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Dual Relationships: The Ethical Way Ethical & Clinical Aspects

6 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $59.00

Developed by Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

Course fulfills the California and other states' ethics and law requirements. Course may qualify for insurance discount. Check with your insurer.

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

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General Course Description

This unique course is one of the first courses ever to address the complexities of dual relationships in a flexible, realistic and non dogmatic way. In contrast to the myth of the depravity of dual relationships and boundary crossing, this course illustrates that many types of boundary crossings and non-sexual dual relationships are unavoidable, ethical, can increase the effectiveness of treatment and are an integral part of evidence-based treatment plans or other well-formulated treatment plans.

This intermediate-advanced level course features Dr. Zur's pioneering work in therapeutic boundaries and dual relationships. The course clarifies that dual relationships are unavoidable in many rural and small communities, such as churches, synagogs, gay and lesbian, military, minority and disabled communities. It also dispels the (paranoid) myth that non-sexual dual relationships inevitably lead to sexual relationships and illustrates how familiarity and duality can speed up treatment, increase therapeutic effectiveness and reduce (rather than increase) the possibility of clients being exploited by their therapists.

The course outlines in detail the stance of different professional codes of ethics on dual relationships, defines and describes the different types of dual relationships and provides detailed ethical decision-making and clinical guidelines for handling dual relationships ethically (transcript provided for one introductory video and one audio). Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

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

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Summarize the clinical, ethical and legal complexities of boundary crossings and dual relationships.

2.    Describe what the codes of ethics state in regard to dual relationships.

3.    Apply the making of ethical decisions regarding dual relationships.

4.    Specify when it is not advisable to enter into dual relationships or cross boundaries in therapy.

5.    Indicate when dual relationships are unavoidable and how to handle such situations.

6.    Relate the relevant sections of California laws and regulations to dual relationships.

Course Syllabus

Guidelines for Boundaries and Dual Relationships in Therapy

  • Definition, Key Points and Guidelines

Arguments Against Dual Relationships and Their Rebuttals

  • The Origin of the Opposition to Dual Relationships
  • The Slippery Slope, Power, Familiarity, Risk Management, Leaving the office

The Codes of Ethics on Dual Relationships (APA, CAMFT, NASW, ACA, ApA, AAMFT, NBCC, etc.)

In Celebration of Dual Relationships

Out of Office Experience

  • Types of Out-of-Office Experiences
  • Re-Thinking "Slippery Slope" and Boundaries in Therapy

Going Too Far in the Right Direction

How Consensus Regarding the Prohibition of DR has been Contrived

On Law-Imposed Dual Relationships with special emphasis on CA Laws and Regulations (A special section for California Psychologists, MFTs and LCSWs)

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