Monday, March 31, 1997

Research on abusive therapists

Research on abusive therapists
The Online Reporter - March 31, 1997
UWO Graduate School of Journalism
Two Toronto therapists published a study of sex exploitation by therapists in 1991. Temi Firsten and Jeri Wine interviewed 27 women and one man sexually abused by therapists. Over half the offenders were physicians and 80 per cent were married or in common-law relationships. Only one of the offenders was a woman. Many of the clients had reason to believe their therapists also abused other clients.
Firsten and Wine grouped the offenders into two categories. The first, smaller group, included those who were poorly trained or isolated; these therapists often faced a life crisis at the time of the sexual involvement. Therapists in this group were not multiple offenders and had a good prognosis for treatment.
Over half the offenders in Firsten and Wine's study fell into the second group, who relied on their caseloads to recruit sexual partners. The researchers wrote that "this category are the most dangerous to patients, the most difficult to expose and governing bodies need to be especially alert to them."
Almost half the abused clients did not find their therapists in any way attractive. Some reported that the sexual activity focused exclusively on pleasing the therapist.

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