Termination and Post Therapy Relationships: Ethical, Legal, and Personally Pertinent Angela Hatfield
University of the Rockies
Dr. Jessica Shoemaker Psy. D.
May 20, 2013
Psychologists often face situations where clients initiate a discussion that could lead to multiple relationships or boundary issues. The most commonly encountered issues are termination and sexual relationships. This paper discusses the defining factors therapists consider when deciding how to best handle these types of dilemmas, by considering the client, the ethical standards, the legalities, as well as the personally pertinent factors. This paper discusses two separate ethical dilemmas, in part one the ramifications of social relationships after termination, and in part two this paper discusses sexual attraction on the part of the client and/or the counselor, and both parts one and two discuss appropriate steps and factors that should be considered.
Termination and Post Therapy Relationships: Ethical, Legal, and Personally Pertinent The American Counseling Association (ACA) specifically addresses that counselors are “prohibited in having client/counselor relationships with former clients for a period of five years” (Section A.5.b), and specifies that counselors prior to beginning such a relationship should “demonstrate forethought of ways such a relationship may be viewed as exploitive, or if the potential relationship could cause harm” (ACA, 2013, Section A.5.b.). The American Psychological Association (APA) General Principle A: Beneficence and Non-maleficence states that “psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm” (APA, 2002); this is applicable both during the counseling process and after the counseling relationship has ended. This paper is in two parts, the first addresses socializing with former clients, and the second part discusses sexual attraction of a client toward his or her therapist, or vice versa. This paper discusses...
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