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Dual Relationships

Dual relationships (also known as multiple relationships) has more than one definition depending on the setting and the nature of the relationships. James Meyer suggests a working definition of dual relationships such that one exists when there is a combining of incompatible professional roles and behavior to the detriment of someone to whom the helping professional owes a fiduciary duty. Dual or multiple relationships with a client, whether they be social, financial or sexual, can interfere with a mental health practitioner's ability to provide therapy.

Various mental health professionals, such as addiction counselors, pastoral counselors, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, marriage and family therapists, and licensed professional counselors, have codes of ethics developed by professional organizations that they are required to follow. Each of these professional ...

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