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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.
By setting forth clinically based criteria relevant to assessing whether harm is likely to occur, paragraph (b) confirms this balance of values, emphasizes the importance of avoiding harm in these relationships, and provides concrete direction in how to assess the likelihood of exploitation.
Second, evidence available at the time standard 10.08 was written suggests that the significant majority of these involvements take place within two years of termination.
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.
The harms are so clear that our code, like the codes of all major mental health organizations, absolutely prohibits such involvements.Sexual involvements with former clients and patients, however, are more complicated from an ethical perspective.Time may attenuate the intensity and even the likelihood that an involvement will result in harm.The Ethics Code seeks to avoid harm and protect autonomy, informed by solid clinical thinking and good research. Stephen Behnke APA Ethics Director December 2004, Vol 35, No.11 Print version: page 76 The APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct--our ethics code--consists of general principles and standards of conduct, as its title reveals.
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Many things can cause mental health problems - physical or mental illness, past experiences, difficult relationships, drug and alcohol problems or stresses like unemployment.