Developing appropriate professional boundaries with clients/patients can be one of the most challenging therapeutic tasks to negotiate, irrespective of one’s level of training or experience. But what about practitioners who are embedded in communities in ways that transcend geographic overlap, in which there may be cultural or other aspects of commonality?
Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Assistant Director Dr. Adam Fried is the editor of the ethics column of The Clinical Psychologist, a publication of the American Psychological Association (APA) and addressed that subject in his most recent column.
Fried’s second column discussed the ethical issues arising when working with embedded communities.
“Psychologists are well aware of prohibitions against sexual relationships with clients, but evaluating the ethics of non-sexual multiple relationships can be considerably more complex,” Fried writes in his column. “Of course, the types of multiple relationship dilemmas will likely depend on the nature of the community, which may be defined by geographical, social, ethnocultural or other community-distinguishing characteristics. ”
Fried’s first column, on affirming ethical responsibilities, appeared in the Spring 2015, Volume 68, Issue 1 of the publication of Division 12 of the APA comprised of professional clinical psychologists.