The relationship you have with your counsellor is different than other relationships. You will be sharing sensitive, personal, and private information with your counsellor, but you will not know as much about them. This can be difficult sometimes, but as a professional, your counsellor is part of an association that has rules about the types of interactions they are allowed to have with clients. Your counselor is prohibited from engaging in a “dual relationship” with you -- one other than that of client and therapist. As part of these rules your counsellor:
--- Cannot have any kind of friendship, romantic or sexual relationship with a former or current client, or with any people close to a client.
--- Cannot have any other kind of business relationship with you besides the therapy itself.
--- Cannot be your therapist if they are related to you or if they are your friend.
--- Cannot give legal, medical, financial, or any other type of professional advice.
--- Cannot give or receive gifts from clients except tokens with personal meaning to the therapy process.
--- Cannot be your supervisor, teacher, or evaluator while engaged in counselling with you.
--- Cannot attend personal parties/events of clients even if you invite them.
Meanwhile, in order to protect your confidentiality and privacy, your counsellor will not approach or acknowledge you if s/he sees you outside the session unless you approach her/him.
When you have a counsellor, it’s important you feel safe and comfortable with this person so that naturally you can open up. If you realize you’re not comfortable with your counsellor, you have the autonomy to end the therapy anytime. Likewise, counsellors have a right to feel safe in their work, and also can ask your care to be transferred should they feel uncomfortable or that they are not the best counsellor for you. This can occur if counsellors believe their personal values, experiences, or reactions will interfere with their ability to provide you with the best possible care.