Professor Tracey Smith
Having a social relationship with clients is considered unethical in the human services field due to the possibilities of the negative outcome for both the professional and the client. A social relationship with clients is the potential for exploitation or harm to a client such as dating, bartering, and entering into business arrangements with clients which represent examples of situations that should be best avoided. When working with clients, social workers must maintain clear boundaries to assure professional integrity and responsibility. Once the professional relationship is compromised the code of ethics in the human service field becomes jeopardized which can lead up to other major decisions such as client loss, loss of job, loss of license, imprisonment, and much more.
In chapter 7 the question was asked “Does social relationships with clients necessarily interfere with therapeutic relationships?” The chapter states that some would not agree being as though counselors and clients are able to handle such relationships as long as the priorities are clear. Some say that social relationships are particularly appropriate with clients who are not deeply disturbed and who are seeking personal growth. Other practitioners take the position that counseling and friendship should not be mixed. Practitioners say that the “friendship” could have a negative effect on the therapeutic process.
Some reasons for discouraging the practice of social relationships are the capabilities of client’s work ethics. It is said that some therapists may not challenge their clients enough if they become socially involved because they trust the client will follow their lead. Also that some therapists rather be liked and accepted by the client so that’s where the friendship is valued and the professionalism is challenged. Some clients may get personal with clients by telling...