Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Family Therapy

Department

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences – Department of Family Therapy

Advisor

Shelley Green

Committee Member

James Hibel

Committee Member

Christine Beliard

Abstract

The client-therapist relationship is an essential part of therapy and is central in helping clients achieve therapeutic goals as the joining process facilitates the change process. However, in an effort to create a space for change, there is a possibility that professional boundaries may become blurred wherein a client may express a sexual attraction toward their therapist. To explore this phenomenon, the researcher employed convergent parallel mixed method design to explore the experiences of Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFTs) who have experienced sexual attraction from their clients. The study was conducted online through a secure forum. Implications for clients, therapists, and the field of marriage and family therapy are discussed. The research suggests that education and training are critical in assisting therapists when dealing with sexual attraction issues.