Identifying Sexual Misconduct

Guidelines for Consumers

You need to keep in mind that your own feelings are the best gauge of whether a therapist may be inappropriately crossing some boundaries. If you feel uncomfortable, you should think about whether the therapist is displaying any of these behaviors that have been found frequently in therapists who inappropriately cross boundaries with patients.

1. The therapist tells you that you are special, in some way, different from other patients.

2. The therapist tells you that only you understand him, that other people do not understand him.

3. The therapist initiates inquiry into your sex life.

4. The therapist claims to be unique, or have special abilities and talents others do not have.

5. The therapist talks a great deal about his/her own difficulties to you.

6. The therapist introduces drugs or alcohol into the treatment.

7. The therapist talks frequently about being a victim of "bad luck".

8. The therapist talks about other people not respecting or paying enough attention to his/her special talents.

9. The therapist talks a great deal about his/her status, or reputation, or virtues.

10. The therapist appears "slick" or excessively charming.

11. The therapist sees himself/herself as a leader and others as followers.

12. The therapist describes himself/herself as easily bored with things and people.