116 – The Ethical Dilemmas No One Talks About

Clarifying Boundaries
Mary Jo Barrett & Linda Stone Fish

The ethical rules for therapists used to be straightforward and unambiguous: no gifts, no dual relationships, and no out-of-session contact. But the ease of digital connection and the shift in our profession’s norms have introduced new questions about professional boundaries. How exactly do we manage relationships through email, texting, and social media? Should we Google clients before our first session? How do we deal with rating sites like Healthgrades? In this workshop, you’ll explore:

  • How to set the ground rules that establish norms for transparency and client empowerment
  • The do’s and don’ts of therapist self-disclosure
  • How to maintain our energy to ensure we make wise ethical decisions
  • How to handle ever-shifting online and social media boundaries with clients
  • Best methods for dealing with client celebrations and ritual occasions


Note: This workshop fulfills many state board requirements for training in ethics and risk management.

Mary Jo Barrett, MSW, is the founder and director of the Center for Contextual Change and the coauthor of Treating Complex Trauma: A Relational Blueprint for Collaboration and Change and The Systemic Treatment of Incest.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Mary Jo Barrett is the executive director and co-founder of The Center for Contextual Change, Ltd.
Non-financial: Mary Jo Barrett has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

Linda Stone Fish, MSW, PhD, the David B. Falk Endowed Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Syracuse University, is the author of Nurturing Queer Youth.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Linda Stone Fish is in private practice. She is a David B. Falk Endowed Professor at Syracuse University.
Non-financial: Linda Stone Fish is a member of the American Family Therapy Association.

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