Dual Relationships and Boundaries

Topics: Ethics, Exploitation, Therapy Pages: 5 (1497 words) Published: September 23, 2012
Dual Relationships and Boundaries
University of Phoenix
Professor Rawls
September 2012
The purpose of this paper is to examine dual relationships and boundaries. Scenarios are presented in class, these scenarios deal with different types of dual relationships. The objective for this assignment was selecting one for examination. After a scenario is selected the concept of the dual relationship is evaluated. In this evaluation the concept of dual relationships will be defined. The scenario will be analyzed, and the ethical issues will be presented.

Dual Relationships and Boundaries
The intent of this paper is to analyze dual relationships and boundaries. The scenario choice for this paper covers a situation where in which a psychologist has a client who can no longer pay for her therapy sessions. I will take over the scenario and input myself as the psychologist to come up with an ethical solution to the problem presented.

The issue in this scenario is the client cannot afford sessions and I am struggling to deal with paperwork imposed by manage care and my billing. I suggested that the client work for me two days per week instead of paying for her sessions. I have to evaluate my solution, determine the ethical issues, and explain the challenges presented by boundary issues in the field of psychology. Concept of Dual Relationships

According to (Zur, 2011) the concept of dual relationships reflects on any situation in which multiple roles exist between a therapist and a client. Dual relationships occur when the client is also a student, friend, family member, employee, or business associate of the therapist. Dual relationships seriously risk distorting or eroding the therapeutic relationship. Dual relationships can be damaging to both the therapist and the client, tending to be much more detrimental to the client. Multiple relationships that would not reasonably be expected to cause impairment, risk exploitation, or harm, are not unethical. If a psychologist finds that because of unforeseen factors, a potentially harmful multiple relationships began, the psychologist should take the reasonable steps to resolve it, thinking of the best interests of the client and maximal compliance with the Ethics Code.

Ethical problems often happen when therapists combine his or her professional relationship with other kind of relationships. Dual or multiple role relationships occur when a professional takes on two or more roles at the same time with a client or with someone who has a significant relationship with the client. A psychologist striving for excellence in boundary management should pay attention to maintaining the integrity of boundaries in the primary professional role. If the client and professional role is managed appropriately, dual roles are less likely to develop. If dual roles do develop, they may be less likely to become problematic. “Boundaries in therapy define the therapeutic-fiduciary relationships or what has been referred to as the, "therapeutic frame." They distinguish psychotherapy from social, familial, sexual, business and many other types of relationships” (Zur, 2011). In therapeutic relationships boundaries can be concerns with privacy and confidentiality, session space, and payments. Analyzation

In the selected scenario, where the client is not able to pay for her sessions it is important to analyze the situation to make sure I am not jeopardizing my practice or behaving unethically. I am struggling ever week, trying to fill out insurance paper work properly, so manage care and billing will not be an issue and affect my client’s sessions. I suggested that she work for me two days per week to cover her session fees instead of worrying about payments. I need to analyze my decision-making in this matter because a dual relationship will be forming.

If my client works two days out of the week a dual...
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