The integration of preventive law and therapeutic jurisprudence holds promise for enriching the careers of many practicing lawyers. However, the process of becoming more therapeutic in orientation also involves risk. This Article discusses four potential pitfalls: (1) the process of becoming psychologically-minded and its inherent hazards, including overidentification; (2) the difficulty of balancing neutrality and involvement; (3) the need to identify and manage transference and countertransference; and (4) the risk of secondary trauma. Protective strategies, drawn from the psychotherapeutic and burnout literature, are outlined. This Article stresses the need for lawyers to recognize potential hazards and draw on the experience of other therapeutic professionals as they adopt a more explicitly therapeutic framework, thereby avoiding the pitfalls in favor of the benefits.
Lynda L. Murdoch, Psychological Consequences of Adopting a Therapeutic Lawyering Approach: Pitfalls and Protective Strategies, 24 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 483 (2000).