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date: 16 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Maintaining appropriate boundaries with clients/patients is a fundamental ethical obligation of the helping professions. Known as dual relationships or multiple relationships, holding more than one relationship with a past or current client/patient can be ethically challenging at a minimum and highly unethical in certain circumstances. Ethical professionals are aware of the potential risks associated with having more than one relationship with a client or patient and consider these both at the onset of therapy and during the therapeutic relationship. This chapter explores some of the common issues relating to dual/multiple relationships and presents ways in which the helping professions frame the appropriate and the inappropriate. Avoiding inappropriate relationships is balanced with the goal of maintaining access to services in situations such as those posed by rural areas.

Keywords: dual relationships, multiple relationships, boundaries, ethics, psychotherapy, counseling

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