Mandatory Reporting Flaws

  1. If someone is looking for therapy specifically for their problem, they’re likely someone who does want to address the problem, and the therapy will help.
  2. If everyone who goes to therapy gets reported, no one will go to therapy.
  3. It (among many things) weakens the trust in therapists and psychologists as an institution. They’re easier to cast as an other. Malevolent ideas of psychologists performing electro-shock therapy, quacks like Rahm driving people to suicide with sinister drugs, and brainwashing sessions might come to mind.
  4. It weakens trust in the legislature and institutions.
  5. Sketchy places already don’t follow the law, including mandatory reporting laws. Someone could get “support” there.
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You mean for non contact offenses? And even some types of domestic violence in which the perpetrator wants help to manage his/her anger? I think lifting mandatory reporting law makes sense.

But something like murder or child molestation, I’m far less likely to support lifting reporting rules.

The extent we’re willing to go is certainly something worthy of debate and consideration.

Federally, Germany doesn’t have reporting laws, although there are a few states which do. From what I know, Germany goes as far as not mandating reports, even for a case with an active contact offense. A contact offense happening as the therapy is happening.

It may be that the laws simply haven’t caught up to what is happening, but Germany’s culture of confidentiality is mind-boggling to someone looking at it with a more anglo (America, Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand) cultural perspective.

There is precedence, but I can’t see that ever happening outside of Germany. The other extreme would be the United Kingdom where confessing to viewing cartoon images can get you reported to the police. California is a step above this with admitting to viewing CP getting you reported, but not virtual CP. There is an active lawsuit against this law, which if it succeeds, would land it squarely in the region which you support.

With Germany, they lived many hellish years under the Stasi who spied on everyone in East Germany and turned families and friends against each other. They take privacy and confidentiality very seriously in a similar fashion to how the U.S. takes the First Amendment very seriously.

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