Ethical and legal considerations for treatment of alleged victims: When does it become witness tampering?

Tim F. Branaman, Michael C. Gottlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Children who are alleged victims of sexual abuse may require therapy while the alleged perpetrator is awaiting trial. A considerable body of literature addresses the biases that can influence practitioners in ways that may alter children's memories, but little has been written about the risks associated with conducting therapy with an alleged victim during the pendency of a criminal matter. In this article, we review existing professional standards and guidelines and consider the legal implications of their absence for those providing therapy to alleged child victims pending trial of an alleged perpetrator. We conclude with preliminary guidelines for mental health professionals conducting such treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-306
Number of pages8
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013



  • Child sexual abuse
  • Child therapy
  • Child witnesses
  • Forensic interviewing
  • Pretrial therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this