It is an interesting question about contracting. In my next webinar I discuss contracting as Transactional Analysis is generally seen as a contract based therapy.
When a client makes a contract who are they actually making the contract with? They make the contract in the presence of a therapist but are they making the contract with the therapist or with themselves?
Then there is the idea of the demand contract. These are contracts the therapist demands the client makes. For example:
I wont work with you unless you close all the escape hatches. I have never demanded this of a client.
I wont work with you unless you make a no suicide contract. I have requested this in the past from clients but I would not do it now.
I wont work with you unless you agree not to look at any child pornography. I have requested this in the past from clients.
If you work in drug rehabilitation sooner or later you work with people who you know are making substantial to large sized drug deals. If a therapist has a moral problem with this do they request a demand contract.
The problem with demand contracts is the client may just lie to you. And if that happens what impact does that have on the therapeutic relationship? Or the client is making a promise to the therapist and you do not want a client to make promises to a therapist. That is not helpful at all.