Multiple Relationships in Psychotherapy & Counseling
Resources & References
An Online Course:
Dual Relationships: The Ethical Way
Table Of Contents
- Online Articles & Videos by Dr. Zur
- Extensive Bibliography on Dual & Multiple Relationships in Psychotherapy and Counseling
- Ethics Codes on Multiple & Dual Relationships
- Additional Relevant Boundaries Articles
- LinkedIn Discussionon Dual Relationships
- Online CE Courses on Multiple Relationships and Related Topics
- Licensing Board Decision Regarding Multiple Relationships & Expert Testimony
- Dual Relationships in Different Settings
- Treating Clinician v. Forensic Expert
- Academic Settings
- Correctional Settings
- Faith, Religious & Spiritual Communities
- Military Psychology
- Police Psychology Multiple Relationships
- Rehabilitation-Recovery Communities
- Rural Areas and Small Communities
- Sport Psychology
- Supervisory Multiple Roles-Functions
- Unexpected Multiple Relationships
- Chart of Different Types of Multiple Relationships
- Key Points and Types
- 26 Types of Dual Relationships
- In Celebration of Dual Relationships
- The Mythic Ban of Dual Relationships
- Guidelines to Dual Relationships
- Update on Ethics of Dual Relationships
- Intro Multiple Relationships in Therapy
- Ethics Codes on Dual Relationships
- On Law-Imposed Dual Relationships
- Multiple Relationships – Recap
- Not All Dual Relationships Are Created Equal
- Multiple Relationships in Rural Practices
- Out of Office Experiences
- Forensic Multiple Relationships
- Digital Multiple Relationships and Facebook
Military psychology is another setting that often involves unavoidable even mandated complex multiple relationships among psychologists and their patients, commanders, subordinates, and those whom they evaluate for fitness for duty/combat. The multiple relationships in the military may also be unavoidable social dual relationships that take place when psychologists and clients serve on small rural bases or aircraft carriers.
Rehabilitation, recovery and 12 step programs often involve unavoidable multiple relationships among psychotherapists and clients when both may end up attending the same 12 step program meetings or recovery groups. This type of multiple relationship is rather common as many rehabilitation counselors are themselves in recovery and are attending, AA or other 12 step programs, Rational Recovery or other recovery programs.
Dual and multiple relationships in rural communities are often unavoidable and, in fact, are normal and a healthy part of many rural interdependent communities. The fact that social, professional, and, at times, business, and many other multiple relationships are unavoidable and an inherent part of rural communities was one of the factors that caused APA to add the following statement in the Code of Ethics, back in 1992 of ‘Multiple relationships that would not reasonably be expected to cause impairment or risk exploitation or harm are not unethical’.
Forensic and therapeutic roles are generally considered incompatible. The psychotherapist’s or counselor’s role is that of an advocate, which often presents irreconcilable conflict with the more objective-evaluative role of a forensic expert. The forensic-therapist dual relationship often presents conflict of interests and, as a result, are often unethical and should be avoided under most circumstances.
Academic settings present complex situations where dual or multiple relationships between faulty, psychotherapists, supervisors, administrators and student are often common and at times unavoidable. Faculty members are not only responsible for teaching and evaluating students, but may also they serve as advisors, supervisors, and mentors for students. Faculty members may play an additional role of hiring students for assistantships and in selecting students for awards, scholarships, rewards, and variety of professional opportunities. Additionally, it is not uncommon for faculty members and students to work together on research projects, co-author articles, co-present at professional conferences, and interact in professional and social settings within the training program or the educational setting.
Dual relationships and multiple roles are inherent in detention facilities and in correctional psychology work settings. In correctional and detention facilities, treating psychologists and other mental health workers are expected and/or mandated to serve also as court appointed evaluators and testify in court as experts. In prison and jail settings, treaters or clinicians also have a primary loyalty and legal responsibility to the institution (primary around safety issues) above their loyalty to the patient-prisoner.
Faith communities, such as churches, synagogues, ashrams, temples, mosques, etc., often involve dual and multiple roles between the religious leaders and members of the congregations. This type of role blending may take place when pastors, priests, rabbis, swamis, imams and other spiritual leaders, in addition to their spiritual leadership roles, also provide spiritual or other types of individual or couple counseling. Another form of multiple relationships takes place in faith, religious or spiritual communities when members choose licensed mental health professionals who are fellow congregation members, because they know them, trust them, and with whom they, obviously, share a spiritual practice, world view, and belief system.
Sport psychology often involved unavoidable complex multiple relationships among psychologists, coaches, managers, treaters, and other roles. The multiple relationships may be professional, social or other form of dual roles.
Police and law enforcement psychology is another setting that presents complex and often unavoidable multiple roles, multiple loyalties and multiple relationships situations in which the psychologist may be concurrently involved in providing clinical services as well as training, fitness-for-duty evaluations, pre-employment screenings, consultations with SWAT units, hostage negotiations, debriefings and other roles. These diverse responsibilities and multiple loyalties can present conflict of interests, conflict of loyalties, and ethical and legal dilemmas for police psychologists.
The relationship between clinical supervisor and supervisee is highly complex as supervisory relationships inherently involve multiple roles, multiple functions and multiple responsibilities. Tensions may exist between the supervisor’s ethical, legal, and gatekeeping roles, which include: a) Enhancing supervisees’ growth and professional development; b) Protecting the clients; c) Protecting future clients who may be treated by the supervisees; and d) Like other psychotherapists, supervisors have the duty to protect the public in cases such as child/elder abuse/neglect and danger (i.e., Tarasoff).
Unexpected multiple relationships take place is situations where therapists surprisingly discover that two different clients are related or have intense relationships, as in the movie “Prime” where the therapist finds out that that the “boyfriend” her client was referring to was . . . her son.
- Dual Relationships (6ce)
- Boundaries & Movies (6ce)
- Boundaries in Therapy (2ce)
- More online CE courses on related topics
- Important Licensing Board Decision: Dual Relationships and Expert Testimony by Richard Lesley, JD, Attorney at Law.