Episode 64 – Can Therapists Accept Gifts From Clients?

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Can you accept gifts from clients in therapy? Does it violate the Code of Ethics? What if you’ve developed a relationship deeper than just client/therapist?

In this episode of The Shrink Think podcast, Nathan and Aaron answer all these questions and more as they share their thoughts on giving gifts in therapy.

In This Episode

Summary

  • Can you accept gifts in therapy?
  • What can rejecting a gift do to the client relationship?
  • What does the Code of Ethics from the ACA say?

Can you accept gifts in therapy?

  • In grad school, they drum it into you that accepting a gift will equal losing your practice!
  • In some cultures, small gifts are considered tokens of respect or gratitude.
  • It really depends on the situation/relationship.

What can rejecting a gift do to the client relationship?

  • When you instantly reject the gift, you’re not really considering some elements of the therapeutic relationships.
  • While denying the gift, if you tell the client that it could get them in trouble, they may feel like they’re being scolded for making a nice gesture.
  • All in all, rejecting the gift can do more harm than good.

What does the Code of Ethics from the ACA say?

  • Counselors definitely understand the challenges when it comes to receiving gifts.
  • When determining whether to accept the gift, you must take into consideration the nature of your client/therapist relationship and the monetary value of the gift.
  • You must also take into consideration the client’s motivation for giving the gift and the counselor’s motivation for accepting the gift.

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aaron potratz and nathan hawkins therapists standing smiling

Meet Nathan & Aaron

Nathan Hawkins and Aaron Potratz are both licensed therapists and clinical supervisors in the state of Oregon. They each own their own private group counseling practices and co-own a third group practice together. Nathan and Aaron have been in the field since 2004 and 2007, respectively, and have over 100,000 hours of therapy experience each. On their show, they discuss facing fears and common challenges from a therapist’s point of view, imparting wisdom and humanity to their viewers. Along the way, they hope to not only share their insights but bring some light-hearted entertainment to make the journey easier.

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Episode 64