Competition and interpersonal conflict in dating relationships

Among the most significant changes in the ethics codes of professional organizations are those related to the drawing of boundaries between therapists and their clients.

Over the last couple of decades we have witnessed a relaxation of rigid restrictions.

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It is not our intention to trivialize the seriousness of the issues.

As part of our disguising process, we also randomly assign various professional designations and earned degrees or licensure status.

What the therapist may deem as an acceptable, even helpful, boundary crossing may be experienced as inappropriate or harmful by the client, as will be discussed further.

Our main goal for this course is to make a strong case for vigilance and ongoing self-awareness when making decisions about boundary crossing with clients.

However, as we will illustrate, remaining vigilant regarding our own needs and vulnerabilities as well as those of our clients is fundamental to ethical practice.

Whenever personal needs take precedence, rationalization can inhibit sound professional judgment that too easily leads to unanticipated consequences for clients and even the precipitous destruction of therapists’ own careers.The client who was asked for a favor turned into a bit of a fiasco.The client asked if they could stop on the way home and have dinner together.Also, for ease of presentation, we use the term "therapist" throughout to refer to anyone delivering psychotherapy or counseling services to clients.The materials in this course are based on current published ethical standards and the most accurate information available to the authors at the time of writing.In fact, the mother might more appropriately focus on other actions (e.g., locating a lawyer).

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