From Ken Pope, Ph.D, ABPP
Making thoughtful, informed decisions about whether to cross a particular boundary with a client can sometimes be a real challenge for most of us.
Boundary crossings can enrich psychotherapy, serve the treatment plan, and strengthen the therapist-client working relationship.
They can also undermine the therapy, disrupt the therapist-patient alliance, and even cause harm to clients.
I’ve just updated and expanded a web section of resources that may be helpful in thinking through issues and choices about whether to cross various boundaries under different circumstances with different clients.
This set of resources is intended to make it easier for clinicians keep up with the evolving standards of care, research, and creative approaches to multiple relationships, bartering, and other boundary issues.
The resources fall into 5 major ares:
1) PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS
I’ve collected excerpts addressing boundary issues from the the ethics codes & other formal professional standards (with links to the original documents) published by professional associations including the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT); American Association of Christian Counselors; American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists; American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work; American Counseling Association; American Mental Health Counselors Association; American Music Therapy Association; American Psychoanalytic Association; American Psychological Association; American School Counselor Association; Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards; Australian Association of Social Workers; Australian Psychological Society; British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy; British Association of Social Workers; Canadian Counselling Association; Canadian Psychological Association; European Association for Body- Psychotherapy; Irish Association for Counseling & Therapy; & National Association of Social Workers
2) QUOTES & INFORMATION FROM ARTICLES, BOOKS, & STUDIES ADDRESSING BOUNDARY ISSUES
I’ve gathered quotes from a variety of research studies and other published articles and books on boundaries in clinical work.
3) DECISION-MAKING GUIDES
Included are those by Michael Gottlieb, by Janet Sonne, & by Jeffrey Younggren.
4) LINKS TO FULL-TEXT ARTICLES ON DUAL RELATIONSHIPS, MULTIPLE RELATIONSHIPS, AND OTHER BOUNDARY TOPICS
The articles are from American Psychologist, *Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, American Journal of Psychiatry, etc. Among those included are : “A Practical Approach to Boundaries in Psychotherapy: Making Decisions, Bypassing Blunders, and Mending Fences”—”Misuses and Misunderstandings of Boundary Theory in Clinical and Regulatory Settings”—”Therapeutic Boundaries in Telepsychology: Unique Issues and Best Practice Recommendations”—”The Concept of Boundaries in Clinical Practice: Theoretical and Risk-Management Dimensions”—”A Study Calling for Changes in the APA Ethics Code regarding Dual Relationships, Multiple Relationships, & Boundary Decisions”—”Dual Relationships Between Therapist and Client: A National Study of Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Social Workers”—”Dual Relationships: Trends, Stats, Guides, and Resources”—”Nonsexual Multiple Relationships & Boundaries in Psychotherapy.”
5) LINKS TO RELATED RESOURCES
This section of the web site is at: KenPopeBoundariesReseachAndGuidelines