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Ethics of the Greater Therapeutic Alliance

Do Dual Relationships Really Threaten Psychotherapy?

Arnold Lazarus • 11/25/2014

I believe that some elements of our ethical codes have become so needlessly stringent and rigid that they can undermine effective therapy. Take, for example, the almost universal taboo on "dual relationships," which discourages any connection outside the "boundaries" of the therapeutic relationship, such as lunching or socializing. These "boundary crossings," are rarely harmful and may even enhance the therapeutic connection. My experience with Mark and Sally was one such boundary crossing.

Daily Blog

A Triple Boundary Crossing

From Client to Friend to Client

Arnold Lazarus • 9/12/2014

Therapists are expected, of course, to treat all clients with respect, dignity and consideration, and to adhere to the spoken and unspoken rules that make up our established standards of care. Many of these rules are necessary and sensible, but I believe that some elements of our ethical codes have become so needlessly stringent and rigid that they can undermine effective therapy. Take, for example, the almost universal taboo on "dual relationships," which discourages any connection outside the "boundaries" of the therapeutic relationship, such as lunching, socializing, bartering, errand-running or playing tennis.

Daily Blog
Copyright:
2/13/2013
Authors:
MARY JO BARRETT, MSW
 
OFER ZUR, PHD
 
LINDA STONE FISH, MSW, PHD
 
ARNOLD A. LAZARUS, PHD, ABPP
 
KATY BUTLER, MA
 
JAN MICHAEL SHERMAN, MA
 
JANINE ROBERTS, EDD
 
JAY EFRAN, PH.D.
 
JENNY NEWSOME
 
MICHAEL F. HOYT, PHD
 
SUSAN ROWAN
Product:
NRC095556

A Triple Boundary Crossing

From Client to Friend to Client

Arnold Lazarus • 3/2/2002

The blanket disapproval of "dual relationships" in some circles draws no distinction between "boundary violations," which can harm a client, and "boundary crossings," which produce no harm and may even enhance the therapeutic connection.

Magazine Article
Page 1 of 1 (4 Items)
Copyright:
2/13/2013
Authors:
MARY JO BARRETT, MSW
 
OFER ZUR, PHD
 
LINDA STONE FISH, MSW, PHD
 
ARNOLD A. LAZARUS, PHD, ABPP
 
KATY BUTLER, MA
 
JAN MICHAEL SHERMAN, MA
 
JANINE ROBERTS, EDD
 
JAY EFRAN, PH.D.
 
JENNY NEWSOME
 
MICHAEL F. HOYT, PHD
 
SUSAN ROWAN
Product:
NRC095556
Page 1 of 1

Ethics of the Greater Therapeutic Alliance

Do Dual Relationships Really Threaten Psychotherapy?

Arnold Lazarus • 11/25/2014

I believe that some elements of our ethical codes have become so needlessly stringent and rigid that they can undermine effective therapy. Take, for example, the almost universal taboo on "dual relationships," which discourages any connection outside the "boundaries" of the therapeutic relationship, such as lunching or socializing. These "boundary crossings," are rarely harmful and may even enhance the therapeutic connection. My experience with Mark and Sally was one such boundary crossing.

Daily Blog

A Triple Boundary Crossing

From Client to Friend to Client

Arnold Lazarus • 9/12/2014

Therapists are expected, of course, to treat all clients with respect, dignity and consideration, and to adhere to the spoken and unspoken rules that make up our established standards of care. Many of these rules are necessary and sensible, but I believe that some elements of our ethical codes have become so needlessly stringent and rigid that they can undermine effective therapy. Take, for example, the almost universal taboo on "dual relationships," which discourages any connection outside the "boundaries" of the therapeutic relationship, such as lunching, socializing, bartering, errand-running or playing tennis.

Daily Blog
Page 1 of 1 (2 Items)

A Triple Boundary Crossing

From Client to Friend to Client

Arnold Lazarus • 3/2/2002

The blanket disapproval of "dual relationships" in some circles draws no distinction between "boundary violations," which can harm a client, and "boundary crossings," which produce no harm and may even enhance the therapeutic connection.

Magazine Article
Page 1 of 1
Arnold A. Lazarus, Ph.D., A.B.P.P., is a distinguished professor emeritus of psychology at Rutgers University and has a private practice in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the author of many books, including The 60-Second Shrink and Marital Myths Revisited.