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Old 11-04-2018, 11:15 AM  
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Default Re: Sexual relationship with T

Originally Posted by Girl from Europe View Post
I'm with You on this. I think above all, we are not only therapist - patient, but simply a man-woman and we are interacting with each other also on this level, so if something happened between me and my T after finishing my therapy with him, I would take the responsibility for this either.
The APA and every state ethics board disagrees with this sentiment, as does the research. The standard of practice is 2 years after the termination of therapy, and even then, the T can still be in violation. This is reflected by the fact that most state statute of limitations do not start until the patient can reasonably be expected to understand the nature of the damage. Sexual violations and negligence are both relevant to the two year interval from the end of therapy, and in many cases, personal relationships initiated even past that 2 year time period can be subject to a board complaint. The point is that current legal and mental health thinking is that the therapeutic relationship is fundamentally a lifelong one. Aside from an ethical perspective, there is a pragmatic one. Suppose 3 years goes by after you 'finished', and all of a sudden you need support. Your T should still be able to fill that role, so no ethically grounded therapist is going to assume a post-therapeutic sexual relationship is ok. In terms of childhood trauma, the research is clear that it cannot be 'fixed'; you cope with it. So for *most* of us, there's never a time when we're completely free of the trauma. So in that sense, the nature of therapeutic relationship doesn't magically change because you stopped therapy.

Take responsibility or not - that's not my concern here. My concern is that the nature of the therapeutic relationship demands that patient protection and advocacy be placed ahead of the protection of the therapist.
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