Personal relationships with colleagues

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Personal relationships with colleagues

Post by Louanna74 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:53 pm


I hope this is the right place to ask this question as I haven't seen anyone ask anything similar.

I am wondering what the professional/ethical implications would be of an assistant being in a relationship with a qualified CP in the same team, but not their supervisor.

I know that NHS guidelines are that colleagues who develop a relationship should declare it and that where one of the pair has a supervisory or line management role over the other then they should not enter into a relationship. I'm a bit unclear about the grey area between the two.

Any clarification would be appreciated.

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Re: Personal relationships with colleagues

Post by libbynugent » Thu Dec 27, 2018 9:39 am

Hello - gosh this is is one of those no right answer situations. On one hand people regularly meet partners and friends in work. It’s a great place to do it. On the other hand it can be really messy - regardless of whether it works out happily. Even when we ignore power dynamics of a highly paid employee dating someone less well paid, team members need to be able to talk freely, often about each other. This is particularly important when working in mental health as transference and counter transference are often important aspects of understanding ina formulation. If there is a couple in a group it changes the freedom within which the group can talk and conversations can be silenced.
When we are very close to someone we don’t always communicate as transparently or effectively. We can get easily distracted by couple dynamics.
Teams, and the individuals that comprise them, always have histories. A new couple might trigger all sorts of uncomfortable feelings for other members. Having said that other people feeling uncomfortable is not really a reason to not date someone- it’s only a problem if it disrupts team communications.
It might be worth as a couple having a conversation about talking to your supervisors so that the team can have a chance to address any potential shifts.
Not knowing your personal situation I am assuming a confidence in taking an equality in the power exchange and therefore consent in the relationship. However I would add it is very easy to have an element of exploitation in these relationships as sexual attraction and desire versus the need to please a powerful other/ enjoy the adoration of someone with less authority can be readily conflated.

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