When friends and family members realize that you are a fully licensed clinical psychologist, it’s not uncommon for them to expect to receive free professional therapy services. However, providing therapy free of charge to such individuals is very ill-advised. Most importantly, it is a violation of the code of ethics to which clinical psychologists are expected to strictly adhere.
Providing psychological services for friends and family members is strictly prohibited, since doing so is a clear violation of the mandate to not engage in a dual relationship. In addition, friends and family members should not expect to receive professional psychological services completely free of charge.
Honestly, would they really expect that another type of professional service would be provided for free? Although these types of thoughts are automatic to me at this point, they clearly are not to others with whom I’ve recently interacted. Recently, I happened to have a conversation with one of my neighbors.
Knowing that I’m a licensed clinical psychologist, she freely started to disclose multiple family problems to me. (This took place after I simply said hello to her, in a nearby parking lot, after completing some shopping). Actually, some variation of this type of scenario has taken place many times, over the years.