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Setting Clear and Ethical Boundaries with Clients


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Peer-Reviewed Journal Article References:
Barnett, J. E. (2011). Psychotherapist self-disclosure: Ethical and clinical considerations. Psychotherapy, 48(4), 315–321. 

Barnett, J. E., Behnke, S. H., Rosenthal, S. L., & Koocher, G. P. (2007). In case of ethical dilemma, break glass: Commentary on ethical decision making in practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 38(1), 7–12.

Bhatia, S. (2017). Conflict and bias in heuristic judgment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(2), 319–325.

Berzofsky, M. (2010). Review of Turning points in dynamic psychotherapy: Initial assessment, boundaries, money, disruptions and suicidal cases and The damaged core: Origins, dynamics, manifestations and treatment [Review of the books Turning points in dynamic psychotherapy: Initial assessment, boundaries, money, disruptions and suicidal cases, The damaged core: Origins, dynamics, manifestations and treatment, by S. Akhtar & S. Akhtar]. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 27(4), 539–540.

Bonitz, V. (2008). Use of physical touch in the "talking cure": A journey to the outskirts of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45(3), 391–404. 

Brend, D. M., Krane, J., & Saunders, S. (2020). Exposure to trauma in intimate partner violence human service work: A scoping review. Traumatology, 26(1), 127–136.

Carsky, M. (2020). How treatment arrangements enhance transference analysis in transference-focused psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic Psychology. Advance online publication.

Cautilli, J. (2018). Introduction to the special section on clinical and applied behavior analysis and ethics. Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice, 18(4), 416–418.

Conlin, W. E., & Boness, C. L. (2019). Ethical considerations for addressing distorted beliefs in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 56(4), 449–458.

Contrastano, C. M. (2020). Trainee’s perspective of reciprocal vulnerability and boundaries in supervision. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 30(1), 44–51. 

Dowell, N. M., & Berman, J. S. (2013). Therapist nonverbal behavior and perceptions of empathy, alliance, and treatment credibility. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 23(2), 158–165. 

Drum, K. B., & Littleton, H. L. (2014). Therapeutic boundaries in telepsychology: Unique issues and best practice recommendations. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 45(5), 309–315. 

Dugbartey, A. T., & Miller, M. (2009). Review of Boundaries in psychotherapy: Ethical and clinical explorations [Review of the book Boundaries in psychotherapy: Ethical and clinical explorations, by O. Zur]. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 50(1), 42–43.

El-Amin, T., Anderson, B. L., Leider, J. P., Satorius, J., & Knudson, A. (2018). Enhancing mental health literacy in rural America: Growth of Mental Health First Aid program in rural communities in the United States from 2008–2016. Journal of Rural Mental Health, 42(1), 20–31.

Fishel, A., Coleman, J., Rubin, D., Giulino, P., & Abel, M. R. (2020). Comparing couples’ and clinicians’ experiences of spoken and written reflections during and after a reflecting team consultation. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 9(4), 191–205.

Franeta, D. (2019). Taking ethics seriously: Toward comprehensive education in ethics and human rights for psychologists. European Psychologist, 24(2), 125–135. 

Geller, S. M., & Porges, S. W. (2014). Therapeutic presence: Neurophysiological mechanisms mediating feeling safe in therapeutic relationships. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 24(3), 178–192.

Gillebaart, M., Förster, J., & Rotteveel, M. (2012). Mere exposure revisited: The influence of growth versus security cues on evaluations of novel and familiar stimuli. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141(4), 699–714. 

Glebova, T., Foster, S. L., Cunningham, P. B., Brennan, P. A., & Whitmore, E. (2012). Examining therapist comfort in delivering family therapy in home and community settings: Development and evaluation of the Therapist Comfort Scale. Psychotherapy, 49(1), 52–61.

Hague, C., Holland, A. A., & Gottlieb, M. (2019). Selected ethical issues in computerized cognitive training. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology. Advance online publication.

Harris, K. A., Spengler, P. M., & Gollery, T. J. (2016). Clinical judgment faith bias: Unexpected findings for psychology research and practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 47(6), 391–401. 

Heide, F. J. (2013). “Easy to sense but hard to define”: Charismatic nonverbal communication and the psychotherapist. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 23(3), 305–319.

Hiefner, A. R., & Woods, S. B. (2019). Implementing integrated behavioral health: Testing associations between shared clinical time and space and provider referrals. Families, Systems, & Health, 37(3), 206–211. 

Hemingway, M. (2003). Do no harm—An ethical dilemma and one possible way out. The Behavior Analyst Today, 4(2), 151–153. 

James, K., & Stewart, D. (2018). Blurred boundaries—A qualitative study of how acts of self-harm and attempted suicide are defined by mental health practitioners. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 39(4), 247–254.

Jarnecke, A. M., Ridings, L. E., Teves, J. B., Petty, K., Bhatia, V., & Libet, J. (2020). The path to couples therapy: A descriptive analysis on a veteran sample. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 9(2), 73–89.

