Protecting Your Professional License While Dating a Client

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Feb 13, 2024 | 0 Comments

Most professional license boards find professional and client dating to be taboo and advise against it. However, some boards strictly prohibit it and will punish professionals who are caught violating the rule. If you or someone you know has been called in front of their professional license board to defend themselves from claims that they are dating a client, Lento Law Firm can help. Call 888-535-3686 today or schedule a consultation online.  

Navigating Client Attraction to Protect Your License. 

While several professions create a relationship between the professional and the customer, it is usually a platonic one that is based on a need for services. Yet there are others that create a deeper connection between professional and client. For instance, counselors and therapists generate a deep bond with their clients that is based on trust and vulnerability. When this bond is violated in some way, it can prevent the client from achieving the relief or ease they need.  

As such, counselors and therapists are generally prohibited by their state licensing board from forming personal relationships with their clients. For instance, in Arizona, engaging in a dual relationship with a client that impairs the therapist's objectivity is forbidden. However, it is strictly outlawed by both the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the American Psychological Association (APA) unless it falls into a narrow gap in either of their policies.  

According to the ACA, dual relationships are allowed if they are nonsexual and do not impact the counselor's impartiality. With the APA, sexual relationships are allowed if at least two years have passed since the end of therapy – and they have had no sexual contact in between – and if they can demonstrate that their attraction to the client did not impact the therapy.  

How Lento Law Firm Can Help 

Therapist or counselor and patient relationships are complex, but if you find yourself attracted to your client, it can be even more complicated to navigate. Most state licensing boards prohibit these kinds of relationships, or at least make them incredibly taboo, so you are keen to avoid them. However, if you decide to act on these feelings and are brought up before your professional licensing board, you must defend yourself.  

Therapists or counselors who fail to sufficiently prepare their defense beforehand or work with a qualified and knowledgeable professional license defense attorney run the risk of losing their license forever. Furthermore, having your license suspended, revoked, or limited because of a personal relationship with a client can greatly affect your reputation, which will then affect your livelihood and mental health

The Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team has helped therapists and counselors around the country who are in the same boat. They will review your board's policies, gather evidence and witness testimony, and deliver a strategic defense on your behalf. Call 888-535-3686 today or schedule a consultation online

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento has unparalleled experience fighting for the futures of his professional clients nationwide. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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