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    Romantic Involvement between Counselor and Client

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    Attached is a file that contains a scenario that I need some ideas on in regards to what 4 different Code of Ethics say about physical attraction/romantic relationship with a client and when and if it is possible.

    See attached for further details.


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    OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

    Ethical Dilemma Study: Romantic Involvement

    The Scenario -

    You are a single counsellor with your own private agency. You saw a family for a year in 2003. During the counselling sessions you realized there was an attraction between you and the oldest daughter or son. Since you did not want to hinder the therapeutic relationship you had built with the family, you did not pursue a romantic relationship. After one of the family sessions you and the daughter/son admit to the romantic feelings you have for each other, yet agreed not to pursue this attraction. Later the family seems to improve and the counselling was terminated. It has been 24 months since your last counselling session, so you decide to call and pursue your romantic feelings for this client. Have you, as a professional counsellor, conducted yourself in an ethical manner?


    Following the principles established in Principle 1.7 which is as follows:
    "1.7 Marriage and family therapists do not use their professional relationships with clients to further their own interests."

    And if we were to define 'romantic relationships' as 'own interests' of the therapist/counsellor then it is but right that I did not pursue our relationship. For purposes of professionalism and to build client trust, it is wrong to use the connection I have with the family for my own romantic ends. Attraction is undeniable but it also hampers the ability to see neutrality. I see myself as a responsible and 'caring' counsellor and 'caring' for my clients and for my professional necessitates that I conduct myself within the lines of my profession. If I move past it, I will not be able to function as I should. Additionally, the following principles - 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5 all establish the principle of avoiding any form of intimacy, in fact it is prohibited. It is possible that any form of intimate ...

    Solution Summary

    The solution provides information, assistance, advise and guidance in tackling the topic of reviewing a scenario that involves romantic involvement between counselor and client using 4 different codes of ethics: AACC, ACA, AAMFT & IAMFC. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic. A owrd version of the solution is also attached.