What’s the Dual?

The Ethical Implications of Multiple Relationships

What are dual/multiple relationships? One ethics code says they occur when the therapist relates to the client in more than one relationship. Another ethics code no longer includes those terms in its provisions. Whether you work in a big city or small town or in a unique setting such as a college, it is likely that you will be faced with dual relationship challenges or at least questions. The codes provide helpful general guidelines, but therapists must be prepared to supplement that information with good judgment in order to make client centered choices. To facilitate the discussion, we will watch film clips of “reel” therapists.


Understand how the codes define dual relationships and our ethical obligations in that regard

Review and apply decision-making models

Discuss steps to take when functioning in multiple roles with a client

Appreciate self-care as the foundation for ethical decision-making