Online Dual Relationships or Multiple Relationships on the Internet
By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.
This page provides background and resources on the new and evolving complexities of online multiple relationships dual relationships on the Internet.
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Modern digital and Internet technologies have not only proliferated across the globe, but also have raised many complex clinical, ethical, and legal issues for psychotherapists, counselors, social workers, psychiatrists, administrators, and other mental health care providers, as well as for clients, patients, and other consumers of mental health services. Cyberspace provides rich and fertile ground for all sorts of multiple relationships. Most common are the social-digital multiple relationships on social networks that are created, for example, when therapists accept their clients as friends' on Facebook or co-participate in Second Life. Similarly, LinkedIn or any social networking programs create social multiple relationships when therapists and clients knowingly or unknowingly interact. Sometimes clients may join a social network where the therapist is involved under a pseudonym, which also creates multiple relationships that the therapists may not even know exist.
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