The Learning Catalog

Maintaining Appropriate Professional Boundaries: Exploring Ethical Obligations of Mental Health Professionals



Can mental health professionals work with clients that they know from outside of the job? Can you barter with clients for your services? Mental health professionals are charged with the legal and ethical responsibility to maintain professional boundaries, but the obligation isn’t always so easy to discern.

This webinar will include real-world context to ethical concerns often experienced by professionals in practice in maintaining appropriate professional boundaries. The training program will provide a framework to contemplate ethical dilemmas and make informed decisions that insulate professionals from legal liability while protecting clients from harm.

About the Instructor:

Kathryn Krase is a social worker, lawyer, researcher and educator. Dr. Krase is the Principal Consultant for Krase Consulting, in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Krase is an expert in professional ethics. Dr. Krase also leads the initiative, Making the Tough Call, a project that educates and informs professional reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect so that they are prepared to intervene to protect children when necessary, while respecting and supporting family integrity wherever possible.


In this webinar, participants will learn to:

  • Describe the ethical and legal responsibility of mental health professionals to maintain appropriate professional boundaries with their clients.
  • Define dual relationships.
  • Apply a framework to avoid dual relationships whenever possible.
  • Apply a framework to minimize potential harm to clients and the professional whenever dual relationships are not avoidable.
  • Describe how to demonstrate that a client has not been exploited or coerced, intentionally or unintentionally.
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