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August 6, 2006

Dual Relationship Dilemmas

Ethics concerning the dating of a client is a hot-button issue in our industry. The Ethics Of Touch by Cherie Sohnen-Moe and Ben E. Benjamin is a good reference for appropriate guidelines for this situation. However, one therapist in Minnesota has been banned from practicing massage after marrying a client because it violated that states law.

They ran afoul of a Minnesota law that bans massage therapists from having relations with former clients for two years.

The case is before a judge and could be decided this month, with LaRae Fjellman facing a fine and possibly loss of her license. The outcome could have implications for the private lives of an array of alternative health care providers.

Be aware of states laws and use common sense any time you are tempted to create a dual relationship with a client.

A dual relationship exists when a psychotherapist serves in the capacity of both therapist and at least one other role with the same client. Most commonly the second relationship is social, financial, or professional and may be concurrent or subsequent to the therapeutic relationship.

Posted by linda at August 6, 2006 5:27 PM

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