There are no stated prohibitions concerning friendships with former patients in the professional organizations for psychology (the American Psychological Association) and psychiatry (the American Psychiatric Association). However, such friendships should not interfere with your ability to provide sound psychotherapy or psychiatric care. Former patients may feel free to ask about your practice to help them decide whether it is right for them.
There are no established recommendations for therapists on this. Given how morally strict the mental health sector is, you may be wondering if your former therapist is even permitted to remain your buddy. The answer is "technically" yes, however it is typically not recommended. It is important to understand that no one is immune to being treated by someone they dislike. For example, a patient who feels ignored by their therapist may feel compelled to ignore their therapist when their turn comes around in therapy.
In addition, there are laws against discrimination in employment and housing. Thus, a therapist cannot legally refuse to work with you just because you were clients from time to time. However, most therapists would still recommend you avoid becoming too close to any one patient.
The main reason is that patients tend to trust their therapists. Thus, if your therapist begins to ignore you or appears biased against you, you might feel like there is no hope for change. This could lead you to make irrational decisions (such as killing yourself or seeking out another therapist who will give you a different opinion).
It is also important to note that although nothing prevents patients from telling lies or engaging in other questionable behaviors during treatment, many therapists require their patients to be completely honest with them.
Because the therapist and patient have no interaction outside of the consultation session, the therapeutic relationship is not a friendship. That is not to say that the therapist has no feelings for the patient. The therapist cares about how the patient feels, and this affects what kind of treatment he or she provides.
In fact, the therapist's empathy is one of the most important factors in determining the success of the therapy. Without this quality, it is impossible for the therapist to provide effective counseling. Empathy is the ability to understand and feel with another person. It involves more than just listening to someone complain and then giving them advice; you must also be able to see the situation from their point of view. This means being sensitive to the patient's feelings while still providing guidance on how to move forward.
As long as there is a good therapeutic relationship, any other relationship patients have outside of sessions is their business. If they want to talk about their problems with others, that's fine. But the therapist should have nothing to do with these conversations. Otherwise, the trust that is so important for the therapy to be successful will be broken.
When there is no longer a good therapeutic relationship, even if it was once a good one, things can go either way.
As someone who suffers from mental illness, I understand how difficult those two aspects of friendship can be. As a result, becoming a "flaky" friend is one of the most serious concerns that may arise while dealing with mental health issues in a connection.
Being a friend means being there for your friends when they need you the most. It also means listening to them talk about their problems and giving them advice when they ask for it. Finally, it means supporting them during good times and bad.
But all these requirements can be very hard to fulfill if you have a mental illness, especially if you're not well-informed about these conditions. People with mental illnesses often experience symptoms such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, just to name a few. These symptoms can make it difficult for them to interact with others their own age who do not know about their condition.
People with mental illnesses may feel uncomfortable around others because of the uncertainty they cause or the assumptions they make about the nature of their condition. Some may even feel ashamed or guilty due to misconceptions about what causes these conditions or stereotypes about how they should behave.
However, despite all these difficulties, people with mental illnesses can still play an important role in the lives of those around them.
Furthermore, while it may be permissible to friend a patient in specific cases (for example, if you have a past relationship with the patient), it is typically not advised to friend patients or their families. Above all, never share patient experiences on Facebook or other social networking sites. These can be private matters that should remain so.
Many of us do not want or believe it is feasible to be friends with a former partner, but it is achievable with the correct communication. Civility; unfulfilled love aspirations; practicality (e.g., working together, going to school together, or sharing shared acquaintances); and security are examples of these. Being friendly does not mean that you will ever change your mind about what happened in the past nor does it mean that you will ever forget what someone did to you.
It is important to recognize that when you break up with someone, even if it was because of their behavior toward you, they do not feel bad about themselves. They may have acted inappropriately at times, but that does not make them unworthy of respect. It is also important to remember that people can learn from their mistakes and grow as individuals. If you were able to handle their inappropriate behaviors without acting on your feelings, then they can do the same for you in the future.
Former partners can be good influences in each other's lives and should be supported rather than rejected. Try not to focus on the things that separated you during your relationship. Focus on the things that you enjoyed doing together and create new memories together after you break up.
They aren't always terrible; sharing a shared link might help promote mutual understanding and empathy. Friendship may be something that patients require from doctors, and it may be a beneficial professional trait. However, like any other relationship, there are lines that shouldn't be crossed.
Being friendly with your doctor is fine as long as you don't go beyond what's appropriate for a patient-doctor relationship. Some things not to do include discussing personal matters such as finances or private life issues, giving medical advice, or engaging in other forms of social interaction besides friendship.
If you feel like you're being pressured into becoming more than just friends with your doctor, it's time to say goodbye. Your physician should be someone you trust and who trusts you. If you feel like you can't have this kind of relationship, then look for another doctor.
Doctors also need to know how to express themselves properly so they don't hurt patients' feelings. If you're feeling uncomfortable due to the nature of the doctor-patient relationship, talk to them about how you feel. They might be able to change things around if necessary.
All's acceptable to say hello to a former patient you meet on the street as a nurse, but that's it. Do not form a friendship or a connection with such individual. It is OK to befriend a patient after the nurse-patient connection has ended, but be mindful of what occurred in the preceding scenarios. If there was any indication of wrongdoing on your part, then it would be inappropriate to interact with you thereafter.
The only exception to this rule is if the former patient shows no signs of judgment toward nurses who treated them with respect and dignity. In that case, it would be acceptable for nurses to develop friendships with those patients.
Nurses are human beings too, so we tend to form connections with other people whether we should or shouldn't. But because we play an important role in the health care system, it is recommended that nurses put their own needs first by limiting these relationships to only those patients who don't have any hold over us (e.g., no way of getting back at us if we leave them).