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Boundaries in Counseling

List three brief scenarios that illustrate examples of the types of boundary issues or multiple relationships you may encounter in the work you will be doing as a counselor; describing the client, the counseling setting, and the situation that has raised these issues.

What makes these scenarios ethical challenges?

Using one of the ethical decision-making models:

How you would address these issues to reach a positive resolution?

Solution Preview

(A) Scenario-- -One (Boundary violation -Clothing
(B) Scenario--- (Boundary Violation-Language
(C) Scenario Three- -- (Boundary Violation- Gift-giving.

* Describe the client, counseling setting, and the situation that has raised this boundary issue. What makes these scenarios ethical challenges?

(a) The client is a young female, who has made a weekly office (counseling setting) visit to see her therapist. However, she is reluctant to discuss her problems. The situation that has raised a boundary issue is the woman's clothing that is inappropriate and revealing. The client is exhibiting transference toward her therapist. Transference takes place when a client redirects feelings from that of a client and therapist relationship to perceive a more romantic or intimate relationship. The Therapist seizes the opportunity to discuss the client's behavior as that of having sexual fantasies. According to Berne (1972) the ethical challenge presented in this scenario is the therapist' response. He cites a case in which a therapist responded to a female client whose clothing was inappropriate by discussing with the client sexual fantasies. According to Berne, the therapist went over boundary limits. The patient, already suffering from a mental illness should not have been engaged in such a situation that might cause more psychological harm.

Using one of the ethical decision-making models, how you would address these issues to teach a positive resolution

The therapist should explain that her behavior (actions and improper clothing) is inappropriate for the therapeutic setting. In addition, the client-therapist relationship could be revisited and emphasized. The ...

Solution Summary

Boundaries in professional counseling are discussed focused on mulitple relationships. Ethical decision-making models are presented to address relationship issues between clients and professionals.

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