Patient-Therapist Boundary Issues: An Integrative Review of Theory and Research

David Smith, Marilyn Fitzpatrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Boundary issues, which regularly arise in therapy, can present difficult dilemmas for clinicians. The purpose of this article is to help clinicians resolve these dilemmas by integrating some of the theoretical positions with empirical evidence reported in the literature on boundary issues in counseling and psychotherapy. The authors review the concept of treatment boundaries and the ethical principles that underpin them. They also review common boundary violations and provide recommendations to attenuate harm done to clients when such boundary violations occur in therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-506
Number of pages8
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1995
Externally publishedYes


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