The Therapist in a Missions Context: Avoiding Dual Role Conflicts
Rosemead School of Psychology
Recent involvement of mental health workers in the task of world missions has led to greater awareness of the ethical challenges faced in this context. The challenge of avoiding dual role conflicts is addressed here. Dual role conflicts occur when the therapist's involvement with the client in a role other than that of therapist jeopardizes the client's well-being by interfering with the therapy or harming the client. The characteristics of the missions context that contribute to dual role conflicts are explored, followed by an examination of the ways in which dual roles can become problematic from a social psychology perspective. It is suggested that problems can occur when expectations between two roles are in conflict, when obligations from two roles are incompatible, or when the power inherent in the therapist role leads to ethical violations. Finally, five suggestions are offered for minimizing the adverse effects of dual roles on the missionary client and on the therapist.
Journal of Psychology and Theology
DOI of Published Version
Barber, Betsy A. and Hall, M. Elizabeth Lewis, "The Therapist in a Missions Context: Avoiding Dual Role Conflicts" (1996). Faculty Articles & Research. 746.