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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Little discussion has appeared in the literature regarding the ethical and value considerations when clinicians select a psychotherapy modality (e.g., CBT, psychoanalytic therapy, family systems, etc.) and format (group, individual, couple, family, systems) to offer to clients before formal treatment negotiations begin. This chapter offers a virtue-ethics framework to consider these ethics and values issues in psychotherapy modality/format selection, and embeds this virtue-ethics framework in a series of seven clinical factors to consider when doing modality/format deliberations. Karl Jaspers’s principles of clinical interpretation (hermeneutics) provide an illustrative framework for the thinking process in making modality/format decisions. The interactions between the seven factors to consider in modality/format deliberations and the eight relevant clinician virtues provide for numerous, but brief, clinical examples of how the factors, the virtues, and clinical hermeneutics combine to provide for conscientious psychotherapy modality/format deliberations.

Keywords: psychotherapy, modality, format, theoretical orientation, ethics, treatment selection

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