CMHCs are cognizant of cultural norms in relation to fee arrangements, bartering, and gifts. CMHCs clearly explain to clients, early in the counseling relationship, all financial arrangements related to counseling.
a. CMHCs usually refrain from accepting goods or services from clients in return for counseling services, because such arrangements may create the potential for conflicts, exploitation, and distortion of the professional relationship. However, bartering may occur if the client requests it, there is no exploitation, and the cultural implications and other concerns of such practice are discussed with the client and agreed on in writing.
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b. CMHCs are encouraged to contribute to society by providing pro bono, volunteer, or reduced rate/sliding scale services when feasible.
c. When accepting gifts, CMHCs take into consideration the therapeutic relationship, motivation of giving, the counselor’s motivation for receiving or declining, cultural norms, and the value of the gift.