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Boundaries in Psychotherapy and Counseling

2 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $19.00

Developed by Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

Course fulfills, fully or in part, the Ethics & Law requirements for psychologists in CA and for psychologists, social workers, counselors, and addiction counselors in other states. Verify requirements with your state board.

This course is also offered as part of an Advanced Ethics Certificate Program of 68 CE Credit Hours.

Course materials: text/webpage Articles    audioAudios    videoVideos

Transcripts are available for ALL audios videos in pdf format.

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General Course Description

This beginning/intermediate level course explores via text, one video and one audio the issues of gifts, self-disclosure, touch, dual and multiple relationships, Internet transparency, home visits, bartering, attending clients' weddings, and other therapeutic boundaries in psychotherapy and counseling. The course discusses the definitions and how to differentiate among boundary crossings and boundary violations and dual relationships in psychotherapy. The course will explain how gifts, dual or multiple relationships, home visits, self-disclosure, bartering, and non-sexual touch are all boundary crossing but not necessary boundary violations. It emphasizes how, when conducted with the welfare of the clients in mind, boundary crossings can be an integral part of an ethical and clinically sound treatment plan. The course also briefly reviews the relationships between boundaries, risk management, and the standard of care and provides clinical and ethical guidelines for handling different boundary crossings and dual relationships in psychotherapy. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Video Course Material  Course includes a video recording of a presentation on boundaries by Dr. Zur.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Define boundaries in psychotherapy.

2.    Differentiate among boundary crossing, boundary violations and dual relationships in psychotherapy.

3.    State the relationships between boundary crossings and the standard of care.

4.    Report on how enforcing rigid boundaries can be harmful to clients.

5.    Identify the concerns with boundaries and avoid harm and exploitation of clients.

Course Syllabus

  • Defining Boundaries
  • Beneficial Boundary Crossings
  • Dual Relationships
  • The Ethics of Boundaries
  • Boundary Crossings and the Standard of Care
  • The Slippery Slope Argument
  • Sexualizing Boundaries
  • To Cross or Not to Cross
  • The Concern with Rigid Boundaries
  • Guidelines for Boundaries and Dual Relationships
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