This book presents research, theory and practical guidance about therapists' sexual feelings and their responses to patients' sexual feelings, issues and behaviour. It examines common reactions that sexual feelings may evoke in therapists and clues to therapists' unacknowledged sexual feelings. The authors discuss the historical resistance within the profession to understanding and acknowledging these feelings and responses, and they offer a variety of educational approaches that foster self-exploration and self-discovery, and that focus on the effects of contextual factors (e.g. gender, age, sexual orientation) on the experience of sexual feelings. The approach taken by the authors allows both seasoned therapists and novice therapists or therapists-in-training to sensitise themselves to a myriad of ethical and therapeutic issues. Their approach is always informed by the guiding principle that sexual expression between therapist and patient is countertherapeutic and never appropriate.
In a workbook format, this text also presents case vignettes, selected from almost a century of clinical literature, that provide readers with structured opportunities for learning about their own sexual feelings, attitudes and responses to patients. It provides a review of the research on therapist-patient sex. Finally, the book suggests a systematic strategy for therapists to use when considering how to respond sensitively, therapeutically, knowledgeably and ethically to clinical issues raised by their own sexual feelings.show more