8. Professional Ethics and Boundaries

  1. Allan Tasman Professor and Chair1,
  2. Jerald Kay Professor and Chair2 and
  3. Robert J. Ursano Professor and Chair3

Published Online: 20 MAY 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118341001.ch8

The Psychiatric Interview: Evaluation and Diagnosis

The Psychiatric Interview: Evaluation and Diagnosis

How to Cite

Tasman, A., Kay, J. and Ursano, R. J. (2013) Professional Ethics and Boundaries, in The Psychiatric Interview: Evaluation and Diagnosis, John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118341001.ch8

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KN, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Psychiatry, Boonshoft School of Medicine, Wright State University, Dayton, OH, USA

  3. 3

    Department of Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 MAY 2013
  2. Published Print: 22 JUL 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119976233

Online ISBN: 9781118341001



  • boundary violations;
  • ethical behavior;
  • professional attitude;
  • professional ethics;
  • psychiatric patients


This chapter reviews the ability to sustain a professional attitude and to practice within a set of coherent boundaries forms the foundation of proper psychiatric treatment, regardless of theoretic orientation or treatment modality. An understanding of psychiatric ethics plays a vital role in the psychiatrist's ability to keep proper boundaries because these values provide a stable beacon in the cognitively perplexing fog that so often pervades the treatment situation. The ethical and boundary issues are designed to stimulate a better understanding of an extremely thorny topic rather than to provide an exhaustive compendium. The chapter summarizes selected indicators of potential boundary violations, along with remedial responses clinicians might employ to deal with these situations that some psychiatrists may encounter in keeping boundaries derived from many sources.