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They were surprised at the number of participants in their samples who had engaged in sex with therapists.The extensive data that Masters and Johnson collected on each participant allowed them to compare the consequences of sex with a therapist to the consequences of other events such as consensual sexual relationships with a spouse or life-partner, consensual sex occurring outside long-term relationships, and various forms of rape, incest, and abuse.These reactions are: (a) ambivalence, (b) cognitive dysfunction, (c) emotional lability, (d) emptiness and isolation, (e) impaired ability to trust, (f) guilt, (g) increased suicidal risk, (h) role reversal and boundary confusion, (i) sexual confusion, and (j) suppressed anger.While common, these reactions do not characterize all patients who have been sexually involved with a therapist.They may be unhappy in their work or relationships, and not know how to bring about change.
About 10% had experienced rape prior to sexual involvement with the therapist, and about a third had experienced incest or other child sex abuse.
Data have been collected using structured behavioral observation, standardized tests and other psychometric instruments, clinical interview, and other methods.
What follows is a brief description of 10 of the most common reactions that are frequently associated with therapist-patient sex.
The historical consensus among health care professionals that sex with patients is prohibited as destructive continued into the modern age.
In the landmark (i.e., one of the first women to successfully bring suit against her therapist on these grounds) 1976 case of , the court held: "Thus from [Freud] to the modern practitioner we have common agreement of the harmful effects of sensual intimacies between patient and therapist." What are the "harmful effects" the court referred to?