While the helping professions have clear prohibitions on sexual involvement with clients, there is less guidance about the phenomena that can lead to such transgressions. How can clinicians assure that the warmth, trust and positive regard that are hallmarks of the helping relationship do not become distorted and destructive and that nascent feelings of attraction are not ignored or mishandled? In this session, Kim Strom-Gottfried squarely addresses how to respond to and handle such feelings in an ethical manner. To illustrate her points, Dr. Strom-Gottfried presents sexual dilemmas and boundary issues that most often arise in the therapeutic encounter, and strategies to identify and treat them effectively and judiciously.
Kim Strom-Gottfried, Ph.D, is a Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has written, researched and taught extensively on the topic of ethics within social work practice. She is actively involved in continuing professional education—she has developed numerous workshops and frequently gives training seminars, including on the issues of professional ethics. She has served on NASW’s national committee on inquiry, the group that deals with violations of the NASW Code of Ethics. Her practice experience includes direct service, administrative and planning positions in the field of mental health, through nonprofit and public agencies.