Dear News Media,
This letter is long overdue. We love most of you. Actually we have some pretty amazing friends that work in the news, however there are some of you that make us very sad.
Those that are amazing, you know what you do that stands out. Your ethics and personal values are in place and you know how to respect the lives of those that may be involved in some unfortunate incidents. You don't exploit the families or the professionals that you may know are working with them. You realize that bad things happen to good people.
Those that don't. Take note!
There have been times when we have been impressed and loved our time on TV, however others we are saddened at the exploitation of clients we may serve. Many of our staff have stopped watching the news, which is sad. When Tara offers interviews to other therapists in the practice, they won't accept due to fear of their words being turned around. We have found that there are some stations locally that are "safer" than others. Do you realize this too?
Recently I assisted Tara on a session where the client expressed "hating" reporters and feeling like they are mean and don't care. I know that this is not true for all, however experience with reporters "camping out" and "stalking" the family have proved otherwise. This is not the first time a child has shared this fear with us. They see the reporters sitting, knocking, or constantly driving past their home...their safe place. They see you saddening, maddening, or causing anxiety in those adults they still trust and love.
Do you realize that these are people could be your family? Our heart breaks for them and you. Not every trauma needs you digging deep into the lives of families, especially when you may not get the whole story. Remember what we tell our clients: There are three sides to every story!
Tara specializes in trauma work, so we see a lot of crime victims. This also means we are constantly deflecting the news crew. Some of the "shady" ones know we do this and watch our office to see if they can "catch" one of our clients coming in. Sadly, we cannot allow the media to come in a lot because of this. We have heard that our practice has a reputation with the media of being uncooperative, however are we uncooperative by providing the confidentiality we promise our clients? The safe place for them to process? If that is how you define it, then we accept it; however we do not feel we are uncooperative!
I am sad to report the fear that some of our clients have about news media and I help Tara work to change it, however some reporters just reinforce this behavior.
So, my friends in news media, wont you share your ethics with your colleagues? What can we do to help in this?? What if your family was on the other side?