Ethical to dating clients
That being said, I had been trained well to monitor my own behavior.Ways to appropriately, respectfully, and empathetically express one’s position of power, the importance of the therapeutic and professional relationship, and the absence of shared feelings were all discussed at length in my ethics class. I had been seeing my client for a few months at this point. I told him to stand up and follow me to get another staff member, which we did; and then I had my client take accountability for his actions by sharing his previous behaviors to the staff member.Or perhaps I was determined to demonstrate empathy for my client’s history and cognitive abilities.I struggled in taking on the role of a “victim” over maintaining my role as his therapist.When discussing the topic of multiple relationships in terms of sexual intimacies, one should also take into account the terms boundary crossing, boundary violation, and sexual intimacy itself.
Although I was well educated on the theories, reasons, and understanding of the ethical considerations regarding intimate relationships with clients, I was unprepared to face the ethical decisions I was going to have to make when a client of mine sexually assaulted me.More recently, of the nine cases that were opened regarding boundary violations in 2011 by the APA Ethics Committee, 56% percent of them were considered cases of sexual misconduct (APA, 2012).Barnett, Lazarus, Vasquez, Moorehead-Slaughter, and Johnson (2007) add that a boundary violation may also be viewed by the client as unwelcome or unwanted, and may be considered contradictory to the therapist’s obligations to the client.After long deliberation, many hours of supervision, consultation, and extreme ambivalence, I chose to press charges against my client.This choice was considered in the long term interests of the client as well as my own self-care obligations. “Choices about whether to cross a boundary confront us daily, are often subtle and complex, and can sometimes influence whether therapy progresses, stalls, or ends” (Pope & Keith-Spiegel, 2008).
However, my supervisor sat me down and pointed out that in this situation, I was not just a therapist, but a woman who had just been violated.