Dual Relationships and Psychotherapy

By Arnold A. Lazarus; Ofer Zur | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 31
How Consensus Regarding
the Prohibition of Dual
Relationships Has Been
Contrived

Ofer Zur, PhD

The goal of this chapter is to describe the means that have been used to promote a consensus that dual relationships are ipso facto detrimental. Throughout this book, it has been emphasized that dual relationships are unavoidable in many settings and communities and that judicious boundary crossings can enhance treatment effectiveness. Many of the contributors to this book have documented how the codes of ethics of all major professional psychotherapy associations do not consider dual relationships to be inherently unethical. In this chapter, I will present 11 methods that have been used to manufacture the mistaken view and commonly held belief that dual relationships are essentially unethical, harmful, and dangerous.

For the reader who may be browsing and has not read the preceding chapters, I will state again that dual relationships in psychotherapy refer to any situation wherein multiple roles exist between a therapist and a client. Examples of dual relationships are when the client is also a student, friend, family member, employee, or business associate of the therapist. Like the rest of the book, this chapter focuses only on nonsex-

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