And, lastly, should the opportunity even arise that we should become aquainted on a social level provided our therapeutic relationship is OVER, of course , should I even consider it? These and other questions Please be advised this is partially something I've contemplated in real life, and partially a hypothetical question as I've not decided on anything either way. Even though I am a therapist, I also see a therapist myself. Second, evidence available at the time standard I don't tell my therapist anything I wouldn't tell my own close friends to be honest, but I have one because it's an impartial third party that I can just vent to every week who has to listen. Please read the whole post before responding. Oh, and if anyone needs to know or it matters, him and I are approximately the same age early 30's , I am a doctorate level psychologist, he is an MSW level therapist, not that it matters, but that's the most personal information I can give on here and still be totally anonymous ;-. How often do patients seek additional treatment with their psychologist after a therapy has ended? To be honest, I had seen this guy walking around the office before and thought he was incredibly attractive. Do I tell him the honest reason why I feel we might need to end our professional relationship, or do I make up some bogus excuse? The general principles set forth the values central to our profession. Analyzing this issue requires examining post-termination sexual involvements from at least two perspectives: I was hesitant, because I've never had a therapist I was attracted to before, but I rationalized that I myself have had patients hit on me and express attraction to me and I was still able to provide them with effective counseling, so I figured I'd give it a try. This question is important because a post-termination sexual involvement will preclude the possibility of any further professional relationship between the psychologist and client. He referred me to another male therapist at the same location, so I figured I would give the new guy a shot.
The general principles set forth the values central to our profession. I was hesitant, because I've never had a therapist I was attracted to before, but I rationalized that I myself have had patients hit on me and express attraction to me and I was still able to provide them with effective counseling, so I figured I'd give it a try. It will also be important to assess whether, in cases where post-termination involvements arise, something happens in the treatment to lay the foundation for the subsequent involvement. And no, please do not give me the typical "well, if you are asking, you must know it is wrong" responses, because those are just silly. Are individuals able to exercise a truly autonomous choice to enter into a sexual involvement with a former treating psychologist? Such occurrences would almost certainly be counter-therapeutic. Analyzing this issue requires examining post-termination sexual involvements from at least two perspectives: To be honest, I had seen this guy walking around the office before and thought he was incredibly attractive. Anyway, so, coincidentally, the therapist my old therapist refers me to happens to be this hot guy I've seen walking around the office. Let's say, for instance, you break off the patient-therapist relationship, and now you are simply two people, who work in the same field no less I don't tell my therapist anything I wouldn't tell my own close friends to be honest, but I have one because it's an impartial third party that I can just vent to every week who has to listen. He referred me to another male therapist at the same location, so I figured I would give the new guy a shot. It has now been something like 3 months, maybe a tad less, that I have been seeing this new guy for therapy. The reason a person should not date their own patient is obvious, you may be taking advantage of a position of emotional authority The two-year absolute prohibition immediately following termination is when a client's ability to exercise a fully autonomous choice with regard to a former treater seems most likely to be compromised, and when sexual involvement that had been suggested explicitly or by innuendo during treatment would most likely come to fruition. Under what circumstances do post-termination sexual relationships result in harm? Psychologists strive to do no harm. I lament that I don't seem to have any interest in them, but that they all seem to be vastly interested in me, to which my therapist states , "I can't imagine why not, your gorgeous, intelligent, funny, [pause] and have the most intriguing eyes". This question is centrally important because the first general principle of the Ethics Code involves nonmaleficence: The answer to this question will likely depend on several factors, such as the amount of time that has passed since therapy has terminated; the nature, intensity and duration of the treatment; and the individual's personal history, psychological dynamics and current mental status. In whichever direction the standard evolves, its evolution should rest upon solid clinical thinking and good research. Further Reading Send questions, comments or suggestions for future columns via e-mail xuctxwfsuzxvwzewatrfbex or submit vignettes without identifying information for "Ethics Rounds" discussion. To the extent that an individual's autonomy is compromised, that individual may be less able to avoid entering into harmful or exploitative relationships. My dilemma has become that, rather than ignoring the attraction I've had from the moment I laid eyes on him, it's beginning to become more noticeable. The issue of sexual involvements with former clients therefore requires its own analysis to determine when, if ever, such involvements may be ethically permissible or, put a different way, whether and to what extent such involvements should be prohibited. A delicate balance of core values The Ethics Code seeks to avoid harm and protect autonomy, informed by solid clinical thinking and good research. In post-termination relationships, however, given the passage of time, the harm becomes less certain and the likelihood that a client's autonomy will be compromised less clear.
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