Love and relationships often form the main issues that patients take to their psychologists. Often in helping their patients, psychologists stand in danger of a developing a personal bond too since in human relationships, the impulses of love and support are closely related and often expressed in the same manner. But how ethical, legal or even practical it is for psychologists to date patients or even former patients for that matter? Psychologists and current clients Almost all developed societies prohibit any romantic or sexual relationship between a psychologist and a current patient. The American Association of Psychology is unequivocal about the issue and rule
I would have remembered that. Then it got less frequent, sometimes once a month.
It actually was not painful. That was really nice. A power differential exists in the therapy relationship.
The therapist is there to offer expertise, and the client is there as a customer who pays for the service rendered.
Thus, the counselor is seen as having more power in the therapeutic relationship. But what happens to the power differential in the post-therapy relationship? Two participants saw the power within the post-therapy relationship as being more or less equal.
The other seven participants described the power differential as remaining unequal, with the therapist continuing to hold more of the power in the relationship and, at times, transference and dependency continuing. I think I still do. As the relationship progressed and I got better, that [feeling of being equal] would transpire. He told me some of the things he was dealing with.
I think the fact that I have trouble calling her or taking the initiative has to do with the fact that she is about the age of my mother and some of the difficulty of relating to my mom.
10 Therapy Questions to Get to the Root of the Problem
I assume that she is not going to be really present, even though she always has been. Should I just wait to see if she calls me before I go?
Maybe I should just forget it, but then what does that mean? Can I still call her as a therapist or not?
Your counselors dating former clients was specially registered
We identified four themes, ranging from harmful to beneficial. Interactions with former therapists were disorienting and harmful, compromising the work accomplished in therapy.
Sexual involvements with former clients: A delicate balance of core values. The Ethics Code seeks to avoid harm and protect autonomy, informed by solid clinical thinking and good research. By Dr. Stephen Behnke APA Ethics Director. December , Vol 35, No. Print version: page
Well, should I call her? This sucks. Participants were in post-therapy relationships, yet preferred to be completely done with the therapist and on with life. The former therapist continued to encourage connection. At the same time, it felt like I had to read between the lines. But at the same time, [it was] frustrating because it continually sort of challenged me to call him or not call him call him or not call him call him or nor call him.
Sort of perseverating on that unfinished feeling. It felt real reassuring just to stop in and say hi and touch base. Participants talked about the good connection with their therapist. At the same time, their statements at times suggested confusion about the relationship. It is hard for me to completely not have her in that role. She said that she wished I would sometimes. That she is an old woman and would welcome it, having that connection.
It may sound a little crazy. It is not neat and tidy. Standard A. This applies to both in-person and electronic interactions or relationships.
Iowa IOWA CODE § Applies to contact with client or former client up to one year after termination of professional services for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of the therapist or the client or former patient. Kansas KAN. STAT. ANN. § Therapeutic deception cases. Jan 15, DK: As mentioned earlier, the ACA Code of Ethics increases the prohibition on sexual and romantic interactions with former clients. The old code stated that counselors were to avoid sexual intimacies with former clients within two years of termination. The revised code expands the time frame to five years. Jan 27, In the late s and early s, research began regarding the ethics of counselors entering sexual relationships with former clients, culminating with the ACA Code of Ethics prohibiting sexual relationships with former clients for a period of at .
The central theme inherent in all the interviews we conducted was confusion. Is confusion potentially harmful to former clients? We believe it is.
Thus, we suggest if there is the potential for a role change to a nonsexual post-therapeutic relationship, then the potential for confusion should be an ongoing discussion in counseling. Finally, we suggest that all nonclinical, post-therapy contact should be initiated by the client. If clients want to return to counseling, or to transition from a therapeutic relationship to a friendship, the right and responsibility to renew or reinvent the relationship should be theirs alone.
Overcoming the power differential inherent in therapy is tricky. Giving clients the power to decide if and when to pursue a post-therapeutic relationship is but one step in acknowledging their autonomy and effort in becoming happier, healthier people. Knowledge Share articles are developed from sessions presented at American Counseling Association conferences.
