Should a therapist counsel a former lover or accept a client's gift? If so, has a boundary been crossed? Some boundary issues, like beginning a sexual relationship with a client, are obvious pitfalls to avoid, but what about more subtle issues, like hugging a client or disclosing personal information to a client? What are the boundaries of maintaining a friendship with a former client or the relative of a client? When do conflicts of interest overburden the client-practitioner relationship? Frederic Reamer, a leading authority on professional ethics, offers a definitive and up-to-date analysis of boundary issues, a rapidly emerging topic in the field of human services. One of the only works in the field to provide a conceptual framework for the dual relationship between practitioner and client, this book provides an in-depth look at the complex forms these relationships take. It also gives practical risk-management models to aid human service professionals in the prevention of problematic situations and the managing of dual relationships.
Reamer examines the ethics involving intimate and sexual relationships with clients and former clients, practitioners' self-disclosure, giving and receiving favors and gifts, bartering for services, and unavoidable and unanticipated circumstances such as social encounters and geographical proximity. Case vignettes that help illustrate important points are also included in each chapter.
Frederic Reamer is professor of social work at Rhode Island College and was chair of the NASW Code of Ethics Revision Committee. His previous books include Ethical Dilemmas in Social Service, Social Work Values and Ethics, Social Work Malpractice and Liability, The Philosophical Foundations of Social Work, AIDS and Ethics, The Foundations of Social Work Knowledge, Rehabilitating Juvenile Justice (with Charles Shireman), and Social Work Research and Evaluation (all published by Columbia).
Preface 1. Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships: Key Concepts Boundary Issues in the Human Services A Typology of Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships Managing Dual Relationships Sound Decision Making The Role of Practitioner Impairment 2. Intimate Relationships Sexual Relationships with Clients Sexual Relationships with Former Clients Counseling Former Sexual Partners Sexual Relationships with Clients' Relatives or Acquaintances Sexual Relationships with Supervisees, Trainees, Students, and Colleagues Physical Contact 3. Emotional and Dependency Needs Friendships with Clients Unconventional Interventions Self-disclosure Affectionate Communications Community-based Contact with Clients 4. Personal Benefit Barter for Services Business and Financial Relationships Advice and Services Favors and Gifts Conflicts of Interest 5. Altruism Giving Gifts to Clients Meeting Clients in Social or Community Settings Offering Clients Favors Accommodating Clients Self-disclosing to Clients 6. Unavoidable and Unanticipated Circumstances Geographic Proximity Conflicts of Interest Professional Encounters Social Encounters Epilogue