Ethical issues regarding perpetrator involvement in the systemic treatment of incest

Kristy L. Soloski, Jared A. Durtschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Using a systemic perspective to treat survivors of incest elicits the controversial question of whether to involve the perpetrator in the therapy process. Ethically, the therapist has a responsibility to ensure that the therapeutic process will do no harm to the client; therefore, involving the perpetrator may be contraindicated in some circumstances. Therapists may feel torn between determining what the most ethical practice is. This determination is affected by a wide variety of factors, and requires clinical judgment once these factors are understood. The article proposes the Incest-Perpetrator Involvement Checklist to guide therapists through the relevant issues that should be addressed prior to approving the perpetrator's inclusion in conjoint therapy with the survivor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-207
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Family Psychotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2013


  • assessment
  • child abuse
  • ethics
  • family therapy
  • incest
  • systemic treatment


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