Extending Counseling Boundaries

Counselors consider the risks and benefits of extending current counsel- ing relationships beyond conventional parameters. Examples include attend- ing a client’s formal ceremony (e.g., a wedding/commitment ceremony or graduation), purchasing a service or product provided by a client (excepting unrestricted bartering), and visiting a cli- ent’s ill family member in the hospital. In extending these boundaries, counselors take appropriate professional precau- tions such as informed consent, consul- tation, supervision, and documentation to ensure that judgment is not impaired and no harm occurs.

Personal Values Counselors are aware of—and avoid imposing—their own values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Counselors respect the diversity of clients, train- ees, and research participants and seek training in areas in which they are at risk of imposing their values onto clients, especially when the counselor ’s values are inconsistent with the client’s goals or are discrimina- tory in nature.

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