Boundaries in Psychotherapy: Ethical and Clinical Explorations
A client wishes to pay for therapy services by bartering his original artwork. A therapist accepts a client's hug. A client asks his or her therapist if they can be friends after therapy ends. A prospective client requests therapy from a therapist who is also her neighbor. A client inquires about a therapist's spiritual orientation. What is the best course of action in these difficult situations?
This book is for the professional who feels unsure when entering the gray areas that inevitably arise in psychotherapy practice. The author carefully differentiates between what constitutes appropriate and helpful boundary crossing rather than inappropriate boundary violation and explores the ethical and clinical complexities involved in boundary issues such as the exchange of gifts, nonsexual touch, therapists' self-disclosure, dual relationships, bartering, home visits, home office practice, and telehealth.
This book does not offer simple answers but, rather, examines the nature of boundaries in psychotherapy and helps readers view boundaries through both an ethical and a clinical lens. Readers will learn a decision-making process to help them think through when to cross and when not to cross a boundary. Examples of real-world situations are provided to aid therapists as they think critically about what is most appropriate and most helpful to their clients' well-being. Clinicians, trainers, supervisors, instructors, students, ethicists, licensing boards, administrators, and attorneys will appreciate this thoughtful orientation to the many different boundaries that surround and protect psychotherapists and their clients.