How impaired is too impaired? Ratings of psychologist impairment by psychologists in independent practice

Ethics and Behavior 20 (2):149 – 160 (2010)
Abstract
Although psychologist impairment has received attention from researchers, there is a paucity of empirical data aimed at determining the point at which such impairment necessitates action. The purpose of this study was to provide such empirical data. Members of Division 42 ( n = 285) responded to vignettes describing a psychologist whose symptoms of either depression or substance abuse varied across five levels of severity. Results identified specific levels of impairment at which psychologists were deemed too impaired to practice psychotherapy, as well as significant differences between ratings of increasingly severe impairment. Practical and ethical implications of these results are discussed
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