Ethics in Action Section III
Section III Questions
Segment One: Managing Boundaries
1. If this was your client, what would you say and do? Be specific. Why would you respond that way?
I would ask her to be more specific about why she feels the need to meet outside of the office. One of my main concerns would be her motives. I would talk with her about any concerns I had, for example, confidentiality, privacy, and personal relationships. When you meet outside you lose the privacy of having an office with a door. Other people can over hear what is being said in the session. I would need to make sure that she was comfortable talking about her very personal issues where other people could hear. I would definitely go over another informed consent.
2. What do the ACA and AACC Code of Ethics say regarding managing boundaries? What is your response to this?
Neither the ACA (2005) nor the AACC (2004) specifically discuss managing boundaries. They do, however, have guidelines for dual and multiple relationships. The ACA (2005) states, “Counselor-client nonprofessional relationships with clients, former clients, their romantic partners, or their family members should be avoided, except when the interaction is potentially beneficial” (A.5.c.). The AACC (2004) states, that some dual relationships should always be avoided, for example, sexual or romantic relations (1-141). “Some dual relationships are not unethical-it is client exploitation that is wrong, not the dual relationship itself” (AACC, 2004).
I do not feel like the ACA goes into enough depth. There is clearly a lot of gray area. I think as long as I did not feel the client had sexual motives, then I would be okay with meeting outside, but I would not do lunch at first. I would probably just say coffee or a soda. My personal feeling is that lunch is just a little bit more intimate than coffee.
Segment Two: The Friendship
1. If this was your client,...