Dual Relationships and Boundaries

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By dlfaith29
Words 1478
Pages 6
Dual Relationships and Boundaries
Danyé Levi
Psych 545
September 30, 2013
Kristi Collins

Dual Relationships and Boundaries
Scenario: A close friend of yours is having difficulty with her teenage daughter. She knows you are a psychologist who specializes in adolescents. She asks if you would be willing to see her daughter for a few sessions to straighten her out.

Dual relationships are any situation that may contaminate a doctor-patient relationship from a second relationship whether it is related to business, financial, romantic or social (Segen's Medical Dictionary, 2012). Traditionally, this type of relationship has been deemed unethical in the field of psychology (Nickel, 2004). Many believe it is unrealistic to expect therapists and counselors to avoid all dual relationships (Pope & Vasquez, 2011). Others believe that multiple relationships are harmful and should be avoided at all time to avoid dilemmas down the road (Nickel, 2004). Patients may feel more comfortable with seeking treatment from a therapist they know already from a preexisting relationship and therefore see no ethical issue with consulting with them. Patients may believe that their other relationship with the therapist will not be compromised and that the therapist will be more nurturing and attentive because of their preexisting relationship. A therapist may believe that a client will be more receptive to their advice because of their preexisting relationship and heed their opinions and accept their treatment. The danger is that dual relationships are hard to maintain and keep expectations separate. The roles between the therapist and client cannot merge or be influenced by other relationships the two share. The more levels of relationships that are crossed, the more detrimental it may be for the client and therapist. An example would be a therapist that treats his brother-in-law,…...

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