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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: This book discusses the nature of boundaries in psychotherapy and helps readers to understand the decision-making process. The author deals with many of the difficult issues including dual relationships, transference, billing and bartering, therapist self-disclosure, touch in therapy, and gifts.
Purpose: According to the author, although there have been articles and books published in this area, "there still seemed to be a vacuum — a need for a text that would include a flexible, context-based, and comprehensive look at various boundary issues, including nonsexual touch, self-disclosure, gifts, and home visits. My hope is to fill the vacuum, to satisfy the need, and, in one slim volume, to provide a broader view of therapeutic boundaries in all their diversity."
Audience: The intended audience includes clinicians, trainers, supervisors, instructors, students, ethicists, licensing boards, administrators, and attorneys. The author is a clinical psychologist and forensics and ethics consultant, as well as the director of the Zur Institute, which offers online education for clinicians.
Features: This easy to read and practical book is especially useful for graduate students and novice professionals whose many questions about boundary issues are answered here. Wonderful case studies make the material come alive. Reading this book is like sitting with a mentor or a seasoned colleague, who is imparting sage advice and a decision-making framework. The book deals with many of the salient boundary issues that a therapist will probably encounter in a career. I found myself saying, "yeah, yeah, excellent answer, good rationale," as I read the explanations of some of the therapeutic dilemmas. Dr. Zur is a master communicator and refreshingly honest who maintains a high standard of ethical, legal, and clinical behavior toward the client.
Assessment: This book should be must reading for graduate students in clinical and counseling psychology, along with social workers. Psychologists and psychiatrists would also gain much wisdom from this book. The author challenges some long held beliefs and the book is very practical because it covers information that is sometimes either overlooked or superficially treated in graduate school. The ultimate goal is to provide high quality care for the client and adhering to the principles espoused in this book will help us do just that.