Ethics of dating

The possibility of post-termination sexual involvements raises a number of empirical questions directly relevant to our ethical analysis, as the following six examples show: Note three things about Ethical Standard 10.08.

First, by creating an absolute prohibition against sexual involvements for two years post-termination and then placing the burden on the psychologist to demonstrate that the involvement is not exploitative, the standard gives priority to nonmaleficence while leaving room for the exercise of client autonomy.

10.08 SEXUAL INTIMACIES WITH FORMER THERAPY CLIENTS/PATIENTS (a) Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with former clients/patients for at least two years after cessation or termination of therapy.

(b) Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with former clients/patients even after a two-year interval except in the most unusual circumstances.

Ethical Standard 10.08 is an excellent illustration of how the code accomplishes this essential function.

In the alternative, the evidence may suggest that relaxing the prohibitive aspects of the standard is appropriate.

In whichever direction the standard evolves, its evolution should rest upon solid clinical thinking and good research.

Permanently prohibiting involvement may compromise the client's exercise of autonomy in determining with whom, and how, to be involved in personal relationships.

The issue of sexual involvements with former clients therefore requires its own analysis to determine when, if ever, such involvements may be ethically permissible or, put a different way, whether and to what extent such involvements should be prohibited.

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In addition to the ethical issues involved, starting a relationship with someone who is married or otherwise attached can result in many problems and conflicts that can significantly impact your work and personal life. If you’re going to fall in love at work be sure to continue to do your job well.

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