Sexual misconduct by mental health professionals has been widely studied, and th

Sexual misconduct by mental health professionals has been widely studied, and the results show clear evidence of sexual exploitation by professionals. Up to 12% of therapists have admitted sexual contact with current and former clients, and some have acknowledged multiple contacts. Since this research relies on the willingness of professionals and clients to disclose such events in therapy, the reliability of that figure is probably not high. In any case, surveys of mental health professionals have found that approximately half of those sampled have seen at least one client who reports an experience of sexual exploitation by a former therapist. A similar percentage of faculty and supervisors have admitted the same misconduct. The only demographic variables associated with this violation are gender and, to a lesser degree, age. Older male therapists and faculty are more likely to engage in this behavior than younger male or female therapists. Victims, on the other hand, are more likely to be female and younger than the therapist. Children, as well as adults, have become victims of sexual exploitation by therapists. Research has shown that sexual misconduct inflicts serious and long-lasting psychological damage on victims. In fact, that damage has been compared to the effects of rape or incest. Both therapists and clients should be made aware of the potential for this to occur. Perhaps, first armed is the prevention strategy which may assist both therapist and client to be cognizant of the role of the therapist and the potential for attraction.
For this assignment, prepare a consumer brochure that educates prospective clients about the problems inherent in sexual contact with a counselor or psychotherapist. The goal of the project is to produce a document that could be available in a waiting room or distributed to clients. You may instead develop a brochure in Web page format that could be included on the Website of a professional organization or a state licensing board. As you are developing this brochure, think about your own views on advising clients about this issue.

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