Dual Relationships: Wrong Or Right? Towson University Position Paper

1406 words - 6 pages

Dual Relationships
Mbaru Ceesay
Towson University
Position Paper on Dual Relationships
Dr. Green is a both a Psychologist and a Professor at Happy Hearts University. Ava was primarily her patient who Dr. Green started seeing after the death of both of Ava’a parents. Ava had an ongoing battle with depression, and Dr. Green was the sole person in Ava’s life who helped her get through everything. Ava began to look at Dr. Green as a “Surrogate” Mother, which was definitely an issue. Ava is also a student at Happy Hearts University, and she enrolled in Dr. Greens Introduction to Psychology class. Dr. Green was conflicted because she is not sure or not whether to drop Ava from her class because it may create a conflict of interest and Ava may not be able to differentiate Dr. Green as her Psychologist and as her Professor, but on the other hand she feels as though Ava already went through enough loss in her life and dropping Ava from her class may cause harm to their relationship and progress. She finally decided to keep Ava in her class, but they both went over guidelines so certain boundaries are not crossed. Initially Ava did well in Dr. Green’s class. She also began speaking to her Aunt who she began to form a connection with. As the drop/add period approached, Dr. Green’s realized Ava began slacking and not using any effort. She found herself conflicted again while grading Ava’s paper because she wanted to add more points, but they were undeserving. She thought about bringing up this issue during treatment but feared her honesty might harm their relationship. As stated, before the drop/add period was approaching, and Dr. Green is now contemplating whether to drop Ava because of the conflict of interest or keep her in the class because the end of Ava’s treatment is coming up as well.
Dr. Green’s behavior in the beginning of this scenario was appropriate, but when Ava described her as her “Surrogate” Mother, she should have clarified some boundaries to Ava because it was not appropriate and may cause a conflict of interest. According to the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (2008), which states that the professional should try and avoid conflict of interests that may interfere with the professional relationship and the judgement of the client. (1.06 Conflict of Interest) In this case if Ava keeps thinking of Dr. Green as her “surrogate” mother then that may hinder their professional relationship and cause issues down the line because Ava may cross more boundaries because she see’s Dr. Green’s as a mother not a psychologist. Also, when Dr. Green was initially deciding whether to keep Ava in her Psychology class, she may have had Code 1.01 Commitment to Clients (NSAW,2008), and Ethical Principle’s 3 and 4 Foster a person’s Self-Determination and the least harm principle (Gregory,2019) in mind, because as the scenario stated, Dr. Green feared that dropping Ava from her class ...


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