February 18, 2014
• The following information
will inform about different
examples of crossing
boundaries. A boundary is
defined as the “edge” of
define the expected and
and social distance
between practitioners and
• Marissa Sturm has been giving counseling services to
her client Ray approximately a year now. Ray has
been in constant depression with constant suicidal
thoughts due to his divorce and other personal issues.
Client has shown tremendous improvement and is
extremely grateful to counselor for her help.
Valentines Day comes and client sends counselor a
beautiful flower arrangement with a letter expressing
how thankful and in debt he feels towards her, for, he
feels she saved and changed his life for good. He
concludes his letter by inviting counselor out to
dinner, he writes down the time and place of a
restaurant reservation. Counselor accepts the flowers
and attends dinner.
Another situation that is
considered as a crossing
boundaries is getting
personally involved with a
client. For example a social
worker can actually have
personal problems , so If
they start to get attention
from a client that they are
not having personally out of
work they can get attached
personally involved which is
• One of the situations that could be considered as
crossing boundaries is giving your personal
information to a client. An example could be
giving your address to a child victim of domestic
violence so that she can go to the therapist house
whenever their parents start fighting. The
therapist is at a greater risk of forming a
problematic relationship with the client by
• Being a counselor to patients does have it’s tolls
on the relationship between the Pt./Counselor.
▫ The time that they spend together.
▫ The private consultations.
▫ It is hard for a Pt./Counselor to not grow feelings
▫ A perfect example of this “crossing the boundaries
between Pt. and Counselor.
• One way professional associations help their members
to be mindful of the importance of professional ethics
and to avoid ethical conflicts is through a commitment
to a robust code of ethics. Such a document is an open
disclosure of the way an organization operates. They
also offer an invaluable opportunity for responsible
organizations to create a positive public identity for
themselves and an increased level of public confidence.
Today is the creation of codes of ethical conduct in
recognition that these documents are more important
than ever in today’s environment for establishing the
American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (2012). AAMFT Code of Ethics.
Retrieved from http://www.aamft.org/imis15/content/legal_ethics/code_of_ethics.aspx
Youtube. (2014, February 18). Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmjcKSMwC1Y