Mandatory dual relationships
Psychotherapy is a complex interpersonal process. As more information is obtained about a patient’s issues, treatment planning and diagnostic formulations may need to evolve. In addition, initial clinical presentations may develop into highly complex clinical treatment settings. In these cases, mandatory dual relationships may be an unnecessary risk to the patient/client. Therefore, avoiding dual relationships is generally in the patient/client’s best interest.
While there is no specific ethical code for psychologists, the ethical standards of the American Psychological Association (APA) are broadly consistent. This means that the practice of dual relationships is not unethical as long as it is not causing harm or expose the patient to undue exploitation. Other professional organizations may also have ethical guidelines consistent with general principles.
In some institutions, dual relationships are a legally mandated role for psychologists and counselors. For example, military psychologists are often required to perform administrative evaluations on the individuals they treat. This dual role requires a high level of judgment and commitment. In other cases, there are other circumstances where dual relationships can be beneficial.
Some practitioners argue that dual relationships with clients are unethical and may lead to exploitation and harm. In reality, however, a competent practitioner will manage a dual relationship in a way that is in the patient’s best interests. A practitioner must ensure that the client understands the consequences of the decision before making it. A competent practitioner will avoid any conflicts of interest that can impair their judgment.
The dilemma of mandatory dual relationships in psychology requires careful evaluation. Those who practice psychology need to understand how these relationships are created and how they impact the client. An objective assessment of the problem and the motivations of those involved is essential. In addition, good record-keeping is crucial for presenting a solid defense against allegations of professional misconduct.
Mandatory dual relationships in psychology are not illegal in the U.S. Still; psychologists must be careful and follow ethical guidelines when deciding whether or not to enter into a dual relationship. If the client is not in a position to consent, the psychologist should not violate the ethics of the discipline. Despite the ethical implications of mandatory dual relationships in psychology, it is essential to ensure the safety of the client.
There is no universal rule regarding mandatory dual relationships. However, some of these relationships are illegal or unethical. These include sexual relationships between patients and practitioners and sexual involvement with patients’ relatives. Several associations have a code of ethics for psychologists. The principle of ethics also addresses the ethical implications of such relationships.
In contrast to mandatory relationships, a dual relationship can benefit the client. For example, a client may be reluctant to end therapy with a neighbor whose relationship is close to their own. However, in the same scenario, a therapist can use his power to harm the client. It is, therefore, essential to establish ethical boundaries.