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Boundary Issues and Dual Relationships in the Human Services


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Table of Contents

Preface 1. Boundaries and Dual Relationships: Key Concepts 2. Intimate Relationships 3. Emotional and Dependency Needs 4. Personal Benefit 5. Altruism 6. Unavoidable and Unanticipated Circumstances 7. Risk Management: Guidelines and Strategies Appendix: Excerpts from Codes of Ethics References Index

Promotional Information

In a content analysis of published articles in the Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics, I discovered two patterns. The most frequently read topic (assessed by number of hits) was dual relationships/boundary issues in social work practice. The most frequently cited author was Dr. Frederick Reamer. Within this volume, we see a topic that generates great interest among social work practitioners, students and professors written by the most respected author in the arena of social work values and ethics.

About the Author

Frederic G. Reamer is professor at the School of Social Work, Rhode Island College. His many books include Teens in Crisis: How the Industry Serving Struggling Teens Helps and Hurts Our Kids; Social Work Values and Ethics; Criminal Lessons: Case Studies and Commentary on Crime and Justice; and Social Work Malpractice and Liability: Strategies for Prevention.


Once again Frederic G. Reamer provides social work and human service professionals with an informative guide to ethical practice and the prevention of boundry violations. He encourages professional helpers to be aware of their ethical responsibilities and to engage in a systematic, deliberate, and comprehensive series of decision making steps to manage risk and the appearance of impropriety. Seventy-eight cases are presented to assist in developing sensitivity to boundry issues in dual relationships involving sexual matters, emotional dependency, personal benefit, altruism, and unavoidable and unanticipated situations. Guidelines and strategies for dealing with evolving technology, including social networks and responsibilities in addressing the problem of an impaired colleague, are presented. A must read. -- Sheldon R. Gelman, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University Poorly handled boundary problems are the most common basis for lawsuits and licensing board complaints involving mental health professionals. Reamer has compiled an engaging collection of diverse case materials and integrated these with thoughtful discussion and excerpts from key professional standards. The result is an exceptionally helpful guide for students and experienced practitioners alike, and a highly engaging read. -- Gerald Koocher, Simmons College Reamer thoroughly discusses an array of boundary-issue cases, using credible examples throughout to illustrate the challenges posed in practice and the concepts for ethically solving those challenges. The inclusion of relevant excerpts from the codes of ethics in a variety of helping professions facilitates conversation and consultation about dilemmas in interdisciplinary settings. -- Kim Strom-Gottfried, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

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