Boundaries are extremely important in a counseling session. Setting boundaries and limits in therapy sessions represents an ethical decision that is set by each counselor, when entering a therapeutic relationship. In this presentation, I will discuss pertinent boundary issues that the staff has encountered, since working at this agency. Finally, I will describe how these boundaries are addressed and resolved at this site.
Significant Boundary Issues at this Practicum Site
According to G. Corey, M. Corey, & Callanan, (2007) boundary crossings are a departure from regular accepted practices that could benefit the client. A boundary violation is a serious ethical breach that could potentially harm the client (Corey, et el., 2007). Without boundaries, limits or certain rules, the therapeutic professional relationship would not be able to be defined as such. At this practicum site, the program is a command-based program which means that if the client/soldier is a no-show, or late for an appointment, the counselor must call the soldier’s 1st Sergeant or Commander. If the soldier was positive for substances from a urinalysis, the counselor had to report this as a “fact” in treatment, thus the soldier could be deemed a “Rehabilitation Failure” from the program at which point the command would begin separation procedures of the soldier from the Army.
In the past, the staff has encountered clients asking special favors from the counselors in reference to not reporting late appointments, no-shows or a positive drug or alcohol test to his or her command. Many of these soldiers were married and had children. This was a strict violation of the rules of the Army Substance Abuse Program (ASAP). The counselor has such a large...
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...separated from the Army, it is imperative in this organization that counselors follow strict boundaries regarding members of the Armed Forces. It is okay to advocate for the soldier, when we believe this is appropriate, especially when we know the soldier has made some great gains in their treatment.
4Therapy.com Network (n.d.). Boundary issues. Retrieved April 22, 2011 from http://www.4therapy.com/professional/research/lawandethics/item.php?uniqueid=4609&categoryid=267&
Corey, G., Corey, M.S., & Callanan, P. (2007). Issues and Ethics in the Helping Professions. (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole
Walker, R. & Clark, J. (1999). Heading Off Boundary Problems: Clinical Supervision as Risk Management. Psychiatric Services, 50 (11), 1435-1439. Retrieved April 22, 2011 from http://www.ps.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/reprint/50/11/1435
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