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1219 Winter, 2014 (third Assignment) Yu Yong Esther Chung (951067880) In order to evaluate the ethical dilemma presented in Mr. Brown’s case, the two ethical principles stated in the Canadian Code of Ethics (2001) for Psychologists will be examined: principle II (responsible for caring) and principle III (integrity in relationships). The main question is whether it would be unethical for the psychologist to barter an agreement allowing the client to pay for the therapy session by painting the psychologist’s house. Should the psychologist develop a business relationship on top of the professional relationship he/she has with the client? If the psychologist goes ahead and barter an agreement Mr. Brown, would this cross the professional boundary? If so, what impact would this have on the psychologist and the client? Boundaries in therapeutic relationships are vital in keeping clients safe and psychologists are cautioned in developing potential dual relationships with their clients as they may pose a conflict of interest. This would, in turn, could damage the integrity in the therapeutic relationship (principle 3) (Canadian Psychological Association, 2001; Hearn, 2011). Furthermore, psychologists are in positions of authority and power and clients are vulnerable and could be susceptible to exploitation. Some argue that once a psychologist crosses a professional boundary, it is a start of a “slippery slope” where this will likely result in further beach of boundaries by the psychologist (Zur & Lazarus, 2002). In this case scenario, there are two alternative actions that the psychologist could take. One would be to turn Mr. Brown’s offer down to paint the psychologist’s house in exchange for therapy in order to prevent the professio... ... middle of paper ... ... that the psychologist openly communicates with Mr. Brown about the situation and try to come up with a way to resolve any complications that arise. Throughout the discussion, the psychologist should maintain accurate record of the discussions, agreed terms of the dual relationships (professional and business), and the rationale for bartering an agreement. If the psychologist feel the need, he could also consult with other professionals regarding this situation. In conclusion, terminating therapy as a result of the client’s inability to pay for the treatment would be unnecessary and harmful to the client. Rigid boundaries could interfere with the psychologist building rapport as he/she will be seen as cold and distant (Zur & Lazarus, 2002). The boundary crossing could be carefully managed so that it does not interfere with the therapeutic goal and relationship.
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