In medical practice, the statement, “clinicians have ethical and legal obligations to evaluate and intervene to protect victims of psychological and/or physical abuse effectively" is often a subject to debates. Owing to the potential outcome of an abuse in homes, clinicians have a duty to assist victims or prevent couples from undergoing physical and psychological abuse.
The Best Practice for Protecting Victims of Abuse
Essentially, the best practice for protecting the victim and conducting a thorough assessment for Intimate Partner Violence in clinical setup is through engaging the criminal and the person abused. However, once an abuse is committed, the situation cannot be reversed, thus there is a need for an immediate intervention. Counseling, therefore, becomes the best practice for protecting victims of abuse from the psychological trauma that they are exposed to. It might also help them to reduce the likelihood of future abuse that they might face. Alternatively, when all counseling did not end up in success, then the counselor is legally mandated to refer such couples to the courts.
Indeed, the most appropriate time to use couple counseling is before any abuse actually occurs. This means that in clinical practice, the clinicians should have a counseling session with couples if they happen to visit a medical facility together. One would be sure that counseling is appropriate if an unusual trend in the relationship is reported, or if he/she senses that one of the partners is offended, but does not want to speak out about it. It is easier to discover a relationship discord between couples if they are together than if each of them visits the health facility separately.
In Case of Inappropriateness of Counseling
Suppose, one finds that after he/she started counseling, it was improper to do the couple’s psychotherapy because the IPV in their bond was already affected. In such cases, the counselor should first seek the couples’ consent whether they would be comfortable to solve the problem through counseling. The reason is that continuing with counseling might not bring a significant change, because one of the partners could have made up his or her mind about the problem in their relationship.
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