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Dangers of Dual Relationships in Therapy

Often, people who seek the help of the therapist are vulnerable in several ways, and the initial relationship of client and therapist is made on a great deal of trust and openness where a variety of issues are exposed. This situation could leave a patient or client feeling more vulnerable than previously, and depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can certainly cloud a client's judgment. Because the client-therapist relationship is a relationship of power, it is more important than ever that therapists do not give into seduction or sexual attraction which may exist for a customer, and that sexual relationships with clients and patients not be allowed to develop.

Although some studies have been done on the existence of client therapist sexual relationships, it is evident that many of the results of the surveys are unreliable because of the nature of the problem. Even though confidentiality is assured, many therapists are fearful of the repercussions of being exposed and are reluctant to divulge such information. Still, these studies concur that sexual relationships still often do occur between therapists and clients, more frequently in male practitioners than females. Furthermore, these studies have also revealed that these types of relationships can be further detrimental to clients and patients who seek the help of professional therapists.

Sexual relationships between counselors and clients has existed probably since the beginning of your time, being noted as far back as the fifth century B. C. , when the Hippocratic Oath originated, stating, "Atlanta divorce attorneys house where I come, I am going to enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself definately not all intentional ill-doing and all seduction, and especially from the pleasures of love with women and men. "

However, recent studies and even court cases have confirmed that this phenomenon continues and perhaps, is further detrimental to the mental health of the clients who enter into these kinds of relationships. For clients who are dealing with issues related to domestic violence, abuse, rape, or incest, the abuse of trust and power occurring with sexual client-therapist relationships can increase feelings of trauma and psychological distress, often triggering symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Even in clients who are not dealing with these kinds of issues, increased depression and anxiety can occur, and a patient who has been involved with a sexual relationship with a therapist is often much more likely to try suicide and further resistant to additional treatment.

Also, studies have revealed that sexual relationships between therapists and patients are generally associated with cognitive dysfunction, feelings of emptiness and isolation, an impaired ability to trust, increased feelings of guilt, confusion regarding boundaries, and suppression of anger. Although these kind of symptoms are not noted atlanta divorce attorneys client that has been involved in a sexual relationship with a therapist, several symptoms were viewed as common in clients who had engaged in this type of relationship. In short, remedy is the most successful when boundaries and trust of your client aren't violated and a professional relationship is maintained, and in practically every jurisdiction, it is the responsibility of the therapist to keep this professional relationship.

In fact, the legal consequences for therapists who do enter a sexual relationship with a client can be severe in many states. In order for therapists and other mental medical researchers to keep their professional licenses, most states not only mandate that there be no sexual relationships with clients, but also that there is no sexual relationship with a former client as well. While in some states the necessity is that your client is not a patient for at least two years, in others the rules stipulate at least five years. Furthermore, the mental doctor may be obligated to prove that the partnership is not exploitative in nature and this your client is fully with the capacity of making their own decisions about the relationship.

For therapists and mental health professionals who do engage in a sexual relationship with a customer, the penalties can be severe. Not merely can a therapist lose their professional license for such acts if the relationship is discovered, nevertheless they can even be sued for malpractice and violation of trust in many instances. Maintaining a professional relationship all the time is not only in the best interest of your client and their mental well-being, but also in the best interest of the practitioner and their professional reputation.

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