The “Vicissitudes of Love” Between Therapist and Patient: A Review of the Research on Romantic and Sexual Feelings, Thoughts, and Behaviors in Psychotherapy
Janet L. Sonne and Diana Jochai
Journal of Clinical Psychology
Volume 70, Issue 2, pages 182–195, February 2014
Beginning with Freud's observations in the early 1900s, therapists’ and patients’ experiences of romantic and sexual reactions to each other during the course of therapy has been a topic that has generated alternating waves of avoidance and intense discussion in the professional literature. Research in the area flourished in the 1980s and 1990s but then nearly disappeared with very little integration. We offer a review of the research to date. Although we focus primarily on quantitative studies, we also reference some qualitative studies when the data help illuminate other findings. Our review is structured to answer 10 key questions in an effort to integrate the findings in a meaningful way for clinicians and researchers. In our conclusion, we note implications raised by the review for clinicians to consider in their practice and we highlight some directions for future research.
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