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At Personal Risk

This book addresses boundary violations through the lens of the professional-client relationship, drawing examples of misconduct from law, medicine, religion, education and psychotherapy.

One of two text used in the FaithTrust Institute Teaching Healthy Boundaries Course.

Marilyn R. Peterson
Pub. Date: 1992
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-393-71052-6
Format: Paperback, 198 pp, Size: 5.25 x8.25 in


Professionals can no longer afford to be un-informed about their professional vulnerability. A better informed public and increasingly litigious society place them at risk for possible legal action and professional sanctions when they violate professional-client boundaries.

The first three chapters cover the social context of the relationship, the inherent power differential that delineates the relational boundaries, and professionals' difficulty with managing that power appropriately. Also discussed are the four characteristics of a boundary violation-a reversal of roles, a secret, a double-bind, and an indulgence of professional privilege- and the damage to the client. Throughout the book, clients share their stories of violations-sometimes blatant, often subtle-in relationships. These vignettes, along with Peterson's engaging style, transform ethics from dry, abstract, and theoretical principles to vital struggles to understand and appropriately manage power with clients.


This book is used as text for a FaithTrust Institute class, Teaching Healthy Boundaries . (The other text is Sex and the Spiritual Teacher.) These materials are also available at a package rate.

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