Happy Friday, ethical gods and goddesses. This week’s challenge is borrowed from ethical psychology.com with a few alterations. As always, please send in your answers to add to our discussion next week of this challenge. Get your thinking caps on!
Dr. Smith is a psychologist who has worked with a young woman for about 9 months. The patient presents with a history of rejection and abandonment as well as persons of power misusing her. She recently received an offer to become a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company. The psychologist and patient discussed the type of job she was entering because she may experience rejection from doctors, nurses, and other office personnel.
After her 6 weeks of training, the company assigns her to a regional director that the psychologist knows personally. She reports an increase of her anxiety related symptoms. Dr. Smith knows her new boss, Mr. Biggy (they dine together with their wives several times a year), and seeks to reassure the patient that “he is a really a good guy” that seems bright, friendly, and fair. He indicates that Mr. Biggy is a good “family man”. The patient is reassured, and reported less anxiety.
Several weeks later, your patient reports that Mr. Biggy has been spending more time with her, complimenting her on the way she looks and her ability to make the sale. She begins to feel uncomfortable as she feels like they are spending too much time together and Mr. Biggy is asking questions that are more personal, forwards her “funny” emails, and texts some inappropriate remarks to her, mainly about her alluring power that helps make sales. Two days later, Mr. Biggy and Dr. Smith meet in an unplanned social venue. Mr. Biggy pulls Dr. Smith aside and explains how he has become very attracted to a new sales representative. He thinks that she is young and impressionable. He confides that he would like to have an affair with her.
Dr. Smith politely explains that he feels uncomfortable with them discussing his more personal marital issues. Mr. Biggy indicates that he wants to talk more about his feelings. Dr. Smith suggests a referral to a psychologist, but Mr. Biggy states that he feels more comfortable talking with Dr. Smith. After some other small talk, Dr. Smith leaves to mingle with other friends. Dr. Smith is now worried about the entire situation.
In hindsight, think about what triggered some possible difficulties in this situation?