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The Ethically Attuned Therapist with Mary Jo Barrett

Ethics II: NP0046 – Session 3

Are you a new therapist who wants to know how to establish boundaries with your clients? Are you an established therapist who needs guidance? Join Mary Jo Barrett as she explores how therapists can interact with clients inside and out of therapy without crossing an ethical boundary.

After the session, please let us know what you think. If you ever have any technical questions or issues, please feel free to email

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5 Responses to The Ethically Attuned Therapist with Mary Jo Barrett

  1. wayne nickel says:

    A thought provoking session. I would have liked more on the boundaries of self disclosure as I feel it goes beyond not disclosing anything that is going on in a therapists current life.

  2. Joanna Hoskins says:

    I agree with the concept that we have to be ‘fit’ in order to be attuned at all times. I made up my mind I needed to be as present for clients coming in at 5pm as I am for those at 9am, so I began a physical-fitness program for the first time in my life and have kept it up for 30 years.
    As to the “pause and ponder” question, I find that a client who is aggressive and rageful takes me out of the process. When I become alarmed, I unclip. I’m working on pausing and getting in touch with both what the client is feeling and saying and also with my own skills of self-management and response. But that’s a big one for me.

  3. barrancosm says:

    This was an interesting session. I enjoyed the way in which the presenter created a close connection between ethics and therapy. The issue of self care and boundaries was a powerful reminder.

  4. mspmft says:

    Thank you for being so practical and realistic about having clients in your own community. It has happened to me a lot, particularly as my kids approached and lived through their teen years b/c teens are my speciality. Crossover happens! And I handle it pretty much as you laid out here. My one caveat: I won’t take on a client who I may run into naked in my gym locker room!

  5. heegka says:

    Sometimes current event self-disclosure may be
    appropriate and even helpful such as after Hurricane Sandy
    (or other natural disasters/terrorist events like the Boston marathon).
    I think it’s normal for clients to want to know that their therapist is OK.
    And it can be educational for the therapist as well. For instance,
    I was shocked to learn how many people did not know how to build
    a fire in their own fireplace when there was no power in the community
    for 2 weeks.
    Not everyone needs a 10 min break between clients
    but it’s an issue of pacing yourself and the work, and knowing
    when to take a break, when your schedule looks easy or difficult
    depending on who is coming in and what you are doing.

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