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    November 16, 2009 @ 2:47 am

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    November 16, 2009 @ 6:42 am

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    This post was mentioned on Twitter by drkkolmes: LinkedIn for Mental Health Professionals. My new blog post: #boundaries #therapy #social_networking…


  3. Kellin
    September 8, 2017 @ 3:23 am

    I was struck by your comment that you do not disclose that a person was a client even if that person wants you to and so, gives you permission. As a career counselor (also bound by counseling ethics rules), I have once connected a client to a former colleague of mine for an informational interview. The client did not know anyone in the field in which she was interested and was having difficulty getting started on informational interviewing. The connection was very valuable to her in her career research.

    Of course, I asked the client if I could give her name and the fact that she was a former client and interested In the specific profession. That is all I revealed and, again, completely with the client’s permission. I do not believe this is wrong and that it is consistent with APA guidelines. Would love to learn your take on this.


    • drkkolmes
      September 14, 2017 @ 6:34 pm

      Hi there. For me, the two ethical principles that could potentially be breached here are confidentiality and dual or multiple roles.

      Perhaps this is different for your role or your ethics code. Generally speaking, as a clinical psychologist, I will get a signed release of information to speak to people with whom I am coordinating care for a client. Assisting a client in a job search would be, for me, outside of the clinical care and stepping into a multiple role with a client. I would not consider it part of their clinical care since it is not part of my clinical work to make job introductions to my clients and assist them with making new connections for any endeavour. In my practice, I would see that as a blurring of roles. I would, on the other hand, help them psychologically prepare for interviews and help them brainstorm how to make connections in their field, but I would stop short of making introductions.

      Ethical standards provide a structure for thinking through issues but not everything is black or white. In rural ethics, many boundaries get blurred, but we do have to think about the impact and possibility of exploitation or loss of objectivity.

      Your story reminds me of when I was applying for graduate school in psychology. At the time, I asked a former therapist (not a psychologist, but she had her masters in education) if she would write me a letter of recommendation. She said yes and I later found out from the admissions department that they took points off of an applicant if a former or current therapist wrote a letter of recommendation because they saw it as a sign of poor boundaries.

      Since I had never taken a psychology class, I was stunned. I figured the person who is supposed to hold the boundary is the clinician and I was surprised that I, as an applicant, would lose points because the clinician had (what someone else might consider) poor boundaries. I didn’t yet know the rules of the profession. I still believe applicants shouldn’t suffer because of such a choice, but I can see how a school might assume there was poor modeling for the student that might take a lot or work to unlearn.

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