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  1. Online Dating…. for Psychotherapists? What Should Mental Health Professionals Consider When… | Society for Media Psychology and Technology (APA Division 46)
    July 17, 2013 @ 4:22 pm


  2. becky
    January 20, 2016 @ 11:18 am

    If a therapist uses their counseling skills on a potential date is there anything that can be done? If the potntial date talks online about a previous relationship and the therapist encourages the potential date to leave their current partner for them? I feel that this is highly unethical.


    • drkkolmes
      January 27, 2016 @ 3:19 am

      If by counseling skills, you mean empathy, active listening, compassion, etc., I am not sure that a therapist has done anything wrong.

      When we are out in the world, going on dates or hanging out at parties, even though we are therapists, we are engaging in having a personal life.

      If you go out on a date with a therapist who in some way indicates that they are “providing psychotherapy,” rather than going out on a date with you, that would absolutely be inappropriate. Psychotherapy happens in the privacy of an office, it involves and Informed Consent process, and it is confidential. It usually entails payment for the time spent, and a clear frame of how much time the session will last.

      Obviously, going to bars or restaurants with people and listening to their problems in those places should not be part of psychotherapy, and this would be considered by most to be a social relationship. Some therapists do give their friends or their romantic partners advice. As long as this is clearly a social context and the person doesn’t give special weight to this advice because it came from someone who happens to be a psychotherapist, I don’t see anything unethical about it.

      One challenge psychotherapists do have when meeting new people is making it clear that it is a social connection and not a psychotherapy relationship. Some people do assign mystical, magical powers to people who provide therapy, thinking we are mind readers or we know all the answers. But generally speaking, good psychotherapy is largely about slowly getting to know people and their goals and dreams. It’s about not giving advice but actually helping people to get clear on their own values and helping them to find their own answers. It doesn’t mean we don’t share concerns about unhealthy patterns, but we usually help people find their own way instead of telling them what to do.

      So the question for me would be: did you believe you were entering into a psychotherapy relationship with this person? Did you believe you were going to a therapist for professional counseling? Was the location of your interactions private? Was a fee exchanged? Did the person call it psychotherapy? Or was it just a date?

  3. Lana M. Ackaway
    February 24, 2016 @ 3:37 pm

    I have never encountered a client/patient in on-line dating. I am an aware clinician; have had a social media presence for many years — as a married and as a ‘single’ individual. I have never had any issues that crossed boundaries. However, recently, a younger man (16 yrs. younger) tried to ‘scam,’ me in an online dating presence for giving him money. As a savvy clinician and human being, I was aware of his attempt and let him know that I knew. I didn’t report him to any police or other authority as I didn’t have any proof, except verbal of his attempted scam.


  4. Ellie Smith
    February 20, 2017 @ 3:50 pm

    Yes, it may be a problematic or inconvenient situation for the clinicians to put their ad in the dating sites. But we must believe that they have their own personal life apart from their profession. Finding love and listing out things that is true is not anything bad. But as far as your image on the society is concerned and you don’t want to be ironical, you should make your profile with some great ideas. And that should be in a simple and balanced way. No doubt, there will be many client or your student’s profile in the dating sites; but you should not intimidated by it and proceed further with bit precautions in your hand. Set everything in your profile in the right way and do the perfect categorization, so that there will be less chance that your clients will find you. Apart from that, you should ensure safety while dating online and do the background check on your interested dating partner to better know the truth. Also in this way, you can stay away from your clients or students.


  5. Daniel
    December 17, 2017 @ 1:50 am

    If a psychologist is lacking the awareness to create a profile within healthy and responsible boundaries… how are they even operating as an effective psychologist?


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