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Legal suits and the cost of defending licensing board complaints cause professional liability insurance rates to rise, thus harming all therapists.Sadly, the stigma and the stress endured by the therapist if found guilty can be debilitating (Warren and Douglas, 2012).
In the future, this actual client felt entitled to extra time and resented not getting it.
When in doubt, we advise consultation with knowledgeable colleagues and/or professional association ethics committees. Ethics charges based on inappropriate role-blurring account for the majority of ethics complaints and licensing board actions (Bader, 1994; Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 2016; Montgomery & Cupit, 1999; Neukrug, Milliken, & Walden, 2001; Sonne, 1994). Boundary issues can arise in ways that therapists may not initially predict or even recognize.
But, in too many cases therapists behaved in ways that seem completely out of touch with the impact their decisions and actions had on those with whom they had a professional relationship.
At the same time, however, additional burdens are placed on therapists because the rules are no longer firm.
Decision-making can be trickier and more challenging, because one is at the mercy of one’s own judgment and potentially unacknowledged biases.
Also, for ease of presentation, we use the term "therapist" throughout to refer to anyone delivering psychotherapy or counseling services to clients.
The materials in this course are based on current published ethical standards and the most accurate information available to the authors at the time of writing.This was a fairly new client with some issues that should have signaled caution on the part of the therapist.His myopic focus on his own convenience ended up costing him dearly.The therapist refused politely, noting he had to get home to his family.But now the client, who later became a stalker, knew where he lived.As for our examples, not everything turned out well in the actual cases upon which they are based.