As you already may be aware, sexual relationships between an individual providing healing or therapeutic treatments or sessions to a client whether a paying one or not, is strictly prohibited. Once the therapeutic treatments terminate, should this individual engage in a sexual relationship with a former client?
Here’s a great article and some considerations: http://www.apa.org/monitor/dec04/ethics.aspx
4 thoughts on “Sexual Involvements with Former Clients”
That kind of involvement with a former or present client is a profound violation of ethical standards for any therapeutic profession. Once one has established a relationship as a healer / therapist, personal intimacy should not enter the picture. It is a violation of both personal and professional boundaries. There will always be an uneven quality to the relationship. It is also a form of rape as the former client looks to the therapist as the adult or the powerful one in the relationship. In prisons, there are PREA laws in effective to prevent such this sort of thing from happening. Violation can lead to loss of job and possible fines and imprisonment. Violation of ethical standards for the sake of physical lust is a sign that the therapist is not mature enough to handle therapeutic relationships and should not attempt such work. Period.
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Hi Eliza, thank you for sharing your thoughts with my readers as many healers have so much power over their clients, and they have forgotten that “do no harm” is priority whether or not there are existing ethical codes, laws, or rules governing them. Sending love and light!
This same dilemma holds true for any parent / child, teacher / student, mentor / student, religious authority / church-goer, doctor / patient relationship. You can see that in these relationships there is a natural tendency to give power to the mentor / parent / teacher / provider. So to violate trust , personal boundaries and ethical (inner) standards is a violation as brutal as if you are raping the person. It is perhaps more subtle, but is in effect extremely damaging. Until both individuals can come from a place of balance, empowerment and mutual respect, there should be no movement towards sexual intimacy. I am an incest survivor and have been a therapeutic massage therapist in this lifetime. I also work at a prison now, so have some insight into this kind of issue. “Do no harm” is an ancient ethical standard that has not lost meaning or value in our “modern” society for those who truly care about other people and themselves. What harm you do to another, you do to yourself.
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Exactly! Thank you for your insights. Love to you!