Sexual Boundary Violations: Therapeutic, Supervisory, and Academic Contexts

Sexual Boundary Violations: Therapeutic, Supervisory, and Academic Contexts

by Andrea Celenza


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Sexual boundary violations are considered the most serious ethical infractions in the mental health profession, as well as in higher education and pastoral counseling. Recognized as unethical due to the power imbalance inherent in the structure of the therapist-patient and teacher-student dyads, erotic contact between therapists and patients has been revealed in prevalence studies to occur at an unacceptably high incidence rate (nine to twelve percent) among mental health practitioners. There exist few programs, teaching methods, and preventative measures that adequately address the problem of sexual boundary violations, despite the fact that discussing this problem openly is no longer taboo. Sexual Boundary Violations addresses this gap, providing educators, trainers, and clinicians with a resource to aid in developing programs, ethics workshops, seminars, and other educative or clinical teaching projects.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780765708533
Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
Publication date: 02/24/2011
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 308
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Andrea Celenza, PhD, is an assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School. She has authored and presented numerous papers on therapists who have engaged in sexual misconduct with a focus on training, supervisory, and rehabilitation issues. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Karl A. Menninger Memorial Award, the Felix & Helena Deutsch Prize, and the Symonds Prize. She is in private practice in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword Gary R. Schoener xiii

Introduction xxiii

Part I Nature and Scope of the Problem

1 How Do They Happen? 3

2 This Couldn't Happen to Me 15

3 Precursors to Therapist Sexual Misconduct 27

4 When Is a Couch Just a Couch? 43

5 The Therapeutic Context 55

6 Academic and Supervisory Contexts 65

7 Sexual Misconduct in the Clergy 77

Part II Reporting, Fallout, and Recovery

8 Reporting and Other Ethical Responsibilities 95

9 Collateral Damage and Recovery 111

10 Helping the Victims 129

Part III Rehabilitation

11 Therapy of the Transgressor 145

12 Helping the Helpers: Supervision of the Transgressor 159

Part IV Prevention

13 Responsible Responsivity 179

14 Love and Hate in the Countertransference: Preventing Violations Through Supervision 191

15 Boundary Violations Vulnerability Index (BVVI) 201

16 Teaching Boundaries, Experiencing Boundaries 211

Appendices Empirical Research

Appendix A Personal and Interpersonal Characteristics of Transgressors 225

Co-investigator Mark Hilsenroth

Appendix B A Rorschach Investigation 243

Co-investigator Mark Hilsenroth

References 259

Index 277

About the Author 281

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