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Standard of maintaining personal boundaries

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Professional Psychology: Debating Chamber · Psychology Journals · Psychologists


Psychologists should:

  • Refrain front engaging in any form of sexual or romantic relationship with persons to whom they are providing professional services, or to whom they owe a continuing duty of care, or with whom they have a relationship of trust. This might include a former patient, a student or trainee, or a junior staff member.
  • Refrain from engaging in harassment and strive to maintain their workplaces free from sexual harassment.
  • Recognise as harassment any unwelcome verbal or physical behaviour. including sexual advances, when:
    • such conduct interferes with another person's work or creates an intimidating,hostile or offensive working environment;
    • submission to this conduct is made implicitly or explicitly a term or condition of a persons education, employment or access to resources; or
    • submission or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for decisions affecting a person's education or employment prospects.
  • Recognise that harassment may consist of a single serious act or multiple persistent or pervasive acts, and that it further includes behaviour that ridicules, disparages, or abuses a person.
  • Make clear to students, supervisees, trainees and employees, as part of their induction, that agreed procedures addressing harassment exist within both the workplace and the Society.
  • Cultivate an awareness of power structures and tensions within groups or teams.


NB The above standards are based on the Code of Ethics and Conduct published by BPSin 2006.

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