The Case of Aki
Toward the end of therapy, Aki, a Japanese client, presents an expensive jade carving to his therapist, Aaron. Aki shared with Aaron his sincere sense of gratitude and desire to show his appreciation and respect for his therapist with this gift. The jade carving has been in his family for many years. Aki shares that he would really like for Aaron to accept the gift and states gift giving is part of his culture. Aaron tells Aki that he would like to accept the gift, but he has a policy of not accepting gifts from clients. He reminds Aki of this policy and how it was signed at the beginning of therapeutic relationship. Aki continues to insist that Aaron accept the gift as a gesture of his respect and gratitude. Aaron remembers how Aki has shared in past sessions how gift giving is part of his culture and there is no expectation of reciprocity.
Put yourself in this situation as the therapist and answer the below questions:
- What is the problem or dilemma? Describe in clear, detailed terms.
- What are the potential issues involved? Refer to principles and other course concepts.
- What ethical code sections pertain to this situation? (ACA, NASW, AAMFT)
- Would you accept the gift? Is it important to consider cultural background when choosing to accept gifts or not?
- What specific words would you say to Aki regarding gift giving?
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