Boundary Transgressions in Therapeutic Relationships
Rosenbloom, Staci J.
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The relationship expected to occur between a therapist and his or her clients is a fiduciary relationship, a relationship of special trust. Professional boundaries ensure that the needs of clients remain primary. However, boundary transgressions are inevitable. Unfortunately, boundary transgressions have the potential of exploiting clients. Most of what is known about boundary transgressions comes from the perspective of professionals. The literature reiterates the importance of educating the lay public about the dangers of boundary transgressions. This study experimentally examined what effect education specific to boundary transgressions has on the lay public's level of acceptance of boundary transgressions, as opposed to what effect general information about personal/family therapy has on the lay public's level of acceptance of boundary transgressions. Two hundred students from a southeastern university participated and read either general information pertaining to personal/family therapy, or specific information pertaining to boundary transgressions, prior to rating their level of acceptance of therapists transgressing boundaries with their clients. Independent sample t-tests determined there were statistical differences in mean ratings of acceptance of boundary transgressions between the groups. However, because the mean scores between the two groups were not much different, the results suggest that the lay public could benefit from a more comprehensive explanation of boundary transgressions.
- Masters' Theses