DUAL RELATIONSHIPS Power Point

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DUAL RELATIONSHIPS
Dual relationships are detrimental to
the Human Service process because
they blur boundaries and can lead to:
• Exploitation: Clients often perceive Human Service professionals
possessing an exaggerated sense of power and wisdom that, when
applied in non-Human Service relationships, can be accidentally or
intentionally manipulative or exploitative.
• Loss of Objectivity: The non-Human Service role often distorts the
Human Service relationship (Human Service professional-to-client
as well as client-to-Human Service professional) resulting in a loss
of needed clinical objectivity.
• Potential for Misunderstanding: Clients and Human Service
professionals when engaged in multiple relationships have difficulty
containing the Human Service experience to the designated Human
Service time and place. This invites misunderstanding and hurt
feelings.
• Breach of Confidentiality: When there is role confusion, it can be
difficult for the Human Service professional and the client to
remember what information was gained in the context of a Human
Service relationship and what in the non-Human Service
relationship. A real or perceived breach of confidence often occurs.
• 2. Dual relationship issues affect virtually all
Human Service professionals in all settings.
Very few professional Human Service
professionals remain untouched by potential
dual role conflicts and dilemmas.
• 3. Nearly all ethical codes of conduct caution
against dual relationships.
• 4. Occasionally a dual relationship is
unavoidable. However, most dual relationships
can and should be avoided.
• 5. Dual relationships are the "royal road" to liability
problems. Many, many ethical licensing complaint and
liability issues can be traced back to poorly conceived
and/or poorly managed dual relationships.
• 6. Most dual relationships start out well-intended,
seeming clear and simple. Over time they become
increasingly muddy and problematic.
• 7. Sexual/Romantic relationships with current clients,
or terminating Human Service in order to initiate a sexual
relationship, is unethical and illegal in many states.
Consequences for such behavior can include ethical
sanction/expulsion, revocation of license, civil suit and
even criminal prosecution.
• 8. In determining whether to proceed with a dual
relationship, consider whether the potential benefit of the
dual relationship outweighs the potential for harm.
• 9. Whenever we are operating in more than one role
and when there is potential for negative consequences,
the Standard of Practice will place the responsibility for
developing safeguards and measures to reduce the
potential for harm squarely on the shoulders of the
professional Human Service professional.
• 10. Dual role relationships, if they must exist, challenge
practitioners to closely monitor themselves and to
examine their motivations for engaging in the dual role.
• 11. When considering becoming involved in a dual relationship, it
would be wise to seek consultation from trusted colleagues or a
supervisor.
• 12. When presented with a dual relationship decision: determine if
the dual relationship is avoidable or unavoidable; assess the
potential benefits and risks of initiating a secondary relationship and
discuss the issue with a trusted colleague for their objective
perception. If the dual relationship is avoidable or the risks
associated with the dual relationship outweigh the benefits, decline
the secondary non-Human Service relationship or refer the person
requesting the Human Service worker (friend or social or work
acquaintance) to another Human Service professional. If the
secondary relationship (Human Service or non-Human Service
worker) is initiated, fully explain to the client the potential difficulties
and risks associated with dual relationships, carefully define the
boundaries of both relationships, record the substance of this
discussion in the clinical record, secure a written consent for
treatment that acknowledges the dual relationship, and obtain ongoing supervision.
TYPES OF DUAL
RELATIONSHIPS
Primary dual relationship
YOUR
FAMILY
MEMBER
YOUR
YOUR
ROMANTI FRIEND
C/SEXUAL
PARTNER
Your
business/pr
ofessional
Secondary dual relationship
YOUR
FAMILY
Member's
YOUR
YOUR
ROMANTI Friend's
C/SEXUAL
Partner's
Your
business/pr
ofessional’s
Friend
Lover
Business/pr
ofessional
Friend
Other lover
Family
Business/pr
ofessional
Friend
lover
Family
Other
friend
Business/pr
ofesional
Friend
lover
Family
Other
friend
Business/pr
ofesional
Tertiary dual relationship
YOUR
FAMILY
Member's
YOUR
YOUR
Your coROMANTI Friend's co- worker’s
C/SEXUAL workers
Family
Partner's
Friend
Lover
Business/pr
ofessional
Friend
Friend
Other lover lover
Family
Family
Business/pr
ofessional
Friend
lover
Other
friend
Co-worker
• 'Business Other Professional = Co-worker,
teacher, student, intern, supervises,
contractor, accountant, business partner,
doctor, etc.
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