Basic Counseling Skills Psych 3203
Reflections on the Postinterview
1. Professional boundaries
My view of this is going to differ from most people’s view because for myself personally, I have a different idea in mind than what others think a counseling practice should look like. The reason for this difference is that most people think of a professional counseling practice, and I, personally, want to run an “unprofessional” counseling practice. I have a few issues with the way professional counseling is done. I do not agree with some things. Therefore, I will answer this according to what I personally believe instead of what answers I think may be desired.
After termination of counseling, of course I think there should be contact. Maybe you were friends before, and either way, there is for sure a relationship during the sessions. To terminate a relationship because the counseling has ended means that the relationship was shallow to start with. So, no, I think that the relationship should continue. It would make no difference who initiated the contact. If the relationship developed is worth keeping, then keep it.
Friendships should be allowed after a specified period of time. Hopefully, if you weren’t already friends before the counseling began, you will be by the time you are through.
Intimate and romantic relationships… This requires some definition. Intimate meaning having sex with your client? Not allowed unless she is your wife. Romantic relationships? Not allowed unless it is your wife. What if you’re single? If you can separate the counseling from the romance, I wouldn’t have an issue with it. For me, personally, I wouldn’t be able to do that.
What about professional relationships such as instructor, clinical supervisor or colleague? Easy, if a friendship develops, keep it.
And yes, I realize my opinion goes against every ethics book ever written. Jesus was rather unethical himself, and He had no professional relationships. Counseling is a form of relational ministry, and I would rather use Him as a model for relational ministry.
2. Ethical guidelines and professional boundaries
These things basically say to keep it professional and cover your butt with red tape so you don’t get sued.