Jensen, E. J., Wieling, E., & Mendenhall, T. (2020). A phenomenological study of clinicians’ perspectives on barriers to rural mental health care. Journal of Rural Mental Health, 44(1), 51–61.

Jordan, L. S., Anderson, L. A., & Hall, J. N. (2021). Sowing the seeds: Sociocultural resistance in the psychological sciences. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. Advance online publication.

Joseph, D. L., Chan, M. Y., Heintzelman, S. J., Tay, L., Diener, E., & Scotney, V. S. (2020). The manipulation of affect: A meta-analysis of affect induction procedures. Psychological Bulletin, 146(4), 355–375. 

Jungwirth, J., & Walsh, R. (2020). Ethics and imagination in psychological practice. The Humanistic Psychologist. Advance online publication.

Kehoe, N. C. (2016). Religious professionals, ethical dilemmas, and mental illness. Spirituality in Clinical Practice, 3(3), 163–166.

Kertay, L., & Reviere, S. L. (1993). The use of touch in psychotherapy: Theoretical and ethical considerations. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 30(1), 32–40.

Kir-Stimon, W. (1977). "Tempo-statis" as a factor in psychotherapy: Individual tempo and life rhythm, temporal territoriality, time planes and communication. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 14(3), 245–248. 

Knapp, S., Gottlieb, M. C., & Handelsman, M. M. (2017). Self-awareness questions for effective psychotherapists: Helping good psychotherapists become even better. Practice Innovations, 2(4), 163–172.

Magnavita, J. J., Levy, K. N., Critchfield, K. L., & Lebow, J. L. (2010). Ethical considerations in treatment of personality dysfunction: Using evidence, principles, and clinical judgment. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41(1), 64–74. 

Margolis, S., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2020). Experimental manipulation of extraverted and introverted behavior and its effects on well-being. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 149(4), 719–731.

Mayer, D. M., Ong, M., Sonenshein, S., & Ashford, S. J. (2019). The money or the morals? When moral language is more effective for selling social issues. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104(8), 1058–1076.

Montes, S. D., & Zweig, D. (2009). Do promises matter? An exploration of the role of promises in psychological contract breach. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(5), 1243–1260. 

Muran, J. C., & Eubanks, C. F. (2020). Introduction: Pressure in the therapeutic relationship. In J. C. Muran & C. F. Eubanks, Therapist performance under pressure: Negotiating emotion, difference, and rupture (pp. 3–12). American Psychological Association.

Muran, J. C., & Eubanks, C. F. (2020). Therapist performance under pressure: Negotiating emotion, difference, and rupture. American Psychological Association.

Nissen-Lie, H. A., Orlinsky, D. E., & Rønnestad, M. H. (2021). The emotionally burdened psychotherapist: Personal and situational risk factors. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. Advance online publication.

Pachter, W. S., Fox, R. E., Zimbardo, P., & Antonuccio, D. O. (2007). Corporate funding and conflicts of interest: A primer for psychologists. American Psychologist, 62(9), 1005–1015. 

Pinner, D. H., & Kivlighan, D. M. III. (2018). The ethical implications and utility of routine outcome monitoring in determining boundaries of competence in practice. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 49(4), 247–254.

Roberge, V., & Boudrias, J.-S. (2021). The moderating role of employees’ psychological strain in the empowering leadership—Proactive performance relationship. International Journal of Stress Management, 28(3), 186–196.

Rodomonti, M., Crisafulli, V., Mazzoni, S., Curtis, J. T., & Gazzillo, F. (2020). The plan formulation method for couples. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 37(3), 199–206.

Ruiz, S., & Kubina, R. M., Jr. (2017). Impact of trial-based functional analysis on challenging behavior and training: A review of the literature. Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice, 17(4), 347–356.

Russinova, Z., Gidugu, V., Bloch, P., Restrepo-Toro, M., & Rogers, E. S. (2018). Empowering individuals with psychiatric disabilities to work: Results of a randomized trial. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 41(3), 196–207.

Sah, S., & Feiler, D. (2020). Conflict of interest disclosure with high-quality advice: The disclosure penalty and the altruistic signal. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 26(1), 88–104. 

Samaan, M. K., & Parker, C. E. (1973). Effects of behavioral (reinforcement) and advice-giving counseling on information-seeking behavior. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 20(3), 193–201. 

Samstag, L. (2012). Introduction to the special section on ethical issues in clinical writing. Psychotherapy, 49(1), 1–2.

Schoendorff, B., & Steinwachs, J. (2012). Using Functional Analytic Therapy to train therapists in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a conceptual and practical framework. International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, 7(2-3), 135–137.

Schwartz, R. A., Chambless, D. L., Milrod, B., & Barber, J. P. (2021). Patient, therapist, and relational antecedents of hostile resistance in cognitive–behavioral therapy for panic disorder: A qualitative investigation. Psychotherapy, 58(2), 230–241.

Shapiro, E. L., & Ginzberg, R. (2003). To accept or not to accept: Referrals and the maintenance of boundaries. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 34(3), 258–263.

