Possible Sexual Misconduct in Professional Counseling

Listed below is a situation that may or may not violate codes of ethics when working with families. Study the scenario carefully and then go to the codes of ethics for AAMFT, IAMFC, AACC, and ACA to find the ethical answers to the dilemmas presented. Be sure to record the code location on each ethical code where the violation or permission is given for the counselor to do what had been done (ex: AAMFT 2.2 or ACA B.7.2).

You are a young, single, male counselor with your own private agency. You saw a family for a year in 2011. During the counseling sessions, you realized there was an attraction between you and the oldest daughter. Since you did not want to hinder the therapeutic relationship you had built with the family, you did not pursue a romantic relationship nor did you say anything about your feelings. After one of the family sessions, the daughter mentions this attraction to you and admits her romantic feelings. You and she talk honestly about this and agree not to pursue this attraction. Later, the family seems to improve and the counseling is terminated. It has been 24 months since your last counseling session, and you see the daughter of your former client at the gym. In a brief conversation, the two of you decide to have dinner together next week. Have you, as a professional counselor, conducted yourself in an ethical manner?

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