This paper illustrates certain recurrent themes occurring in the evaluation of sexual boundary violations that provide valuable lessons for all psychotherapists.
By reviewing patterns found in nearly 80 cases of sexual misconduct by psychotherapists, I have been able to delineate common errors of clinical judgement that lead to serious boundary violations.
Several issues deserve attention by all therapists :
(i) the therapist's conscious and unconscious intent may be at odds with one another ;
(ii) feelings of love for a patient may defend against hostility and aggression ;
(iii) supportive psychotherapy requires careful attention to boundary issues ;
and (iv) therapists who withhold secrets from supervisors or consultants are at high risk for enacting boundary violations.
There is a confluence of clinical error and ethical misconduct in the development of sexual boundary violations during psychotherapy.
The study of such cases reveals a number of important lessons to be learned by all psychotherapists.
These lessons, as well as their implications for prevention in terms of training and supervision, are discussed.
Mots-clés Pascal : Psychothérapie, Relation sexuelle, Relation soignant soigné, Ethique, Faute professionnelle, Personnel sanitaire, Homme
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Psychotherapy, Sexual intercourse, Health staff patient relation, Ethics, Malpractice, Health staff, Human
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0400720
Code Inist : 002B18I05A. Création : 19/12/1997.