Balancing Safety and Pleasure: Making ethical decisions when personal expression and professional boundaries collide
Time & Location
About The Event
February 27th and 28th
Saturday and Sunday, 9am - 12am PST
6 CE hours
Dual relationships put terror into most clinicians minds. Clinicians are forewarned that dual relationships post dangerous threats to our clients’ safety, yet little is said about the ethics of “multiple relationships” in daily living, especially in sex positive communities. In this skills-based workshop, we will examine applicable professional codes and practice ethical decision-making models that strengthen clinician’s skills in clarifying, navigating, and boundary setting that protect both clinician and clients from harm.
Clinicians are forewarned that dual relationships post dangerous threats to our clients’ safety, yet little is said about the ethics of “multiple relationships” in daily living, especially in sex positive communities. Our professional ethical codes tell us to be wary of either, yet these warnings do little to help us navigate more-complex interactions that clinicians have with personally-involved communities that we also may serve.
Clients are often drawn to work with kink-involved therapists because of shared-interests and anticipated resonance, yet there’s potential for dual/multiple relationships for the clinician. Clarity and ethical decision-making can assist the navigation of personal & professional identities in order to protect both clinician and client from harm.
Intensifying this, professional ethics statements offer little assistance when navigating professional and personal lives when clinicians serve clients with similar interests and identities.
This experiential 6 hour workshop on February 27th and 28th (both Sat and Sun from 9-12pm PST (12-3pm EST) will improve clinician's understanding of boundaries and skills using various theoretical frameworks of ethical decision-making. Designed also as an opportunity to exchange ideas about some of the real life challenges experienced by those who are kink-identified or kink-allied.
Carrie Jameson, LCPC (Chicago, Il) and Anna Randall, LCSW, MPH, DHS (San Francisco Bay Area) are sex therapists who work with a wide variety of sexually diverse individuals and relationships. As educators, clinicians, community leaders, they assist clinicians in intersecting identities
1) Define the difference between boundary crossings and boundary violations
2) Distinguish between helpful, harmful in multiple and dual relationships
3) Summarize their ethical code(s) guidance on dual relationships
4) Utilize an ethical decision making model to identify two factors to consider when entering into a dual relationship with a client
5) complex intersecting client/clinician relationships.
6) Identify two actions to take when a dual relationship occurs
The workshops will combine didactic instruction, case examples, and group discussion to demonstrate the practice of working with kink-involved clients.
(0- 15 min.)
Group Brainstorm activity to describe types of small communities, situations and
concerning types of dual/ multiple relationships.
(15 - 60 min.)
Dual and Multiple Relationships
Differentiating boundary crossings and boundary violations
Ethical dilemmas in collective sex, social media and specialized communities
(60 - 90 min.)
Defining and contrasting major ethical code's approach to dual relationships
(AASECT, APA, ACA, NASW, LFMT)
(90 - 115 min)
Case presentation- compare and contrast various professional codes
Role of record keeping and informed consent -
social media, informed consent , how to handle disclosures, record keeping
(115 - 130 min.) BREAK
(130 - 145 min.)
Presentation of ethical decision-making model(s)
(145 - 160 min.)
Group Activity - case studies on ethical decision-making models
(160 - 180 min.)
Small Group Exercise - practicing ethical decision-making models
(180 - 210 min.)
Large Group Sharing and Discussion of small group exercise.
(210- 220 min.)
Participants document any action items for current caseload or practice upon conference return.
(220 - 240 min.)
Group discussion on personal and practice integration of ethics, boundaries, dual/multiple relationships in intersecting communities we belong in.
Anna Randall, DHS, LCSW, MPH (she/her/hers) is co-founder & Executive Director of TASHRA - The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance (tashra.org), a national
nonprofit research and clinical training organization. She holds a Doctorate in Human Sexuality, a Masters in Public Health, and a Masters in Social Work from Boston Univ. Dr. Randall is a published researcher on the lived-experienced of kink-involved (BDSM & fetish) individuals, a sex therapist & adjunct faculty at Widener Univ. Recent involvements: Clinical Practice Guidelines for Working with People with Kink Interests, founder of the MOTE Conference, and Co-lead Investigator on the Kink Health Survey 2021 based on the 2016 preliminary findings.
Carrie Jameson, LCPC (she/hers) is a therapist in private practice in Chicago. Carrie works with people of all orientations, identities, and relationships, including heterosexual, LGBTQIA, POC, fetish, kink, and alternative relationships (such as consensual non-monogamy, swinging, and polyamory) and those who are working through issues related to sexuality. She has completed the sex therapist training program at the Modern Sexuality Institute and is currently in a Somatic Experiencing training program. Carrie is a member of the Kink Practice Guidelines team and is currently an adjunct processor at Adler University.
Carrie is passionate about working with kink involved clients and combining her experience with trauma, body based therapy, and sex therapy to provide a non-judgmnental place for people for kink-identified clients to receive mental health services. She is also passionate about educating other therapists how to become more kink and non-monogamy aware and regularly presents at KPACT (Kink, Polyamory Aware Chicago Therapists), MOTE, and guest lectures in local psychology professional schools.
Barnett, J. E. (2017a). An introduction to boundaries and multiple relationships in psychotherapy: Issues, challenges, and recommendations. In O. Zur (Ed.) Multiple relationships in psychotherapy and counseling: Unavoidable, common, and mandatory dual relations in therapy (pp. 17-29). New York, NY: Taylor and Francis.
Barnett, J. E., (2017b). Unavoidable Incidental Contacts and Multiple Relationships in Rural Practice. In Zur, O. (Ed.) (97-107) Multiple Relationships in Psychotherapy and Counseling: Unavoidable, Common and Mandatory Dual Relations in Therapy. New York: Routledge.
