Should a therapist disclose personal information to a client, accept a client's gift, or provide a former client with a job? Is it appropriate to exchange e-mail or text messages with clients or correspond with them on social networking websites? Some acts, such as initiating a sexual relationship with a client, are clearly prohibited, yet what about more subtle interactions, such as hugging or accepting invitations to a social event? Is maintaining a friendship with a former client or a client's relative a conflict of interest?
Frederic G. Reamer offers a frank analysis of a range of boundary issues that human-service practitioners may confront. He confronts the ethics of intimate relationships with clients and former clients, the healthy parameters of practitioners' self-disclosure, the giving and receiving of gifts and favors, and the unavoidable and unanticipated circumstances of social encounters and geographical proximity. With case studies addressing challenges in the mental health field, school contexts, child welfare, addiction programs, home health care, elder services, and prison, rural, and military settings, Reamer offers effective, practical risk-management models that prevent problems and help balance dual relationships.
Since the publication of the previous edition of Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in the Human Services
in 2012, digital technology has transformed how human-service professionals deliver services to clients. This third edition brings the book up to date, adding discussion of the ways in which practitioners' online communications and technology-based relationships with clients can violate ethical standards and providing practical advice for how to resolve boundary issues.