Managing Therapeutic Resistance Which Results from Incompatible Roles

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Dual roles are common in mental health work. The implications and pitfalls of dual roles are regularly addressed in the legal and ethical literature (Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 2007; Kaplan, et al.; 2009; Moleski & Kiselica, 2005). Most ethical codes caution against entering into dual roles and provide guidance when they cannot be avoided (American Counseling Association, 2005). Dual roles and relationships most frequently addressed in ethical codes included bartering, social relations, and sexual relations. Some of these dual relationships are unethical as well as illegal and should be avoided; for example, sexual relationships with clients. Other dual roles are potentially harmful and should be avoided or managed carefully with a keen awareness of the potential consequences. Bartering for services and social relationships outside of therapy would fall into this category.