Title

Ethics and the Ideal Helping Relationship: Response to Hill and Mamalakis

Keywords

therapy, clinical model, code of ethics

Abstract

The essence of therapy is the helping relationship. Thus, the goal of any clinical model, including a code of professional ethics, is to describe as definitively as possible the ideal helping relationship. Departures from ideal conditions must be warranted by significant and highly probable benefit, not outweighed by the possibility of countervailing harm. Some departures from ideal clinical conditions are of such gravity that they are expressly prohibited, as in the case of dual therapist‐sexual partner relationships. The prohibition of other departures is not absolute, but decidedly cautionary. We agree with Hill and Mamalakis that apparently unavoidable departures from ethical guidelines—as in the case of a dual relationship (DR) within religious, rural, or minority communities—must be cautiously evaluated to avoid too casual dismissal of a prudent and consensus‐based ethical standard.

Original Publication Citation

Butler, M. H., & Gardner, B. C. (2001). Ethics and the ideal helping relationship: Response to Hill and Mamalakis. Family Relations, 50(3), 209-214.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2001-7

Publisher

Family Relations

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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