Introduction for the team paper

The paper is done through team work and it deals with the dual relationship and the boundaries as used in psychology for the relationship between a therapist and a client. It is the relationship between a therapist and a client other than the treatment relationship. Dual relationship and boundaries in psychology are defined in the paper and analyzed in accordance with the selected scenario. The selected scenario for the team is a situation where a psychologist is seeing a patient for therapy and the client gets short of funds to pay for the sessions. The psychologist struggles to deal with the billing and the paper work that is imposed and finally suggests that the client should not pay for the sessions but to work for two days per week which creates a dual relationship between the client and the psychologist. The paper analyses the dual relationship for the selected scenario in details and it also discusses the ethical issues that are presented in the dual relationship between the client and the psychologist. Examples of dual relationship and the situations that lead to it have been explained in details together with the consequences of the relationship.

The paper defines the boundary issues and analysis’s it based on the scenario involving the client who worked for the therapist in exchange of sessions that were being offered by the therapist. Challenges presented by the boundary issues are further explained in the paper based on the psychology professional and the rules that are supposed to be followed.



Definition and Concept of dual relationship

As illustrated by Truscott and Crook, (2004), dual relationship in psychology exists when a therapist or a psychologist who is taking a client through therapy interacts with the client in a way that is beyond the professional role of the psychologist. An example of dual relationship between a therapist and a client is when a client becomes a business partner or a consultant of the therapist while the client is still in the treatment. Another example occurs when a client who is under treatment is employed by the therapist. In most cases the other roles performed by the psychologist other than the therapist role may be risky in the relationship because the needs of the client may conflict with personal needs. A therapist is supposed to maintain good judgments which are effective in the profession unlike in other professions where people like doctors and physicians can treat their business partners and friends without causing any harm. In psychotherapy, the professional are supposed to maintain confidentiality, trust and unbiased perspective in the whole process which includes counseling.

According to Pope and Vasquez, (2007), the concept of dual relationship in most cases has proved to be risky and it distorts the therapeutic relationship. This is why the dual relationship is to be avoided whenever possible as stated by Halverson and Brownlee, (2010). In the first place it is believed that the relationship will not bring any harm or is not risky, but later the treatment of the patient is influenced by the relationship. In most cases the relationship between the client and the therapist that is dual has proved to be damaging to both the client and the therapist but more damages are bared by the client. The dual relationship between the therapist and the client is considered unethical or appropriate in the general sense because the treatment of the patient may be biased due to the other relationship that is non treatment. The clients who find themselves in the situation of dual relationship are supposed to contact the licensing board of the psychologists for further questions and guidance.



Halverson, G., & Brownlee, K. (2010). Managing ethical considerations around dual relationships in small rural and remote Canadian communities. International Social Work, Vol. 53, Iss. (2), pp. 247-260.

Pope, K. S., & Vasquez, M. J. T. (2007). Ethics in psychotherapy and counseling: A practical guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass/Wiley

Truscott, D., Crook, K., (2004), Ethics for the practice of psychology in Canada, pp. 41-51


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