§ 49.73. Dual or multiple relationships affecting the licensees judgment.
(a) Dual or multiple relationships defined. Dual or multiple relationships occur when the licensee engages in multiple or ongoing interactions with clients/patients, their romantic partners or immediate family members of clients/patients in more than one context, whether professional, social or business. Dual or multiple relationships can occur simultaneously or consecutively.
(b) Dual or multiple relationships prohibited.
(1) A licensee shall avoid dual or multiple relationships and conflicts of interest with any client/patient which could impair the licensees professional judgment or increases the risk of client/patient exploitation.
(2) A licensee may not undertake or continue a professional relationship with a client/patient, supervisee or student when the objectivity or competency of the licensee is, or could reasonably be expected to be, impaired or when the relationship with the client/patient, supervisee or student is exploitative.
(3) A licensee shall carefully consider familial, social, emotional, financial, supervisory, political, administrative and legal relationships with a client/patient or a person related to or associated with the client/patient to assure that impaired judgment or exploitation does not occur within the professional relationship.
(4) Licensees shall always carefully consider the potentially harmful effects of dual or multiple relationships on their practice and on their clients/patients. A licensee shall refrain from entering into, or promising another to enter into, professional, social or business relationships with another person if it appears reasonably likely that the relationship might impair the licensees objectivity or otherwise interfere with the licensees effectiveness or might harm or exploit the client/patient.
(5) When a dual or multiple relationship cannot be avoided, a licensee shall take reasonable professional precautions, such as informed consent, consultation, supervision and documentation, to ensure that judgment is not impaired and that no exploitation occurs.
(6) If a licensee finds that, due to unforeseen factors, a potentially harmful dual or multiple relationship has arisen with a client/patient, the licensee shall attempt to resolve it with due regard for the best interests of the client/patient and maximum compliance with the act and this chapter.
(c) Conflicts of interest. When a licensee provides services to two or more people who have a relationship with each other, such as couples or family members, the licensee shall clarify with all parties which individuals will be considered clients/patients and the nature of the licensees professional obligation to the various individuals who are receiving services. A licensee who anticipates or should reasonably anticipate a conflict of interest among the individuals receiving services or who anticipates or should reasonably anticipate having to perform in potentially conflicting roles, such as a licensee who is asked or ordered to testify in a child custody dispute or divorce proceeding involving clients/patients, shall clarify the roles with the parties involved and take reasonable action to minimize any conflict of interest.
The provisions of this § 49.73 adopted September 17, 2010, effective September 18, 2010, 40 Pa.B. 5320.
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