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Title: Challenges of a therapist : processing the emotional taboo
Author: King, Joanna Rachel
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 7120
Awarding Body: City, University of London
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2016
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Talking about sexual feelings within a therapeutic setting can prove extremely challenging for therapists. Indeed, such a dialogue appears to be absent in literature, with the exception of psychoanalytical theory exploring this phenomenon. Across all theoretical models, previous literature has failed to explore the occurrence and experience of therapists’ sexual feelings when working with male sex offenders. Using an interpretative phenomenological method, this research explored six therapists’ experiences of sexual feelings when working therapeutically with male sex offenders. Analysis revealed three superordinate themes and a range of subordinate themes within each superordinate theme. The therapists described a need to protect the self in their work with sexual offenders in order to feel safe. Hence this theme is conceptualised as ‘protecting the self’. The theme ‘polarisation’ focuses on the therapists’ divided and at times opposing experiences of specific events. The last theme ‘disturbance’ highlights the therapists’ experiences of feeling both seduced and victimised during their work with male sex offenders. These findings are discussed in relation to the existing literature. One of the major implications of this research relates to the need for greater training around this phenomenon in order to aid therapists who avoid the exploration of sexual feelings with male sex offenders. The importance of using supervision and creating a dialogue around sexual feelings is discussed. Subsequently, recommendations are made for future research in this area.
Supervisor: Petter, Soren Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology