Although therapists must maintain a professional relationship with their clients, it’s not always the case. The therapist-patient relationship becomes a gray area when the boundaries start to blur.
With that in mind, the big question is, ‘’Can you be friends with your therapist? There’s no precise or straightforward answer. A strong patient-therapist relationship means a better outcome for the patient.
On the other hand, crossing the line into friendship may compromise integrity and affect the treatment plan. To minimize the gray area, consider using remote mental health services over face-to-face sessions.
Ideally, a therapist should set clear boundaries and avoid crossing them for effective and safe treatment.
However, when the boundaries are crossed, resulting in friendship, it brings several ethical implications.
It’s human for a patient to confide in someone close to them. With that in mind, therapists may need to establish a degree of warmth and rapport for an effective treatment plan. Equally, therapists are human, making them vulnerable to client-therapist friendships.
Here are a few guidelines that can shape therapeutic relationships:
Therapy and friendship is a murky issue that has proven difficult to navigate. Although friendship is central to maintaining a fruitful therapeutic relationship, it can easily ruin the treatment plan. With that in mind, a therapist should act within professional boundaries.
More importantly, striking the right balance is essential for effective therapy.
A lack of clear boundaries between the client and therapist can disrupt the treatment plan. The mental health professional has to guide the interactions within a healthy space. To that end, it pays to work with experienced mental health professionals like MindVibe.
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