Analysis of Literature - Boundary Crossings

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In relation to the issues raised by the case study, all of the articles support the fact that “boundaries are a crucial aspect of any effective client-counsellor relationship” (AIPC, 2010). They set the limits of the professional relationship, and ethical codes and standards of practice provide an underlying framework (Nickel, 2004). A common view is the necessity of defining boundaries and AIPC (2010) outlines the five principles (given by Corey (1996)) in which the boundaries are based on. These are beneficence; “promoting what is good for the client”, non-maleficence; avoiding situations that could result in a conflict of interest, autonomy; encouraging the client to think independently, justice; providing “an equal and fair service to all clients”, and fidelity; maintaining honesty with clients. AIPC shows that there is a grey area and “one cannot disengage from the client to the extent that the counsellor cannot empathise with the client”. However Nickel (2004) discusses the inevitability of dual relationships in small or rural communities. It is common for clients and practitioners to share social and business contacts, and “may know significant people in one another’s lives”. Rural culture often upholds the idea that outsiders aren’t to be trusted, and to refuse treatment to a person due to non-clinical contact would eliminate most potential clients (Nickel, 2004). Zur (2004) supports the idea of dual relationships being unavoidable and states, “familiarity between therapists and clients are not only normal but, in fact, increase trust”. Practitioners must be careful, consider potential conflicts of interest and never enter a sexual dual relationship. Boundary crossings can be beneficial, as shown by Zur (2004), and does not necessarily constitute a dual relationship. It should be implemented only when benefitting the welfare of the client and

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