Berlin, R. (2014) "The Professional Ethics of Online Dating: Need for Guidance," Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Volume 53, Issue 9, 935 - 937
Forester-Miller, H., & Davis, T. E. (2016). Practitioner's guide to ethical decision making (Rev. ed.). Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/ethics/practioner's-guide-to-ethical-decision-making.pdf
Frank, K (2017). Rethinking Risk, Culture, and Intervention in Collective Sex Environments. Arch Sex Behav (2019) 48:3-30 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-018-1153-3
Gottlieb, M. C., & Younggren, J. N. (2009). Is there a slippery slope? Considerations regarding multiple relationships and risk management. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 40(6), 564-571.
Johnson, W. B. (2008). Top ethical challenges for military clinical psychologists. Military Psychology, 20(1), 49-62.
Kleinplatz, P & Moser, C. (2011. Toward Clinical Guidelines for Working with BDSM Clients. Contemporary Sexuality 38.6 (2004): 1-4. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web.
Kolmes, K. (2017). Digital and Social Media Multiple Relationships on the Internet. In Zur, O. (Ed.) Multiple Relationships in Psychotherapy and Counseling: Unavoidable, Common and Mandatory Dual Relations in Therapy. New York: Routledge.
Lazarus, A. A., & Zur, O. (Eds.). (2002). Dual relationships and psychotherapy. New York, NY, US: Springer Publishing Co.
Powls, J & Davies, J. (2012): A Descriptive Review of Research Relating to Sadomasochism: Considerations for Clinical Practice, Deviant Behavior, 33:3, 223-234. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01639625.2011.573391
Waldura, J., Arora, I., Randall, A., Farala, J.P., and Sprott, R.A. (2016). 50 Shades of Stigma: Exploring the Healthcare Experiences of Kink-Oriented Patients. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 13 (12) 1918-1929. DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.09.019
Williams, Marleen S. (2001) "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Managing Dual Relationships," Issues in Religion and Psychotherapy: Vol. 26 : No. 1 , Article 3.
Stevens, M.B. (2016). Social workers' experiences related to online dating : a descriptive study. Downloaded from https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Social-workers'-experiences-related-to-online-%3A-a-Stevens/07d93e1cf26c66a869e904ef364a86ee0de19f60
Zur, O. (2012). Multiple relationships are not always bad. http://nationalpsychologist.com/2012/01/multiple-relationships-not-always-bad/101587.html. Accessed: 10/19/2019.
Zur, O. Dual Relationships, Multiple Relationships, Boundaries, Boundary Crossings & Boundary Violations in Psychotherapy, Counseling & Mental Health. Online course synopsis https://www.zurinstitute.com/boundaries-dual-relationships/. Accessed online 10/22/2019
The complete two-day event of two hours each day is eligible for a total 4 CE units. CE credit is APA and/or AASECT credit. 2 CE credits are available if a person only completes one day of training..
CARAS is the organization that will sponsor the CE credit. CARAS is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CARAS maintains responsibility for this program and its content. www.carasresearch.org
Many states honor APA CE credits for other licenced health professionals, please check with your own state licensing board.
This program meets the requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and is approved for 2 CE credits per module. These CE credits may be applied toward AASECT certification and renewal of certification. Completion of this program does not ensure or guarantee AASECT certification. For further information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information on APA CE credit, please contact Richard Sprott at email@example.com directly.
You may cancel up to ten days before a scheduled workshop without penalty and receive a credit for another workshop or a refund minus $10 for processing costs. If you cancel less than ten days before, you will be responsible for payment. CARAS reserves the right to cancel any event that is less than 60% full within 4 business days of the class. If CARAS cancels an educational event, you will receive a credit toward another workshop.
CARAS Complaint Resolution Procedures
CARAS is committed to conducting all activities in compliance with the American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles of Psychologists. CARAS will adhere to all legal and ethical responsibilities to be nondiscriminatory in promotional activities, program content, and the treatment of program participants. Monitoring and assessment of these standards will be the responsibility of the Continuing Education Administrator. While CARAS makes every attempt to assure fair treatment for all participants, occasionally complaints will arise about continuing education programs. The procedures for addressing complaints are as follows:
When a participant files a complaint, either orally or in written format, and expects action on the complaint, the following actions will be taken.
1. If the grievance concerns a speaker, the content presented by the speaker, or the style of presentation, the individual making the complaint will be asked to put his/her comments in written format. The on-site CE Coordinator will then pass the comments on to the speaker, assuring the confidentiality of the complainant.
2. If the complaint concerns a workshop offering, its content, level of presentation, or the facilities in which the workshop was offered, on-site CE Coordinator will mediate and attempt to resolve the complaint on-site. If the participant requests action, the Coordinator is empowered to:
a. attempt to move the participant to another workshop, or
b. provide a credit for a subsequent year's workshop, or
c. provide a partial or full refund of the workshop fee.
Actions 2b and 2c will require a written note, documenting the grievance, for record keeping purposes. The note need not be signed by the grieved individual.
3. If the complaint is made after the program has occurred or concerns the CARAS CE programming more generally, the CARAS Complaint Panel will address it as follows:
a. Request that the complainant submit a written complaint and propose an appropriate remedy,
b. provide the instructor(s) with the opportunity to respond to the complaint and propose an appropriate remedy,
c. review these documents, make a final determination, and decide on any remedy.
For further information, contact the Executive Director of CARAS, Richard A. Sprott,
at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 510-919-4488. You can also contact us at
CARAS, P.O. Box 812, Rio Vista, CA 94571
- Licensed Professional w CEs$225$2250$0
- Non/Pre-licensed Professional$110$1100$0