Counselling Dilemma: Dealing with Therapeutic Boundaries
You work as a family counsellor for a community service organisation. As a counsellor you are required to see your clients at their own home to offer counselling support. You have been working for quite some time with Lucy, a single mother with 2 kids (boys). However, you have been unable to develop good rapport with this client. After you last visit to Lucy’s home you feel that she is starting to develop rapport and is feeling more comfortable to open up and disclose her issues.
One week has passed and you are looking forward to continue building your relationship with Lucy. However, when you get to Lucy’s home she looks very distressed. One of her kids is feeling very sick and couldn’t go to school. Lucy wants to take him to see a doctor, but she doesn’t have a car, her house is 3 miles away from the closest bus stop and she discloses to you that she does not have enough money to pay for a taxi.
Your organisational policy states that counsellors should not offer services such as money, ride, baby sit, grocery shopping, etc, to clients. If the client needs any of these services they need to contact the community centre to arrange such support. However, when you call the community centre to arrange transportation, nobody is available to help at this time. Lucy asks if you could take them to see a doctor as your car is equipped with a baby seat.
As the Counsellor, what would you do? What factors do you need to consider? What are the consequences if you agree to give the client a ride? What are the consequences if you deny the ride to the client? How could it impact your relationship with the client?