Essay on Dual Relationships Between Counselors and Clients

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Dual Relationships in Counseling

This paper will explore the concept of dual relationships between counselors and clients and the ethical implications of such relationships. In addition to presenting several examples of dual relationships, this paper will also explore how ethical decisions must be made to avoid potentially harmful or exploitive relationships in therapy as well understanding how different interactions between counselor and clients can be understood from an ethical standpoint, as well as how reviewing these ethical dilemmas may shape my future career as a counselor.
According to Syne (2006), a dual relationship occurs when people take on multiple roles in their relationships with other people. While dual relationships
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Misconduct on the part of the counselor may result in legal action in the civil and criminal courts if a counselor engages in a sexual relationship with a client. Companies may also have policies that outline conduct with regard to sexual relationships and violating such policies may result in sanctions or termination by the employer (Hotelling, 1988).
Throughout my 13-year career in the Human Services field, spending the majority of that time working with adolescent girls in residential treatment facilities, I am very much aware of the risks that exist with regard to sexual relationships between professionals and clients. In that time, it came to my attention that at least three employees at programs where I was employed had sexual relationships with clients. In addition to the ethical issues that arose from these situations, all of the clients were under 18 years of age so the actions of these employees had legal ramifications. Many of our clients had been victims of sexual abuse prior to admission into our program. I always viewed our programs as safe places where clients would be treated with respect and could develop strong therapeutic relationships with both their counselors and program staff members. Unfortunately, the actions of a few had a detrimental effect on our programs and also the lives of our clients. Having dealt with these issues and focusing on ethical decision-making throughout my education and professional career, the ethical dilemma of
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