Discuss dual relationships. What was your opinion of the Arnold Lazarus essay (Bersoff, p.242)?
Read Fisher; Chapter 6 Standards on Human Relations pp 113-169.
Bersoff; Chapter 5; Multiple Relationships; pp 215-270.
The establishment and maintenance of proper boundaries between psychologists and their clients have received much attention by the field. While all theoretical perspectives address professional boundary issues, the contributions of psychoanalysis and other psychodynamic schools of therapy highlight how important an awareness of transference and countertransference reactions are in professional relationships. Psychologists need to recognize that adverse emotional reactions can occur in their professional relationships due to a variety of psychodynamic factors. Thus, maintaining professional boundaries is a way of minimizing or avoiding the repercussions that can occur when adverse emotional reactions (i.e., transference) arise.
The power and influence held by the psychologist in relation to people who are clients, trainees, etc., underscores the importance of setting and maintaining clear boundaries. The potential for inappropriately influencing “subordinates” is high, as is the possibility of adverse reactions leading to ethical complaints. The goals of serving the client’s best interests and avoiding conflict and harm are predominant in observing professional boundaries.
The challenges of multiple role management are especially keen for psychologists working in small communities or with special sub-groups within a community. Because of overlapping social networks and “everybody knowing everybody else” in such contexts, the psychologist may find himself or herself in multiple roles such as that of “ordinary” citizen, professional psychologist, parent, and so forth. The ethics code makes it clear that we are not to avoid such multiple roles at all costs, but instead, to manage them in a way that we and others are aware of the “awkward” moments that we may face as we interact in these multiple roles.
The psychologist must be careful to avoid and/or actively manage a variety of potential role conflicts involving clients, colleagues, students, supervisees, etc. This session covers material that heightens awareness of various multiple role conflicts.
1. Define various types of multiple role relationships.
2. Examine the issues involved in providing professional services to close friends, relatives, and employees.
3. Discuss pertinent ethical concerns regarding socializing with clients, students, and others.
4. Analyze the intricacies of accepting and/or giving gifts to and from clients and others.
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