Former psychologist holding on to my file
Q. I terminated counselling with a psychologist and decided six months after to continue with another psychologist. The first psychologist refuses to send my file to my new psychologist. What can I do?
A. The ethics code of mental health professionals specify that records cannot be withheld if a client changes their mental-health services provider. Write a letter requesting a copy of your file and then, depending on the response, contact your local psychology association.
Therapist invading my private space
Q. I am a client of a male psychologist. I was ill for a few weeks and noticed that the psychologist sent me many cards and is now asking to visit me. I do not think that this is appropriate. I think he is invading my private space. Is it proper to say this and possibly change my therapist? The way he is offering me friendship, I feel like I cannot refuse it.
A. It is not normal for a psychologist to visit a client at home, unless requested by the client. Many complications can arise from friendly situations with clients and therapists. You need to make it clear that you are not comfortable with the behaviours that he is exhibiting. If he persists, you need to share your concerns with someone.
Up conflict resolution training in schools
Q. I notice in the news that we have so many family-related killings, is it possible for more training to be done in our schools on conflict resolution? I think, if we catch people early, we will have fewer of these problems.
A. There is a lot of conflict resolution being conducted in primary and high schools across the island by guidance counsellors and psychologists. I think we need to do more of this training in our churches and community centres, so we can reach more people.
Orlean Brown-Earle, PhD, is a child psychologist and family therapist. Dr Brown-Earle works with children with learning and behavioural problems throughout the island and in the Caribbean. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to Ask the Doc, c/o The Gleaner Company, 7 North Street, Kingston. Responses to concerns are to be considered as general, as cases shared with psychologists privately would be queried more deeply. Pray always!