When Crossing Office Boundaries and
Engaging in Dual Relationships Are
Clinically Beneficial and Ethically Sound
Ofer Zur, PhD
Conducting therapy outside the office, leaving the office with a client, and having nontherapeutic contact with clients out of the office have been frowned upon for legal (Bennett, Bricklin, & VandeCreek, 1994), ethical (Gotdieb, 1993; Pope & Vasquez, 1991), and clinical (Borys & Pope, 1989; Simon, 1991) reasons. They have been called boundary violations, boundary crossings, and boundary transgressions (Gutheil & Gabbard, 1993; Keith-Spiegel & Koocher, 1985).
Out-of-office experiences, whether part of a treatment plan or not, have also been placed high on the “slippery slope” list of items (Gut-
Reproduced by permission of the Division of Psychologists in Independent Practice of the
American Psychological Association. Zur, O. (2001). Out-of-office experience. The Independent
Practitioner, 21 (2), 96–100.