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Old 10-31-2018, 05:46 PM #1
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Default Sexual relationship with T

I wanted to post this for all of those in this sub-forum as a warning.

My old T and I had a sexual relationship. I'm not going into details, but it destroyed my life. I ended up suing her and her actions were so egregious that her insurance provider was able to cancel her policy and thus not cover her for what she did. She was able to hide most of her liquid assets back into her practice, making a jury trial almost meaningless. She has friends and colleagues on the board, and there was no consequence other than some supervision.

I understand deeply about transferences. I do. But I would caution about the fantasy of a real sexual relationship with your therapist. There will be no one to catch you when it blows up; not the law, not the licensing board, no one. You'll be on your own.

Maybe others have had different outcomes, but these were mine.
-P
PS. I wouldn't have listened to me before I had the affair, either. I would have still done it. No question. Because people did warn me and I didn't listen, and I wish I had.
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Old 10-31-2018, 05:49 PM #2
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Default Re: Sexual relationship with T

Hi Parva,

Thanks for sharing. I too had a sexual relationship with my therapist, and it ended badly. I'm also shocked how often it actually happens - far more often than we realize.

Just a reminder for those in Canada - your therapist is forbidden from any sexual relationship with you for a minimum of two years after ending therapy, OR for as long as you remain vulnerable.

There is no gray area here. It is black and white.

Take care of yourselves, because like Parva says, no one will catch you when everything goes wrong.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:44 PM #3
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Default Re: Sexual relationship with T

Thank you for posting this warning. We don't have enough of those warnings, so they are always needed.

Unfortunately, as you said, people usually don't heed it.

The fantasy of having a sexual relationship with one's therapist is one thing, but when it turns into reality that's a completely different story. Some people believe that the actual sexual engagement with the therapist would make everything better, because it'd be more "honest" than just to suffer an unrequited love, and while I am not someone who sees transference as a healthy thing, I know that turning transference fantasies into reality would harm you even more than tolerating the humiliating experience of your feelings not being returned. I don't know this from my own experience since I never had a sexual relationship with any of my therapists, but I've heard countless stories of people who have had that experience. None of those stories had a happy ending. NONE.

What I'd like everyone who entertains such fantasies to know is that before you decide to act them out remember that in case of a break up (which will come inevitably) you won't be able to deal with the ending the same way people deal with it in regular relationships.

In other relationships, when people date and break up, it starts differently and it ends differently. It starts on the equal footing right away and when things go wrong, people may get hurt, but they don't have the same sense of betrayal you will have if your sexual partner is your former therapist. The trauma you will go through when the relationship ends (which, trust me, it will) will be unparalleled to any other break ups. And, as others said, no one will be there for you. Our society is not evolved enough to understand that kind of trauma and to give you the support you need and our justice system is not equipped to deal with those cases.

Again, this was not my experience, but I've dealt with this issue for about 7 years now listening to people's stories, reading what is available on the subject, talking to those who have been trying to raise awareness about sexual abuse in therapy and writing about it on my blog as well. With all that, I feel like I understand the issue pretty well.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:15 PM #4
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Default Re: Sexual relationship with T

OP

Sorry that ended so badly for you.

I know this would never happen for me, my T is very paranoid about being caught over things but if It was ever an option, I'd go for it, knowing all warnings, for me, I don't think it would be any different than anyone else hurting me IF it ended badly, but then again, I don't think of my T as a T, so it's probably easier for me to disconnect in a sense.

None the less, it's very sad how stuff like this (and just crappy T's in general) can really hurt so many clients. Hope you are able to find a way to heal from all this pain.
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:27 PM #5
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Default Re: Sexual relationship with T

What a painful experience that must have been. I'm so sorry that happened to you, and I hope you are able to treat yourself gently while you recover.

I saw a T for a brief period that lost her license for having a relationship with a client. Although she never made an overture toward me, she used to solicite money for various causes, and I always thought that was inappropriate.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:34 AM #6
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Default Re: Sexual relationship with T

Hi, Parva, I'm sorry you had this experience.
Thank you for posting this. I agree that these warnings are always needed.

This would never happen in my therapy because my T is happily married and has strict boundaries. I know if he asked for a kiss or even for sex, I would say yes. I don't think it's because of transference/attachment or something. I just want to feel loved, I want to know that someone can kiss me or just touch me without vomiting lol (I've never had a relationship, so I think that I'm so disgusting that no one would kiss me or anything even for money).
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:25 AM #7
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Default Re: Sexual relationship with T

That must have been so incredibly painful and devastating for you. I hope you found a good therapist after her. I can't believe she didn't have any fall out from it.

I understand why you felt the need to warn us but you know, regardless of fantasies and desires, it is absolutely the therapist's responsibility to maintain boundaries and protect us. Look at the responses above, many of us would do it in a heartbeat, despite the warning. The therapist is fully culpable in this situation.
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:06 PM #8
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Default Re: Sexual relationship with T

Quote:
Originally Posted by TeaVicar? View Post
That must have been so incredibly painful and devastating for you. I hope you found a good therapist after her. I can't believe she didn't have any fall out from it.

I understand why you felt the need to warn us but you know, regardless of fantasies and desires, it is absolutely the therapist's responsibility to maintain boundaries and protect us. Look at the responses above, many of us would do it in a heartbeat, despite the warning. The therapist is fully culpable in this situation.
Warning people about the potential devastating effects of sexual engagement with their therapists is not the same as relieving therapists of their professional responsibilities. No one here has suggested that the therapist is not fully responsible for maintaining boundaries. Information was given to people to empower them to make the best choices for themselves. Empowering people to do that doesn't take any responsibility away from the therapist.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:47 PM #9
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Default Re: Sexual relationship with T

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ididitmyway View Post
Warning people about the potential devastating effects of sexual engagement with their therapists is not the same as relieving therapists of their professional responsibilities. No one here has suggested that the therapist is not fully responsible for maintaining boundaries. Information was given to people to empower them to make the best choices for themselves. Empowering people to do that doesn't take any responsibility away from the therapist.
I didn't say it was. I just wanted to make it clear, that regardless of our fantasies and what we might want (or think we want), it's ultimately the responsibility of the therapist to maintain boundaries. I suppose I was worried that the op might be blaming themselves on some level... because they talk about being warned etc.
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Old 11-02-2018, 05:00 AM #10
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Default Re: Sexual relationship with T

I have fantasized about having an affair with my T and about how it would end and if I would be devastated. The minute we cross boundaries is the minute I lose therapeutic support that I desperately need. I could not go back to coming into session and discussing my issues and or do EMDR. Where does that leave me? He would turn into just another man I seduced, F^*ked, and any therapy I have had with him would have been in vein. I would be back to the mess I was before I met him. It would also continue to show my me that men can not do anything nice for me with out me having to pay them back with sex. That is been the most difficult thing for me when I started therapy for the first time with a male T. When they were kind and supportive I immediately felt obligated to have sex with them because that is how I grew up. That is how you thanked men.
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