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Regardless of what model of psychotherapy is used, all therapists are vulnerable to boundary transgressions. This book explains why this is this case, and how to avoid such violations. Professional attitudes toward sexual boundary violations (SBVs) have evolved over the years, resulting in ethical and legal guidance to prevent such violations. Despite this guidance, SBVs still occur in treatment, and institutions and colleagues often deny or rationalize them. Therapists need a deeper understanding of how SBVs occur in order to avoid them. This volume examines the events leading up to SBVs, as well as what happens to clients and therapists once SBVs are discovered. The book also considers the broader effects of such behavior on colleagues, institutions, families, and others. Numerous case illustrations are included to illustrate how therapeutic relationships are compromised, sometimes in subtle and gradual ways. Authors emphasize the importance of therapist education and consultation with mentors and peers to maintain a professional frame for the therapeutic relationship.
About the Author
Arlene (Lu) Steinberg, PsyD, is an adjunct associate professor at Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, where she supervises clinical psychology graduate students and teaches psychological counseling to rabbinic students, and is a practicing psychoanalyst in New York City. She is author of several articles and chapters on trauma. She recently co-edited the special issue of Psychoanalytic Psychology (2017) on sexual boundary violations with Dr. Alpert. She is past Treasurer of Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of the American Psychological Association (APA). She is currently serving a 3-year term as Division 39 representative on the APA Council of Representatives. Judith L. Alpert, PhD, is Professor of Applied Psychology at New York University and Faculty and Clinical Consultant at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She has edited six books and numerous journal articles on trauma and women's issues. She co-edited the special issue of Psychoanalytic Psychology (2017) on sexual boundary violations with Dr. Steinberg and practices psychotherapy in New York City. She was the first president and a founding member of Division 56 (Trauma Psychology) of the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Alpert is the recipient of the Award for Scholarship from Division 39 (Psychoanalysis) of APA. Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP, a board-certified counseling psychologist retired from clinical practice in Washington, D.C., has been an adjunct professor of psychology and social work at several universities and is now an independent consultant/trainer/author on topics of trauma psychology and treatment. She has authored, co-authored, and co-edited a dozen professional books on the dynamics and treatment of child sexual abuse, complex trauma, and PTSD. Dr. Courtois is past president of Division 56 (Trauma Psychology) of the American Psychological Association and founding Associate Editor of the division's journal, Psychological Trauma. She has received numerous professional awards from several organizations.