Running head: BENCHMARK – COUNSELOR ETHICAL BOUNDARIES 1 Nancy E. Wright Grand Canyon University: PCN 505 September 5, 2018
BENCHMARK – COUNSELOR ETHICAL BOUNDARIES 2 Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships Determining if a Boundary-crossing or Dual Relationship is Ethical and Appropriate If a boundary line has been crossed or involvement with a client has resulted in a dual relationship, has the client’s objectives and judgement been clouded? Has the counselor’s ability to serve the client effectively been hindered or has it resulted in harm or exploitation to the client? (Corey, G., Corey, M., Corey, C., & Callanan, P., 2015). The criteria I would consider in making my decision is: in addition to the professional relationship, is going into another relationship with a client necessary? Should a counselor avoid this other relationship? Can the client be harmed by this other relationship? If there does not appear to be any harm would it be beneficial to be in this other relationship? Could this other relationship interfere with the therapeutic relationship? Can the matter be evaluated objectively by the counselor? (Corey, G., Corey, M., Corey, C., & Callanan, P., 2015). Examples of how I Would Apply This Criteria to Four Counseling Situations I as a counselor have been invited to the wedding of my client’s sister. I dated my client’s brother one year ago and still have feelings for him. By going to the wedding, I will see her brother again. By going to the wedding and seeing my client’s brother it would bring up old feelings for him again. I should not put myself in this situation as it would cloud the therapeutic relationship I have with my client. After going through the criteria in determining if this situation would be beneficial, my gut feeling is that it would not. I have been working with a male client. We have a very good therapeutic relationship and he is doing well with the treatment process. I have started having feelings for him. He is oblivious that I do. I have not said anything to him about how I am feeling. If he started having feelings for me, there would be a normal tendency to put each other on a pedestal: to idealize each other. (Boland-Prom, K., & Anderson, S., 2005). I know that sexual, intimate relationships with a client are one of the most dangerous types of dual relationships. (Boland-Prom, K., & Anderson, S., 2005). Along with critiquing this situation I would need to refer back to the Code of Ethics A.5.a Sexual and/or Romantic Relationships Prohibited (ACA, 2014).
BENCHMARK – COUNSELOR ETHICAL BOUNDARIES 3 If I still had feelings I was dealing with I would talk with another counselor and/or supervisor. My boyfriend’s son has court-ordered counseling and I have been selected to counsel him. My main obligation is the therapeutic relationship with its’ commitments. The son has the right to refuse services with me and he also has the right to be fully informed about issues that could affect the services he receives. (Boland-Prom, K., & Anderson, S., 2005). The son has the right to privacy and he may not want his father to be informed of his treatment process.
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