Sheeran, P., Bosch, J. A., Crombez, G., Hall, P. A., Harris, J. L., Papies, E. K., & Wiers, R. W. (2016). Implicit processes in health psychology: Diversity and promise. Health Psychology, 35(8), 761–766. 

Slone, N. C., & Owen, J. (2015). Therapist alliance activity, therapist comfort, and systemic alliance on individual psychotherapy outcome. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 25(4), 275–288.

Spengler, P. M., & Pilipis, L. A. (2015). A comprehensive meta-reanalysis of the robustness of the experience-accuracy effect in clinical judgment. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62(3), 360–378.

Stenzel, C. L., & Rupert, P. A. (2004). Psychologists' Use of Touch in Individual Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 41(3), 332–345.

Summers, F. (2017). Sexual relationships between patient and therapist: Boundary violation or collapse of the therapeutic space? Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(2), 175–181. 

Twohig, M. P., Ong, C. W., Krafft, J., Barney, J. L., & Levin, M. E. (2019). Starting off on the right foot in acceptance and commitment therapy. Psychotherapy, 56(1), 16–20.

Tylim, I. (2004). Ethical notes on disrupted frames and violated boundaries. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 21(4), 609–613.

Urmanche, A. A., Oliveira, J. T., Gonçalves, M. M., Eubanks, C. F., & Muran, J. C. (2019). Ambivalence, resistance, and alliance ruptures in psychotherapy: It’s complicated. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 36(2), 139–147.

Van Kleef, G. A., van den Berg, H., & Heerdink, M. W. (2015). The persuasive power of emotions: Effects of emotional expressions on attitude formation and change. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(4), 1124–1142. 

Wallis, H., Bamberg, S., Schulte, M., & Matthies, E. (2021). Empowering people to act for a better life for all: Psychology’s contributions to a social science for sustainability. European Psychologist, 26(3), 184–194.

Wanzel, S. K., Schultze, T., & Schulz-Hardt, S. (2017). Disentangling the effects of advisor consensus and advice proximity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(10), 1669–1675.

Waska, R. (2011). Review of A disturbance in the field: Essays in transference-countertransference engagement [Review of the book A disturbance in the field: Essays in transference-Countertransference engagement, by S. Cooper]. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 28(3), 465–470. 

Weinzimmer, L. G., Dalstrom, M. D., Klein, C. J., Foulger, R., & de Ramirez, S. S. (2021). The relationship between access to mental health counseling and interest in rural telehealth. Journal of Rural Mental Health, 45(3), 219–228.

Wilson, C. M., & Christensen, B. K. (2012). Ethical issues relevant to the assessment of suicide risk in nonclinical research settings. Crisis: The Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention, 33(1), 54–59.

Wilson, J. L., Uthman, C., Nichols-Hadeed, C., Kruchten, R., Thompson Stone, J., & Cerulli, C. (2021). Mental health therapists’ perceived barriers to addressing intimate partner violence and suicide. Families, Systems, & Health, 39(2), 188–197.

Wu, K. S., & Sonne, J. L. (2021). Therapist boundary crossings in the digital age: Psychologists’ practice frequencies and perceptions of ethicality. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice.

Additional References:
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- Almeida, J., McManama O'Brien, K. H., & Norton, K. (2017). Social Work's Ethical Responsibility to Train MSW Students to Work with Suicidal Clients. Social Work, 62(2), 181-183.

- American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. (2015, January 1). Code of Ethics. Retrieved from

- American Counseling Association. (2014). ACA Code of Ethics. Retrieved from

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- Barker, R. L. (1998). Milestones in the Development of Social Work and Social Welfare. Washington, DC: NASW Press. Rankin, Mary, JD employed by the Healthcare Training Institute to research and write the article Evolution of Social Work Ethics. Edited by Tracy Appleton, LCSW. The reference Barker, R. L. (1998). Milestones in the Development of Social Work and Social Welfare. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

- Bedi, R. P., Davis, M. D., & Arvay, M. J. (2005). The Client's Perspective on Forming a Counselling Alliance and Implications for Research on Counselor Training. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 39(2), 71-85.

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- Brush, Janel J. (2005). Employed by Healthcare Training Institute to research and write the article Ethical Boundary Challenges Facing Therapists in a Small Town.
Bio - Janel Jean Brush, LISW, Jefferson, Iowa, with experience in domestic violence, Licensed Independent Social Worker currently working at an area education agency as a school social worker, work history as youth counselor for shelters and group homes, department of human service worker, and psychiatric technician.

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- Daniels, Jill L. (2005). Employed by Healthcare Training Institute to research and write the article Setting the Boundary between Empowerment and Enabling.
Bio - Jill Daniels, LSCSW, Salina, Kansas, Jill has experience in residential youth care, community mental health, special education, general public education, and a group worker in a wilderness treatment program.

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- Yonan, J., Bardick, A. D., & Willment, J. H. (2011). Ethical Decision Making, Therapeutic Boundaries, and Communicating using Online Technology and Cellular Phones. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 45(4), 307-326.

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