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Gifts : a dilemma for the therapist

Tom works as a counsellor in a busy GP surgery supporting clients from a broad range of ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.  Tom has been seeing Manar, a 19-year-old refugee from Syria who has been relocated to England from a camp in Lebanon. She fled the trauma of heavy fighting in Syria to a life in a refugee camp that left her feeling displaced, humiliated and disrespected.

Manar’s final session falls on the Muslim festival of Eid and she has brought some homemade sweets as a gift for Tom, to celebrate.  The GP surgery has a policy thatdoes not allow counsellors to accept gifts from clients, but Tom is anxious not to offend Manar by refusing the sweets.

What should Tom do?   Click Here to open the April issue of THERAPY TODAY,  Page 29 and read my answer on Page 30 under the heading: Rejecting the gift would be uncaring.

Reprinted from the April edition of THERAPY TODAY, monthly journal of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).  It is the most widely read professional journal for counsellors and psychotherapists in the UK.

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