Dual Relationships And The Ethical Dilemma

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The meaning of the word ethics can be interpreted different ways depending on who you ask as it deals with an individual’s moral code. The dictionary states that ethics is an area of study that deals with ideas about what is good and bad behavior; rules about what is morally right or wrong; the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethics). On any given day, we all make decisions based on our individual moral code and things such as dual relationships have no right or wrong way to go about them.
This case study examines dual relationships and the ethical dilemma they can present within the confines of a counselor’s role. When a counselor assumes a second relationship with a client, this can cause actual or potential conflict between the counselor’s professional duties and the help they are trying to provide their client. In fact, it could be argued that a dual relationship between a counselor and patient could potentially do more harm to the patient than good especially if the counselor is not able to be objective as a result.
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On one hand we have Teresa, a mother of an adolescent whose best friend (Chris) is her best friends (Evelyn) son. On the other hand, Teresa is also the counselor for Evelyn’s son. How does one go about handling a situation like this? Is it ethically acceptable to take on such a responsibility? In this position paper I will be referencing the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers, Harvard Business Review on Ethics and class notes in order to come to a conclusion on whether or not Teresa should continue her counseling sessions with

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