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I am a mental therapist and have been working as such for…

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I am a mental therapist...
I am a mental therapist and have been working as such for over ten years. Last May I got two clients, they were married to each other. They came to me for help because their lives felt worthless. After I interviewed each person individually, and then let a couple of months pass in order to observe them I was able to diagnose each person as being seriously ill. One to the point of needing to go on FMLA or within days she would have had a nervous breakdown and going into the mental hospital for quite a will. I diagnosed her and her husband with a very severe personality disorder, Borderline. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is associated with high emotional sensitivity and intense, prolonged emotional experiences and abuse. Thoughts can easily escalate to an overwhelmingly painful degree and often they want to escape from them at any cost. The most alarming research shows BPD patients are at a high risk for completed suicide. This means people with BPD are approximately 50 times more likely than the general population to die by suicide. BPD has a suicide rate that is 400 times the national average. Some studies show that as many as 80 percent of people with BPD exhibit suicidal intentions and around 70 percent of BPD patients will attempt suicide at least once. The couple also filed for chapter 13 due to the lack of money to pay their bills. They lost their car, their credit, their self worth, and their ability to be self sufficient. They lived off of a small income that was insufficient for their needs. Both were at high risk for suicide. They went to their Mormon Bishop for financial help as that is what the church is known for. Three months ago he was eager to help. He gave them food and help with paying for therapy. "Not a problem" he says. Well just last Monday the 27th of November 2017, with their permission, I wrote to their bishop giving him a few clinical details that were needed in order to let him know the severity of their illness. I also stated how they were strong believers in their religion and extremely grateful for the help that he and the church has given them. Well, this is were the bishop morphed into the most abusive, insensitive, uneducated, demon. He not only said "shame on you for asking" he said that he did not believe in doctors (of any fashion) or in medicine. He said it's all just a ploy to get your money. And he said if they were strong enough believers in the gospel that that is enough to heal them. And this includes getting medical attention for their diabetes. Need I say more about how this has affected the progress that both of them has made. When it comes to their mental status, they are both at square one. He is in a position of power and control and he used it to harm and abuse my clients. He stated that the reason he was "chosen" is because he believes. Now my concern is in the safety and security of my clients. My question is: Is there and legal recourse with what he has done to place my clients in harms way and slander me and my work in my clients eyes. Any insight would help.
Submitted: 6 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 1 hour by:
12/1/2017
Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 6 months ago
legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

I am very sorry to hear this;

case law is very quiet on this issue; the only case I could locate was a case from CA back in the late 80s that addressed "clergyman malpractice" for negligently failing to prevent a suicide of a minor that sought counseling through the church. The court determined that the church was not liable as there was no legal duty nor was there a duty to refer a suicidal person to a licensed mental health professional. This case is Nally v. Grace Community Church of the Valley.

With the emphasis on mental health and particularly suicide prevention the past few years, presumably this case law will be overturned but for now I could not find any information to rebut that.

As for slander, slander does not include one's opinions; but if derogatory facts were stated, that could constitute slander particularly slander per se-when it goes to one's professional capacity.

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Lawyer: legalgems, Lawyer replied 6 months ago

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;

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