British Journal of Psychology Research (BJPR)

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Managing Boundaries and Multiple Relationships in Counselling and Psychotherapy


This paper discusses boundaries and multiple relationships in Counselling and Psychotherapy.  Boundary- crossing is a departure from commonly accepted practices that could potentially benefit clients; a boundary violation is a serious breach that results in harm to clients and is therefore unethical.  In addition, the paper illustrates the unique ethics of multiple relationships, differing Perspectives on multiple relationships.  Legal perspective on multiple relationships and factors to Consider before entering into a multiple relationship. The legal implications pertaining to dual relationships depend on the nature of the relationship and whether the client suffers harm. The terms dual relationships and multiple relationships are used interchangeably in various professional codes of ethics, codes provide some general guidelines, good judgment, the willingness to reflect on one’s practices, and being aware of one’s motivations are critical dimensions of an ethical practitioner. The ACA (2005) uses the term nonprofessional relationships. In this article the broader term of multiple relationships was used to encompass both dual relationships and nonprofessional relationships. To promote the well-being of clients, clinicians are challenged with bal­ancing their own values and life experiences with ethics codes as they make choices regarding how to best help their clients.

Keywords: and boundary violation, boundary crossing, counselling and psychotherapy., managing boundaries, multiple relationships

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