Also a therapist listens to a patient without being judgmental, may help to solve long-standing problems, and may be kinder to the patient than the latter's own friends or family. Thus it is quite common for a client to have good feelings about his/her therapist, and see these feelings as the beginning of romance. Jan 31, The therapist is viewed unconsciously as some parental or other powerful figure from the former patient's past. That alone defines any proposed relationship as a parent-child interaction. Or a. Jul 16, On the flip side, if your former therapist were a friend, your gratitude and admiration could make it hard to stand up to them, say no to a favor they ask, or weigh in honestly about their life.
Allison L. She is a licensed professional counselor and a level-two certified addiction counselor in Colorado.
Consider, counselors dating former clients apologise, but
Contact her at akramer jwu. So glad to have this information available! As a counselor, I care deeply about my clients and really enjoy the company of some in particular, and I will definitely miss them when they finish counseling. This gives me a clearer idea of how clients might perceive the relationship and helps me understand better how I should approach that possibility.
Counselors dating former clients
To all therapists. Having the therapist reach out to a client after therapy has ended, is a truely caring, selfless and loving act. The client worked hard at revealing very personal cts of themselves to the therapist. For the therapist to reach out to the client and want to meet up to shoot the breeze and reveal themselves to the client, is comforting to the client.
Really, the only difference in a therapeutic relationship is payment - the end, therapists are just as human as the client. If a good friendship chemistry has developed during therapy, it makes no sense not to pursue it outside of therapy. I would be really touched, but it would stir up my emotions in an unnecessary way.
Theme, will counselors dating former clients what
Secondly, I would rather keep the relationship between the four walls of her cosy office. Therapy worked for me because both my therapist and I kept the focus on my point of view, my feelings, my decisions. In case of a crisis, I know I could count on her again.
I am planning to send her a follow-up e-mail a few months after the termination date. Heck, I can even imagine being in touch and acting like good acquaintances five years from now.
Charming counselors dating former clients that necessary. good
But I totally agree with the article: this should be up to the client. Psychologists and current clients Almost all developed societies prohibit any romantic or sexual relationship between a psychologist and a current patient.
and the client (either current or former) and attempted to view the relationship as consensual. One counselor intern placed artificial boundaries around the sexual relationship with a former client by refusing social interactions with the former client's friends and family members, believing this would accurately establish the casual nature. Jun 01, Various codes of ethics will tell you that a therapist must wait anywhere between years and sometimes never before dating a client. In both my personal and professional opinion it is never ethical. A power dynamic exists no matter the therapy. In no way am I supporting or encouraging any activity with a client or former client that would be exploitive. This includes sexual relations with clients, as well as any situation in which we exert undue influence over a client for our own benefit. The issue here is whether or not the therapist/client relationship truly lasts in perpetuity.
The American Association of Psychology is unequivocal about the issue and rule Again section 3. Rule 3. All these possibilities are strongly present in case of a dating relationship between the psychologist and a patient. However the Ethics Code also mentions that multiple relationships that would not reasonably be expected to cause impairment or risk exploitation or harm are not unethical.
Psychologists and former patients Apart from prohibiting romantic and sexual relations between psychologists and a current patient, the Ethics Code of American Psychologists Association also has strict rules on psychologists dating former patients.
Rule Apart from all these factors, if a psychologist of therapist makes any statements or actions during the course of therapy suggesting or inviting the possibility of a post-termination sexual or romantic relationship with the patient, that is also deemed unethical according to the Ethics Code of the APA. Psychologists are not only prohibited from engaging in romantic or sexual relationship with a current patient and in most cases former patient but it is also unethical for a psychologist to terminate the therapeutic relationship established with a patient in order to pursue a social or sexual relationship with the patient.
Possible Consequences The Consumer information page of Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards ASPPB - an alliance of state, provincial, and territorial agencies responsible for the licensure and certification of psychologists throughout the United States and Canada - states that sexual contact of any kind between a psychologist and a patient, and in most cases even a former patient, is unethical and grounds for disciplinary sanctions3.
Additionally, in some jurisdictions, such activity may constitute a criminal offense. All psychologists are trained and educated to know that this kind of behavior is inappropriate and can result in license revocation. Why are such relationships considered unethical?
To begin with a sexual involvement makes the work of psychotherapy or analysis impossible. For this reason, A sexual involvement is unethical because the psychologist can no longer exercise beneficence in the professional relationship.