123 The Ethically Attuned Therapist

Mary Jo Barrett • Thursday All Day

Mary Jo BarrettThe ethical rules for therapists used to be unambiguous: no gifts, no self-disclosure, no dual relationships, no out-of-session contact, and, of course, no sex. But today the rules against boundary violations aren’t so straightforward, nor do the old prohibitions always seem clinically useful. In this workshop, we’ll explore both the ethical dilemmas we face and the compassion fatigue that makes us vulnerable to boundary confusion. We’ll discuss:

  • The role of compassion fatigue and lack of self-care and attunement in boundary violations
  • Setting the ground rules for therapy that establish norms for transparency and client empowerment from the very first contact with clients
  • The do’s and don’ts of therapist self-disclosure
  • Negotiating dual relationships and participating in client celebrations and ritual occasions

Note: This workshop fulfills many state-board requirements for training in ethics and risk management.
Mary Jo Barrett, MSW, the founder and director of the Center for Contextual Change, teaches at the University of Chicago. She’s the coauthor of Systemic Treatment of Incest.

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