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Dual Relationships: The Ethical Way

Ethical & Clinical Aspects

6 CE Credits/Hours - Online Course - $60.00

Developed by Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

Course fulfills the California and other states' ethics and law requirements.
Course may qualify for insurance discount. Check with your insurer.

CE Credits for Psychologists. CE Credits (CEUs) for LMFTs, Social Workers, Counselors and Nurses.
CE Approvals by BBS-CA, ASWB, NBCC, NAADAC, CA-BRN & more.
Zur Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Zur Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

This course is also offered as part of an Advanced Ethics Certificate Program of 71 CE Credits.

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Dual Relationships This unique course is one of the first courses ever to address the complexities of dual relationships in a flexible, realistic and non dogmatic way. In contrast to the myth of the depravity of dual relationships and boundary crossing, this course illustrates that many types of boundary crossings and non-sexual dual relationships are unavoidable, ethical, can increase the effectiveness of treatment and are an integral part of evidence-based treatment plans or other well-formulated treatment plans.

This intermediate-advanced level course features Dr. Zur's pioneering work in therapeutic boundaries and dual relationships. The course clarifies that dual relationships are unavoidable in many rural and small communities, such as churches, synagogs, gay and lesbian, military, minority and disabled communities. It also dispels the (paranoid) myth that non-sexual dual relationships inevitably lead to sexual relationships and illustrates how familiarity and duality can speed up treatment, increase therapeutic effectiveness and reduce (rather than increase) the possibility of clients being exploited by their therapists.

The course outlines in detail the stance of different professional codes of ethics on dual relationships, defines and describes the different types of dual relationships and provides detailed ethical decision-making and clinical guidelines for handling dual relationships ethically.

Online Certificate Program in Advanced Ethics Studies that includes this course

Educational Objectives:

    This course will teach the participant to
  • Summarize the clinical, ethical and legal complexities of boundary crossings and dual relationships.
  • Repeat a clear understanding and definition of boundary violations, boundary crossing and dual relationships.
  • Describe what the codes of ethics state in regard to dual relationships.
  • Apply the making of ethical decisions regarding dual relationships.
  • Integrate boundary crossing and dual relationships, when appropriate, into treatment.
  • Identify when boundary crossings are likely to increase therapeutic effectiveness.
  • Specify when it is not advisable to enter into dual relationships or cross boundaries in therapy.
  • Indicate when dual relationships are unavoidable and how to handle such situations.
  • Review the main arguments for and against dual relationships.
  • Relate the relevant sections of California laws and regulations to dual relationships.

Course Syllabus:

  • Guidelines for Boundaries and Dual Relationships in Therapy
    • Definition, Key Points and Guidelines
  • Arguments Against Dual Relationships and Their Rebuttals
    • The Origin of the Opposition to Dual Relationships
    • The Slippery Slope, Power, Familiarity, Risk Management, Leaving the office
  • The Codes of Ethics on Dual Relationships (APA, CAMFT, NASW, ACA, ApA, AAMFT, NBCC, etc.)
  • In Celebration of Dual Relationships
  • Out of Office Experience
    • Types of Out-of-Office Experiences
    • Re-Thinking "Slippery Slope" and Boundaries in Therapy
  • Going Too Far in the Right Direction
  • How Consensus Regarding the Prohibition of DR has been Contrived
  • On Law-Imposed Dual Relationships with special emphasis on CA Laws and Regulations (A special section for California Psychologists, MFTs and LCSWs)


Author's Bio


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Ofer Zur, Ph.D., Director

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