Home Office: Ethical Considerations

Course materials are available as audio with transcripts.

This course looks critically at clinical, personal and familial complications and boundary challenges that are unique to the psychotherapy home office setting. This course focuses on setting when the home-office is where the clients are physically present.It does not discuss practices when psychotherapists conduct telemental health from their home office.

The intermediate level course is comprised of one audio, also available as a text article. It reviews the definition and history of self-disclosure and highlights those elements that are particularly relevant to this type of practice setting. Issues of safety will be considered including client suitability and screening practices. Factors affecting therapist and family well-being related to the development of work-family integration systems will be considered. Ethical considerations including guidelines relative to the major professional organizations codes of ethics and standard of care will be included, as well as issues related to boundary issues, risk management, informed consent, privacy and confidentiality. Benefits and burdens for the therapist will be considered as well as information regarding licenses, taxes and insurance. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Educational Objectives

  • Discuss the predominant concerns related to psychotherapy home office practice.
  • Discuss ethical considerations regarding home office.


  • History of home based psychotherapy
  • General history of self-disclosure
  • Self-disclosure relative to home practice
  • Aspects of non-verbal self-disclosure in the home office setting
  • Safety issues
  • Screening for client suitability
  • Preparing clients for home office psychotherapy
  • Creating work-family integration systems to achieve balance by managing time, places and people
  • Ethical considerations
  • Standard of care
  • Boundary crossing versus boundary violation
  • Benefits and burdens for therapists regarding license, taxes and insurance
  • Summary and guidelines