In this context a “dual relationship” means either a meeting between or even a sighting of or by you and me (the therapist) outside the therapy room.
Therapy is a very personal process and is necessarily both private and confidential. It is therefore vital that you (as the client) feel absolutely safe about the confidentiality of our relationship with me (the therapist). Obviously, everyone is different and has a different “take” on the possibility of suddenly bumping into their therapist unexpectedly.
Such a meeting could be either insignificant (i.e. just seeing the other walking along the street), potentially problematic (i.e. finding that we are sitting next to each other on a plane for a few hours), challenging (i.e. encountering each other in a situation that contradicts your pre-conceptions ) or socially problematic (meeting at a party or with friends, partners etc).
I will raise this issue at the assessment meeting and will suggest that the rules below apply. However, if you for any reason wish different rules to apply then please say so at the assessment so that we may discuss the issue.
1. Upon meeting or seeing each other we should acknowledge each other perhaps by nodding or saying “hello” but not enter into either a long or deep conversation.
2. We will not expect to be introduced to anyone with whom either of us are with at the time, if an explanation of how we know each other is needed then we should be non-committal about how we know each other. I confirm that I will not identify you as a client of mine in any event either before, during or after having seen or met you.
3. At the next session I will raise the fact that we have met or that I have seen you. If you have seen me and I have been unaware of the fact I would invite and encourage you to mention it at the next session. We will then have an opportunity to address issues (if any) that may have arisen as a result of the meeting or sighting of each other.