The Ethical Dilemma of Multiple Relationships in Therapy Analytical Essay by scribbler

An ethical assessment of the issue of multiple relationships in therapy.
# 152213 | 1,406 words | 4 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Jan 14, 2013 in Psychology (General) , Ethics (General)

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This paper addresses the dilemma for the psychologist and client who may find that they have mutual interest in pursuing an alternate relationship such as a social, romantic or professional one. The paper explains how it is a direct conflict of interests for the therapist to accept anything other than monetary compensation for therapeutic treatment; the paper then notes the occasions in which bartering of any sort is acceptable. The paper draws the conclusion that the only appropriate measure is for the practitioner to immediately cease the counseling relationship with the patient, but after a year, the therapist and client could begin a new professional relationship on a sound, ethical, equal and non-exploitative footing.

From the Paper:

"The relationship between patient and therapist is an inherently sensitive one. In many instances, the degree of personal disclosure, the development of some level of personal dependency and the likelihood of emotional attachment will have the effect of making this a relationship due for careful treatment. This is a responsibility which falls upon the psychologist, in whom is invested a significant amount of trust concerning ethical consistency, professional integrity and interpersonal sensitivity. Therefore, any aspect of the relationship which has the potential to divert from the doctor/patient structure can be destructive to the treatment or healing process. It must fall upon the responsible psychologist therefore to ensure that this relationship never exits the boundaries of appropriate interaction lest the patient succumb to a fundamentally unhealthy relationship with one responsible for improving emotional health and stability. The implications can be extremely problematic, with the psychologist in a unique position to exploit the weaknesses and undermine the insecurities of the patient based on insights and knowledge gained during the therapy process."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Fisher, C.B. (2008). Decoding the Ethics Code. Sage Publications.
  • Holcomb, W.R. (2006). Thinking Correctly About Ethics: A Review of Ethical Practice in Forensic Psychology. Psychology Critiques, 51(48), 1554-1556.
  • Jordan, A.E. & Meara, N.M. (1990). Ethics and the Professional Practice of Psychologists: The Role of Virtues and Principles. Professional Psychology Resource Press, 21(2), 107-114.
  • Koocher, G.P. & Keith-Spiegel, P. (1998). Ethics in Psychology. Oxford University Press.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Ethical Dilemma of Multiple Relationships in Therapy (2013, January 14) Retrieved August 13, 2022, from

MLA Format

"The Ethical Dilemma of Multiple Relationships in Therapy" 14 January 2013. Web. 13 August. 2022. <>