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Sexualized Transference and Countertransference

Sexualized Transference and Countertransference between Younger Male Therapist and Female Clients: Implications for Narrative Therapy (Data-Based Analytical Study)

The area of inquiry of this dissertation is the occurrence of sexualized or eroticized dynamics between a younger male therapist and a female client (not exceeding the age of 50). Since therapists are unlikely to have received formal training or previous training with regards to the sexual advances of older clients (sexualized transference), they will not be prepared to handle the situation or deal with the countertransference that emerges within them. The plethora of emotions includes aversion, disgust, fear, guilt and shame. Some of these thoughts may also evoke memories of their relationships with their parents and desires to be ideal sons or partners (Hillman, 2000; Hillman & Stricker, 1998, 2001). On the other hand, without acting upon these feelings, the therapists and their clients can explore the nature of the sexualized relationship to uncover the client's suppressed issues such as problems in relationships (Peterson, Levin, & Zweig, 1989), role conflicts, struggle for power (Hillman & Stricker, 2001) and resistance to change (Blum, 1973).

Since most research studies have either focused on the genders of the therapists and the clients (Blum, 1973; Lester, 1985) or their age differences (Hillman & Stricker, 2001), this particular dissertation will contribute to the literature by examining both the factors of age and gender in the therapist-client relationship. However, the sample population will be narrowed down to younger male therapists with female clients in their forties (below the age of 50).

The primary research questions for this thesis are:

How do younger male therapists address the occurrence of sexualized transference and countertransference in their relationships with female clients in their forties?

Will narrative therapy be effecti...

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