Many, if not most, will tell you “once a client, always a client.” Some might go so far as to say that treatment doesn’t actually end after you stop seeing the client, but continues perhaps indefinitely. Ask your colleagues and co-workers, and see what they say.The writers of currently have the character Robin dating her previous therapist.
If Hollywood is an indicator of our most common fantasies, modern Americans want to sleep with their therapists.
In California, there is a legal clause that states that a personal relationship between a previous therapist and client may be pursued two years after the termination of services.
However, research tells us that the power imbalance remains strong, even after time has passed, and that romance in this situation is usually still emotionally damaging to the one who was the client.
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Editor’s note: American Counseling Association members received the 2005 ACA Code of Ethics bundled with the December 2005 issue of Counseling Today.Completed over a three-year period, this revision of the ethical code is the first in a decade and includes major updates in areas such as confidentiality, dual relationships, the use of technology in counseling, selecting interventions, record keeping, end-of-life issues and cultural sensitivity.