Graduate Level Psychology Ethics Help

Dual-Relationships and Boundaries Paper 4








Dual-Relationships and Boundaries Paper













A close friend of yours is having difficulty with her teenage daughter. She knows you are a psychologist who specializes in adolescents. She asks if you would be willing to see her daughter for a few sessions to straighten her out.

Ethical and Unethical Actions

This situation presents the psychologist with a dual relationship issue because on one level you are a close friend to the child’s mother and on the other, you are a professional to the child. As a professional a person would want to assess the possibility of harm to the daughter and as a professional. The relationship with the daughter’s mother would jeopardize the negotiation of costs for your services this would result in exploitation. Secondly, the relationship with the mother may cause the daughter to have trust issues with you as a professional due to the fear you may tell the mother. After a close assessment, it is a high probability that harm would occur for all involved, and a different therapist should be recommended for the child. Other indicators may lead them to the possibility of not withholding behavioral information of the daughter from her mother due to the personal relationship it would be vital that all confidential information provided by the daughter to you the professional be kept from the mother. It is crucial to understand whether or not the therapy will benefit the daughter for the long run or if by knowing the relationship between her mother and the professional would affect the daughter’s progress. Any details about the friendship between the mother and the professional would want to remain out of any session (Reeser, 2017).

Ethical issues could arise as well in this situation. For example, taking advantage of the daughter in a way by developing a personal or sexual relationship with her, this would be highly unethical. Secondly exploiting the mother or settling for less or no payments for the sessions with the daughter is very unprofessional since this could cause lower quality of session for the daughter. Also having private house call sessions is also seen as inappropriate (Zur, n.d.). When a professional is willing to see the friend’s daughter and to disclosing any information about the visits with the daughter could affect the confidentiality the daughter is entitled to thus causing a professional issue and a personal issue between the mother, the daughter and you the professional.

Analyzation of the Dual Relationship













Ethical Issues

The dual relationship between the psychologist and the daughter of her friend would be considered unethical because it would be considered a social dual relationship, which could present ethical issues for the psychologist; as well as her friend and her daughter. It would be imperative for the psychologist to establish appropriate boundaries between the client and her mother; as well be prepared for any type of complexities or and/or consequences that could develop. A potential ethical issue that could arise would be the mother thinking that is privy to what her psychologist friend and her daughter discuss during their sessions. It could also lead to issues between the psychologist and the mother if she does not agree with the methods of treatment, or does not feel that her daughters’ behavior is improving.

To be thoroughly prepared to address the necessities of a client in a nonsexual dual relationship situation, it is imperative to train oneself on the potential complexities and results that may rise (Good Therapy, 2019). Put aside time to assess how the various associations may influence the client’s ability to look deep inside and face problematic issues. Will limits be crossed? Is the relationship beneficial for both clinician and client?







Good Therapy. (2019). Dual Relationship. Retrieved from


Reeser, L. (2017). DUAL RELATIONSHIPS & BOUNDARY CROSSINGS: ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS . Retrieved from—the-social-worker-perspective/dual-relationships-boundary-crossings-ethical-considerations

Zur PhD, O. (n.d.). Dual Relationships, Multiple Relationships, Boundaries, Boundary Crossings & Boundary Violations in Psychotherapy, Counseling & Mental Health. Retrieved from