Mentor Health Training
Mentor Health presents

Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in Behavioral Health On-Site Training

Participants will learn how to identify and respond constructively to complex boundary issues, protect clients, prevent professional malpractice, and avoid liability.

Course Description/Agenda


This webinar will provide participants with an overview of boundary issues and dual relationships that arise in behavioral health (for example, proper management of confidential and private information; practitioner self-disclosure; friendships and social contact with current and former clients; favors, gifts, and invitations; hiring of former clients; online and social networking relationships; unavoidable dual relationships).

Using extensive case material, Dr. Frederic Reamer will acquaint participants with a typology of boundary issues and dual relationships. Participants will learn how to identify and respond constructively to complex boundary issues, protect clients, prevent professional malpractice, and avoid liability. Key topics will include the nature of boundary issues, types of dual relationships, and risk-management strategies. 

Why should you Attend: Behavioral health practitioners encounter a wide range of ethical challenges related to professional boundaries and dual relationships. Should a therapist disclose personal information to a client, accept a client's gift, or provide a former client with a job? Is it appropriate to exchange email or text messages with clients or correspond with them on social networking websites? How should practitioners manage boundaries when they live and work in small or rural communities? Some acts, such as initiating a sexual relationship with a client, are clearly prohibited, yet what about more subtle interactions, such as hugging or accepting invitations to a social event? Is maintaining a friendship or online relationship with a former client or client's relative a conflict of interest that ultimately subverts the client-practitioner relationship? This webinar will provide essential information to protect clients and prevent ethics complaints and litigation. 

Areas Covered in the Session:

  • Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in Behavioral Health: Case Examples
  • A Typology of Boundary issues and Dual Relationships
  • Overview of Ethical Standards in Behavioral Health related to Boundaries and Dual Relationships
  • Risk-Management: Protecting Clients and Preventing Ethics Complaints and Litigation

Who Will Benefit:
  • Mental Health Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Substance use Counselors
Speaker Profile 
Frederic Reamer, Ph.D., is professor in the graduate program, School of Social Work, Rhode Island College, where he has been on the faculty since 1983. He chaired the national task force that wrote the code of ethics adopted by the National Association of Social Workers. Reamer is the author of more than 20 books and 140 journal articles, encyclopedia entries, and book chapters. He has been a social worker in correctional and mental health settings and specializes in professional ethics. 

Reamer has been an expert witness and ethics consultant in more than 100 court (litigation) cases and licensing board cases involving ethical and risk-management issues. 

His books include Risk Management in Social Work: Preventing Professional Malpractice, Liability, and Disciplinary Action (Columbia University Press); Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in the Human Services (Columbia University Press); Social Work Values and Ethics (Columbia University Press); Ethical Standards in Social Work (NASW Press); and The Social Work Ethics Audit: A Risk Management Tool (NASW Press), among others.


More Seminar Information

Mentor Health
Mentor Health Training

Delivery Method

On-Site Training On-Site Training

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On-Site Training
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