National Association of Social Workers. All rights reserved. All states implement and enforce rules regarding the professional conduct of social workers, primarily for the purpose of protecting the public from harm.
This is a naturally occurring phenomenon that exists whether or not it is acknowledged and appropriately addressed. Sexual misconduct within the context of psychotherapy represents one of the most egregious forms of boundary violation. It has a high risk of harming the client and is always prohibited within professional relationships.
Recent surveys show an alarming rate of sexual exploitation of patients by psychotherapists. As such conduct often falls outside the scope of rape, which allows a defense of consent, the psychotherapist is not prosecuted. Although all sexual contact between therapist and patient is prohibited by codes of professional ethics, the licensing boards that enforce these codes do not possess adequate power to deter this behavior.
Sexual abuse is an extremely serious form of professional misconduct. Any act of sexual abuse on the part of a Registered Psychotherapist is a misuse of power and a betrayal of trust. A psychotherapist registered with CRPO who commits sexual abuse can face mandatory penalties, including no longer being permitted to practise as a psychotherapist.
Here's how to inoculate ourselves against negative ones. Verified by Psychology Today. Counseling Keys.
Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. It is normal to be frightened and overwhelmed following an arrest.
Not a member? While sexual relationships between trainees and supervisors tend not to occur often Ellis, ; Ellis et al. However, almost all of the available literature focuses on the emotional consequences of romantic relationships between supervisors and supervisees, assuming perhaps that they are consensual, with little discussion of the illegality of unwanted sexual attention.
Between October and Novemberformer film producer and entertainment biz executive, Harvey Weinstein achieved infamy as the poster child for sexual misconduct after more than 80 sexual misconduct allegations covering a year period surfaced in a mere odd days. In the truncated period following the watershed Weinstein unraveling, legions of powerful men in politics, media and entertainment have become targets of sexual misconduct allegations launched against them by primarily female peers, colleagues and subordinates. The second wave of complaints erased any doubt about the unfolding epidemic reflecting nothing more than the casting couch phenomenon endemic to Hollywood glitterazzis and wannabes.
ABSTRACT: Psychology, like other mental health professions, has experienced difficulty addressing the issue of therapist-patient sexual intimacies vigorously, carefully, and effectively. Six fundamental challenges, based on frequently made comparisons of therapist-patient sex to incest and rape, are identified as crucial in addressing forms of sex abuse in which perpetrators are predominantly male and victims are predominantly female: a acknowledging the scope of the phenomenon, b affirming the notion and the mechanisms of accountability, c assessing the validity of allegations, d evaluating the nature and validity of research evidence, e overcoming perpetrator stereotypes and inclinations to collude with or to enable sex offenders, and f confronting the notion of victim responsibility. One of the first, most persistent psychologists urging the profession to confront and eliminate therapists' sexual abuse of patients was Keith-Spiegelwho noted the ineffectiveness of appealing to perpetrators and potential perpetrators on the basis of a professional ethic of avoiding harm to patients or an ethic of refraining from sexual abuse of women.
Current research and reflection are bringing a new understanding of the meaning and impact of patient-therapist sexual relations. To some degree, this comes from recognizing the similarities this phenomenon bears to childhood sexual abuse and rape. All are life- changing, traumatic, and damaging events that occur in significantly power-imbalanced relationships.