Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patients - Forums at Psych Central



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Old 04-12-2019, 10:13 PM #1
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Default Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patients

Shocking numbers- and likely under reported

Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact with patients - The Boston Globe
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Old 04-13-2019, 05:28 AM #2
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Default Re: Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patie

It doesn't shock me because i thought/think the percentage was/is higher. It saddens me a great deal though because of the damage and devastation that a patient/client will have done to them but a professional who knows better but doesn't care. I actually get furious over it. Its a profession that is supposed to have strict boundaries and violations of those boundaries can literally kill someone.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:42 PM #3
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Default Re: Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patie

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
It doesn't shock me because i thought/think the percentage was/is higher. It saddens me a great deal though because of the damage and devastation that a patient/client will have done to them but a professional who knows better but doesn't care. I actually get furious over it. Its a profession that is supposed to have strict boundaries and violations of those boundaries can literally kill someone.
I agree the actual numbers are likely higher than those found in this one study.

These numbers are merely percentages of mental health providers who admit to sexual contact with patients/clients. Iím certain itís an underreported offense and there are many mental health providers who commit this offense but never admit to it. The actual percentages are unknown.
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Old 04-13-2019, 02:22 PM #4
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Default Re: Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patie

Well thatís disturbing Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patients
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Old 04-14-2019, 03:17 AM #5
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Default Re: Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patie

Do you think they understand how damaging it is? do you think they just try to ignore it because they are selfish? Iím sure some are psychopaths but some must have empathy right? Itís confusing
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:16 AM #6
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Default Re: Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patie

Glad I always look for doctors of my own sex, tho it is because I am more comfortable with women.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:04 PM #7
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Default Re: Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patie

Thought this was interesting-

Sex Between Therapists and Clients

Table 2 presents the results when participants were asked to try to identify the most attractive characteristic of the client to whom they were attracted. The hundreds of characteristics were sorted into about 20 major categories. With the following two fascinating exceptions, there were no significant gender differences between the male and female therapists in mentioning the various characteristics. However, female therapists were overwhelmingly more likely than male therapists to mention "successful" as a sexually attractive quality. On the other hand, male therapists were overwhelmingly more likely than female therapists to mention "physical attractiveness."

Table 2 - CHARACTERISTICS OF CLIENTS TO WHOM THERAPISTS ARE SEXUALLY ATTRACTED
Characteristics of Clients to Whom Psychotherapists Are Attracted
The first number is for Social Workers . The second represents Psychologists

Physical attractiveness 175 296
Positive mental/cognitive traits or abilities 84 124
Sexual 40 88
Vulnerabilities 52 85
Positive overall character/personality 58 84
Kind 6 66
Fills therapist's needs 8 46
Successful 6 33
"Good patient" 21 31
Client's attraction 3 30
Independence 5 23
Other specific personality characteristics 27 14
Resemblance to someone in therapist's life 14 12
Availability (client unattached) 0 9
Pathological characteristics 13 8
Long-term client 7 7
Sociability (sociable, extroverted, etc.) 0 6
Miscellaneous 23 15
Same interests/philosophy/background to therapist 10 0


The data about psychologists in the above table come from a national study published as "Sexual attraction to patients: The human therapist and the (sometimes) inhuman training system" by Kenneth S. Pope, Patricia Keith-Spiegel, and Barbara G. Tabachnick, American Psychologist, vol. 41, pages 147-158

The data about social workers in the following table come from a national study published as "National survey of social workers' sexual attraction to their clients: Results, implications, and comparison to psychologist" by Ann Bernsen, Barbara G. Tabachnick, and Kenneth S. Pope, Ethics & Behavior, vol. 4, pages 369-388.

The findings of these and subsequent studies suggest that a significant proportion of therapists carry in their imagination sexualized thoughts, images, or fantasies of their clients, and focus on them when the client is not physically present. For example, in the 2 studies summarized in Table 2, 27-30% of male therapists, compared with 13-14% of female therapists, reported that while they themselves were engaging in sexual activity with someone else (i.e., not the client), they engaged in sexual fantasies about the client.
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:24 PM #8
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Default Re: Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patie

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackocean View Post
Do you think they understand how damaging it is? do you think they just try to ignore it because they are selfish? Iím sure some are psychopaths but some must have empathy right? Itís confusing
ďDo they understand how damaging it is?Ē
Thatís a question Iíve tried to work out. Over time Iíve asked, didnít the abusing Pdoc in my case have an Ethics course in Med School? He was asked this during deposition and responded that no, heíd never taken an ethics course. Probably a lie. At the very least he had to have known about or taken the Hypocratic Oath.

There are many possible reasons questionable therapists disregard the damage this does to clients/patients. They certainly disregard how damaging it can be for themselves and their own families if they are discovered. Some therapists are sociopaths, and think only about themselves. I know of a few instances where the therapist not only exploited the patient sexually, but frauded them out of their money, as well. Some questionable therapists disregard the harm to patients because itís a power trip for them. There are also questionable therapists who really believe they are Ďin loveí with the client/patient. Iíve read the term, Ďlove-sick therapist.í Some questionable therapists are Ďrisk-takers.í Then there are therapists who have impaired judgment due to substance abuse or mental illness. I think there are a multitude of reasons- sometimes the reasons are overlapping.
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Old 04-14-2019, 07:29 PM #9
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Default Re: Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patie

Reasons Offered for Refraining from Sexual Intimacies with Clients

Table 3 lists the major reasons offered in order of frequency mentioned. Patterns were proportionately similar for male and female therapists except for two categories, fear of retaliation by clients and the illegality factor, which were offered only by male therapists as reasons for not acting out sexual feelings toward clients.

Table 3 - Reasons Offered for Refraining from Sexual Intimacies with Clients

Content category // Frequency

Unethical 289
Countertherapeutic/exploitative 251
Unprofessional practice 134
Against therapists' personal values 133
Therapist already in a committed relationship 67
Fear of censure/loss of reputation 48
Damaging to therapist 43
Disrupts handling of transference/countertransference 28
Fear of retaliation by client 19
Attraction too weak/short-lived 18
Illegal 13
Self-control 8
Common sense 8
Miscellaneous 32

Sexual Attraction to Clients - The Human Therapist and the (Sometimes)
Inhuman Training System
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:12 AM #10
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Default Re: Nine to 12 percent of mental health professionals have had sexual contact w patie

I want to thank you for posting this!!! I didn't see this until today!

Is it okay to link your thread with one of mine?

Thanks,
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