Dual Relationships Case Study

1271 Words 6 Pages
Dual Relationships: Dr. Green’s Ethical Decisions
Ayesha Youngblood
Towson University

Abstract
The situations that will be addressed in this paper, are the unethical decisions made by Dr. Green, causing conflicts of interests, equal treatment, and objectiveness. Many professionals are put in situations where a dual relationship can occur. It is important to understand how to avoid dual relationships, and or what to do if it is unavoidable. By reviewing the NASW Code of Ethics and the Ethical Principle Screen, one can decide the best steps to take if put in a dual relationship. Research found that dual relationships can cause harm to either the professional, the client, or both, if the situation falls under the three guidelines
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In this case study Dr. Joy Green is both a professor and psychologist to a girl named Ava Jones. Dr. Green has been working with Ava on her depression, that arose after the death of her parents. Ava has mentioned to Dr. Green that she views her as a motherly figure. Dr. Green realized that for the upcoming semester, Ava has signed up for her psychology class, and hesitated to decide if she should let Ava take her class. She did not want problems to occur because of her relationship with Ava as her psychologist, but decided to allow Ava to take her class, and went over the confidentiality that they have in their relationship outside of the classroom. They both agreed not to discuss their psychology sessions outside of the office. After a while Ava started doing poorly in class, but well in her psychology treatment. Dr. Green found herself being very lenient with Ava’s grades, and allowed her to get away with sleeping during class. Dr. Green became conflicted with whether or not to keep Ava in her class, instead of creating more issues in Ava’s life since she is beginning to get a lot better. The situations that will be addressed in this paper, are the unethical decisions made by Dr. Green, causing conflicts of interests, equal treatment, and …show more content…
Green and Ava, Dr. Green’s behavior was not ethical based upon the Code of Ethics, and the Ethical Principle Screen. According to the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics (2008), one should try to avoid dual relationship when possible. If a dual relationship does occur, one must set boundaries (1.06c conflicts of interest). In this case Dr. Green had a conflict of interest because of her knowledge on Ava’s psychological state, and had a relationship with her outside of the classroom. Knowing Ava on a personal level caused Dr. Green to make unethical, and non-rational decisions. Her interests of her as a teacher are conflicted with her interest as a psychologist. According to the Ethical Principles Screen (2012) equal treatment should be applied to any and all that are in the same or equally the same situation. If harm to client or others occurs then inequality may take place. (principle 2 social justice). In this case Dr. Green was treating Ava unequally to the other students. She was treating Ava unfairly by giving her grades she did not deserve, because she knew Ava’s history. Dr. Green should continue to see Ava as her psychologist but not as her professor. Dr. Green seems to base her actions as teacher, on her role as a psychologist to Ava. Dr. Green has more interest in Ava’s progression in her sessions than her education progress in the

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