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Gifts In Psychotherapy


This resource page is part of an Online Course
Gifts In Psychotherapy: Ethical & Clinical Considerations

CE Credit Hours for Psychologists. CE Credit Hours (CEUs) for LMFTs, Social Workers, Counselors and Nurses.
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Codes of Ethics and Regulations

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References that Frown Upon Gift Giving in Therapy

  • Even though most codes of ethics do not consider accepting gifts from clients as unethical (most do not even mention it in the code) some therapists view it in negative terms:
    • In the Room: It claims that:
      • Gifts in general should not be accepted although see the debate below
      • The trick is to acknowledge and accept the meanings behind the gift but not the gift itself.

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Additional References

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapists. (2012). AAMFT Code of ethics. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from:
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  • Knox, S., DuBois, R., Smith, J., Hess, S. A., & Hill, C. E. (2009). Clients' experiences giving gifts to therapists. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 46, 350-361.
  • Knox, S., Hess, S. A., Williams, E. N., & Hill, C. E. (2003). Here's a little something for you: How therapists respond to clients gifts. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 50, 199-210.
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  • Zur, O. (Ed.) (2017). Multiple Relationships in Psychotherapy and Counseling: Unavoidable, Common and Mandatory Dual Relations in Therapy. New York: Routledge.

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