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Psychotherapists who transgress sexual boundaries with patients.

Authors
  • Gabbard, G O
Type
Published Article
Journal
Alabama medicine : journal of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1994
Volume
64
Issue
6
Pages
7–12
Identifiers
PMID: 7847239
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The causes of therapist-patient sex are complex and multidetermined. Efforts to understand why psychotherapists transgress sexual boundaries are hampered by the lure of reductionism and oversimplification. Most of those who examine this issue would prefer to categorize all such therapists as "bad" and "corrupt" as away of distancing themselves and disavowing any similarities between these therapists and themselves. The pathology of therapists who commit sexual boundary violations generally falls into four broad categories: (1) psychotic disorders, (2) predatory psychopathy and paraphilias, (3) lovesickness, and (4) masochistic surrender. Although a variety of individual psychodynamic factors are involved within each group, this classification is highly useful for informed treatment planning.

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