Questions about professional ethics get stirred up when dual relationships or professional and client boundaries are violated. The American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics committee revealed 40 to 50% of complaints filed originate from concerns with dual relationships (Meyer, 2005). License held by psychological professionals are revoked when the professional disregards the rights of the clients. The leading cause of professional termination is because of dual relationships between the professional and their client (Meyer, 2005).
The scenario presented in this paper will discuss a dual relationship between a college professor, who is also a psychiatrist and one of the professional’s students. The student seems distraught and the professor asks if everything is all right. The student explains the situation and the professor speaks with the student for a few minutes and proceeds to leaves for the office. The next day the student thanks the professor for listening and understands that the professor is a psychologist. The student asks the professor for his business card. The next day the student calls to make an appointment with the professor/psychologist. This scenario will be analyzed and used to explain the ethics in the situation as well as the challenges with the boundaries professionals must follow.
What a Dual Relationship Means (tammy)
According to Ofer, the term dual relationship denotes any situation in which more than one role occurs between therapist and client (2007). Most consider a dual relationship to be the result of a patient and client building a sexual relationship but not always the case. Whereas many instances of dual relationships are indeed sexual, most are not. Dual relationships are strongly frowned upon by most psychologists and the American Psychological Association (APA). The dual relationships that become sexual are not permissible through the code of ethics created by the APA for psychological professionals across the country. A dual relationship does not occur only from building friendships or sexual relationships between client and therapist. A dual relationship can occur when a psychologist knows the client as something other than client such as the therapist’s student, grocer, postal worker, or even lawyer. A dual relationship occurs when client trust has been established and he or she is comfortable enough to consider the psychologist a friend or acquaintance outside of the treatment connection.
In the provided scenario, a professor gains a new therapeutic patient through chance by working as the patient’s school professor. This connection is a beginning of a possibly problematic form of a dual relationship between the psychologist and the patient. No matter the outcome of the dual relationship in the scenario, the duality of the relationship has already been established. Every psychology professional will develop a dual relationship through his or her career. Controversy surrounds...