Emerging Practices of Counseling and Psychotherapy in China: Ethical Dilemmas in Dual Relationships

Ethics and Behavior 26 (1):63-86 (2016)
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A qualitative study was conducted with 48 Chinese counselors and psychotherapists who were interviewed in 2006 and an independent sample of 50 participants who responded to a survey in 2014. This study aims to explore how the new emerging expansion of mental health practice is related to issues and challenges of dual role relationship and how the well-engrained values and social characteristics of Chinese culture influences perceptions and resolution of ethical dilemmas. The participants identified similar dual relationships in 2006 and 2014: Incidental boundary crossings, a sexual or romantic relationship, a dual social relationship, and a professional dual relationship were the most frequently reported types of dual relationships encountered by Chinese practitioners, and the socioeconomic and cultural context and the development trajectory of counseling and psychotherapy in China play a significant role in shaping practitioners’ behaviors. The comparison of the data in 2006 and 2014 indicated that practitioners in psychotherapy and counseling have an improved awareness and understanding of ethical issues, evidenced by the decreasing cases of romantic and sexual relationships and increasing cases of social dual relationships influenced by the interrelatedness of traditional Chinese culture.



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Jun Gao
Columbia University

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Issues and ethics in the helping professions.Gerald Corey, Marianne Schneider Corey & Patrick Callanan - 2015 - United States: Brooks/Cole/Cengage Learning. Edited by Marianne Schneider Corey, Cindy Corey & Patrick Callanan.
Ethics in psychotherapy and counseling: a practical guide.Kenneth S. Pope - 2007 - San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Edited by Melba Jean Trinidad Vasquez & Nayeli Y. Chavez-Dueñas.
Dual Relationships in Psychotherapy.Kenneth S. Pope - 1991 - Ethics and Behavior 1 (1):21-34.

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