the unique experiences of bisexual individuals.
Guideline 6. Psychologists strive to distinguish issues of sexual orientation from those of gender identity when working with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.
Guideline 7. Psychologists strive to be knowledgeable about and respect the importance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships.
Guideline 8. Psychologists strive to understand the experiences and challenges faced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents.
Guideline 9. Psychologists recognize that the families of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people may include people who are not legally or biologically related.
Guideline 10. Psychologists strive to understand the ways in which a person's lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation may have an impact on his or her family of origin and the relationship with that family of origin.
CRAFT PRACTICE VALUES
We believe that people are social beings where psychological problems are created and healed in relationships. The way of being in past relationships can be repeated in present relationships. For example, the way you learned to be with others as a child or how you were parented, may affect how you relate to others as an adult. From a big picture perspective, what it means to be a good person in a particular family, culture, or time in the world also influences how you relate to others. In therapy, sometimes the patterns that occur in one's life outside of therapy can occur in therapy (between you and the therapist). It's the therapists job to think and talk about these patterns with you. Because every individual is unique and respected, relational therapists do not assume to have the answers or quick-fixes to problems in your life, but rather they work with you to help you to figure out the meaning of and potential solutions to your problems.
IMPROVING OUR CRAFT
Our private practice is connected to expert professionals and remains up-to-date on new research in the field. We consult with each other and can call on nationally recognized experts in a wide range of areas including forensic and family psychology, domestic violence, substance abuse, trauma, attachment, child psychology and play therapy. With your permission, we can present the issues you are bring to therapy to consultants and give you feedback.
Our clinicians regularly attend national conferences and continuing education courses to expand their knowledge. They also regularly train other therapists in the community locally and nationally. Our clinicians have been visiting professors at local universities including: Antioch University, Bastyr University and Seattle University. Dr. Lord was a clinician-research at University of Washington from 2007-2015 and now provides training and consulting to several research teams in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology. She is also an adjunct professor at Seattle University where she teaches about family therapy.
We believe in integrated care for you and your family so that therapy is not an add-on or disconnected service, but part of holistic wellbeing. If you are interested in integrated care, we can work with other members of your care team such as psychiatrists, pediatricians or family doctors to ensure there is open communication and a unified treatment plan. This can be especially important for children, patients with chronic health problems or complex medical care, and when psychotropic medications are indicated as part of treatment. For school-aged children, integration with schools can be key to ensuring mental health recommendations are followed. We provide written treatment summaries, telephone conferences and attend outside meetings.
GROUNDING IN CONTEXT
The clinicians in our center take into consideration the context of every individual we see. This means we see societal, cultural, and political causes and solutions to issues faced in the counseling process.Understanding patients in context is common to many approaches including the practice of relational psychoanalysis, hermeneutic interpretation, and feminist therapy. Each theoretical approach is described briefly here:
Feminist therapy is defined by Laura Brown as "...practice derived from the realities that lie outside, beneath, and at variance from the visions of the dominant patriarchal mainstream. It is a theory that not only listens to, but privileges, the voices and experiences of those who have been defined as “other” by dominant cultures. It is a competency-based paradigm that perceives human beings as responsive to the problems of their lives, capable of solving those problems, and desirous of change. It is also a politically informed model that always observes human experience within the framework of societal and cultural realities, and the dynamics of power informing those realities. Feminist therapy does not simply study the "other" in order to offer a neutral perspective on that experience. Rather, what is inherent in Feminist Therapy theory is the radical notion that silenced voices of marginalized people are considered to be the sources of the greatest wisdom."
Relational psychoanalysis is closely related to interpersonal psychology (e.g., Harry Stack Sullivan), object relations (e.g, Winnicott) and Freudian psychoanalysis. At our Center, the psychologists have been trained in a form of relational therapy that is associated with writings of Steven Mitchell, Donnell Stern, Neil Altman, Robert Solorow, Donna Orange, Jessica Benjamin and many others. Part of relationality (described above) includes linking the personal and public spheres. Within this understanding our personal lives and problems are seen as socially connected or even constructed. Thus in the therapy relationship, sometimes issues of class, race, gender and sexuality emerge that are about the patient or the therapist, but also about society and culture as a whole. Therefore, relational psychoanalysis tries to understand how patients and therapists engage with and recreate these cultural arrangements.
Hermeneutics is the practice of reflective interpretation. In therapy, hermeneutic inquiry involves the therapist listening to the patient while lightly holding interpretations and questions that arise from the therapy. The therapist may relate the interpretations to each other, history, contemporary culture, and to the lives of the patient and therapist. There are several traditions of hermeneutic study; the approach supported by the therapists at CRAFT is based on the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer and his elaboration on and interpretation of Martin Heidegger’s ontological hermeneutics. Heidegger asserted that understanding brings forth experience. He proposed that understanding is the basic form of human existence: It is not a way we know the world, he said; it is the way we are. […] Heidegger maintained that to be human is to be interpretive for the very nature of the human realm is interpretive. Interpretation is not a tool for knowledge; it is the way human beings are. […] Experience itself is formed through interpretation of the world. Being human is a laying-open of what is hidden: we are beings who approach ourselves with the hermeneutic question “What does it mean to be?” (Polkinghorne, 1983, p. 224)