Personal Reflections And Values Of A Mental Health Practitioner

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Geyer (1994) defines dual relationships as occurring when a mental health practitioner, “relates to a client in roles other than that of a mental health practitioner outside the therapeutic context” (p.187). Areas outside of context may include church, social gatherings, and organized events to name a few. The term dual relationship is interchangeably used with multiple relationships or nonprofessional relations. Corey et al. (2011) further defines this role as a professional who assumes multiple, two or more, roles at the same time with a client. The following paper will look to address a literature review of dual relationships along with a review of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapist (CAMFT) and American Counseling Association (ACA) ethics codes regarding the topic. I will further provide personal reflections and values as they relate to dual relationships. In closing I will provide an ethical resolution to a hypothetical case and provide final thoughts.
In clinical practice it is wise for mental health professionals to monitor boundary crossing or multiple relationships. These roles have the potential for therapist to use power inappropriately through influence or exploitation of clients. Therefore it is essential to continually monitor the impact of the behavior on clients (Corey et al., 2011). From ethical perspective dual relationships in its self is not a malpractice. The legal aspect depends on the nature of the relationships.
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