College and University
Student Counseling Centers
Inevitable Boundary Shifts and Dual Roles
Miriam Iosupovici, MSW and Equilla Luke, PhD
The developmental, preventive, and remedial emphasis in college counseling is inclusive of mentoring, teaching, and counseling students. Sequential, and sometimes concurrent, nonsexual and nonexploitative dual roles and relationships will occur. Although there is considerable literature on ethical decision making (see Cottone & Claus, 2000, for an excellent review of models), and many issues are generic to all settings, our focus remains on issues highlighted in college practice. Not fond of prescriptive models, we assert that close attention to multiple factors will lead responsible therapists to clinically sound decision making.
It is noted, moreover, that the current view that dual roles and dual relationships inevitably represent problematic boundary crossings is steeped in a limiting cultural and theoretical perspective (Lazarus, 1994; Zur, 2000). Counseling centers have been in the vanguard of multi-
This chapter is dedicated to Miriam Polster, who taught me—not only by knitting a hooded
red sweater for my newborn son—so much about the ethic of giving just what is needed,
daring to make caring into visible form.