restricted access Ethics Commentary

In Case Scenario 1, we are introduced to Ms. J, a young woman with BPD who is emotionally unstable, depressed and self-injuring. We are asked to contemplate what her current therapist ought to do in the context of an abruptly-discontinued therapeutic relationship. The case description focuses on the issue of boundary transgressions and their impact on psychotherapeutic treatment, inviting the reader to consider what constitutes an appropriate relationship between a therapist and patient. In this commentary, I will examine the therapeutic alliance discussing the practitioner’s moral obligations in their relationship with Ms. J. I will also consider the rightness or wrongness of the therapist’s actions, possible motivations and intentions, concentrating on the aims of psychotherapy and the nature and value of boundaries in the clinical relationship.