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Ethical Standards in Dual Relationships

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A student in a professional training environment becomes attracted to an employee counselor at one of the practicum sites to which they have been assigned. Later, due to a routine staffing reassignment, the counselor is asked to assume the role of practicum supervisor for the student. What are the student and counselor obligated to do according to the APA Ethics Code?

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According to the APA ethical standards, specifically standards 3 and 7, licensed professionals have an ethical obligation to refrain from relationships with students. Being involved with a student (or client) can impair judgment in care thus resulting in ultimate harm. Dual Relationships according to the APA are also referred to as "multiple relationships".

7.06 Assessing Student and Supervisee Performance
(a) In academic and supervisory relationships, psychologists establish a timely and specific process for providing feedback to students and supervisees. Information regarding the process is provided to the student at the beginning of supervision.

(b) Psychologists evaluate students and supervisees on the ...

Solution Summary

The APA has strict guidelines regarding the ethics of dual, or multiple, relationships involving student-mentor roles and relationships. These standards of care and treatment are integral components of a healthy relationship and thus the treatment of clients.

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Source: Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Code of Ethics

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