International Journal of
Psychology and Counselling

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Psychol. Couns.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2499
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJPC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 222

Full Length Research Paper

Dual relationships and boundary crossing: A critical issues in clinical psychology practice

Olusegun Emmanuel Afolabi
Department of Educational Foundation, University of Botswana, Botswana.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Received: 21 October 2014
  •  Accepted: 02 February 2015
  •  Published: 31 March 2015


The issue of boundary and dual relationship has been a major subject of concern in psychological practice. Ethics complaints on dual relationship and boundary crossing continue to rise both in nature and variety. This paper examined and shed light on the complexities surrounding dual relationship and boundary crossing in clinical psychology by explaining the pertinent moral and clinical worries that clinical psychologist's face daily in their practice. To achieve the objectives, the paper analysed underlying themes: 1) using empirical review of relevant literature to identify clinician’s attitudes toward risky and useful dual relationship and boundary crossing in clinical practice, 2) to learn whether involving in dual relationships negatively or positively influences therapeutic outcome, 3) analyze the concept, challenges and differences associated with dual relationship in clinical practice using decision making model, and 4) come up with strategies that help clinical psychologists to make flawless ethical standards as well as offering of moral guidance. Finally, the study suggests that, though dual relationship sometimes enhances therapy, aids treatment strategy, and promotes positive relationship between clinician and client, it also weakens the treatment process, hampers the clinician-client cooperation, and brings instant or lasting damage to the service user.
Key words: Boundary crossing, dual relationship, ethical decision making.