Sexual Boundary Violations in Psychotherapy: Facing Indiscretions, Transgressions, and Misconduct

The recent #MeToo movement, documenting sexual violations across professional and occupational settings, makes clear that such events are alarmingly common. The psychotherapy setting is not the exception. In fact, the nature of psychotherapeutic work may contribute to vulnerabilities, given the powerful and intimate emotions engendered. Violations may range from behaviors that are somewhat subtle and uncomfortable to those that are blatant, exploitive, and physically intrusive and range from comments and looks, and increasingly personal disclosures and invasive touching up to and including rap...Read moree. They can be a one-time occurrence or literally last years or decades. In many cases, they involve emotional abuse and coercion on the part of the therapist and constitute betrayal trauma. All major mental health professions prohibit sexual contact between a psychotherapist and patient as unethical and morally wrong. In most states it is against the law. Despite these prohibitions, however, sexual boundary violations have not gone away and may even be increasing. Myths surrounding SBVs, including that they are rare, not serious, the result of a patient’s seductive behavior or pathology, and cause little harm will be discussed and challenged. They are now recognized as highly damaging with potential for profound and life-changing effects for both members of the dyad and for many third parties. Their occurrence is solely the responsibility of the therapist, regardless of the circumstance.

This workshop will provide an overview of contemporary knowledge on SBVs, based on a recently published book on the topic, co-edited by the presenter. Special issues to be addressed include a brief historical review, prevalence findings, causes and severity, grooming tactics, as effected by racial and cultural contexts and issues of intersectionality, digital forms, aftereffects for victim and therapist, bystander action and inaction, intervention for both parties, and whether rehabilitation and a return to practice are possible. Less...

Learning Objectives

  • Identify several serious consequences of sexual boundary violations on the patient, therapist and third parties and organizations
  • List several techniques used in grooming behavior
  • Describe challenges in the treatment of patients who were victims of SBV in previous therapy

Learning Levels

  • All Levels

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Live Interactive Webinar

11:00 AM EDT - 02:15 PM EDT

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CE Information - Earn 3 CE Credit Hours

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American Psychological Association
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National Board for Certified Counselors
CE Learning Systems and CE Learning Systems are cosponsors of this program. The cosponsorship has been approved by NBCC. CE Learning Systems is an NBCC Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5951. The ACEP solely is responsible for this program, including the awarding of NBCC credit.
NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals
This course has been approved by CE Learning Systems, LLC, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #410, CE Learning Systems, LLC is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work
CE Learning Systems SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0060.
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New York State Education Department's State Board for Psychology
CE Learning Systems dba CE-Credit.com & AddictionCounselorCE.com is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0016.
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CE Learning Systems dba CE-Credit.com & AddictionCounselorCE.com is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Marriage and Family Therapy as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0045.

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  • Complete evaluation forms for the event
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