Betrayal of Trust: Sex and Power in Professional Relationships

By Joel Friedman; Marcia Mobilia Boumil | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
Sexual Exploitation in the Mental Health Professions: The Paradigm

CASE STUDY: KRISTEN

It's been nearly 2 years since my relationship with Carl ended. He was a therapist that I went to see when my marriage to my second husband was in trouble. I was 31 and about to get divorced again. Everybody tried to tell me that it wasn't my fault--but I knew that I was responsible for a lot of it. Carl, Dr. M, that is, was recommended to me by another woman at work, who thought he was just great with relationship problems and self-esteem, and I thought that was just what I needed. I still had some hope of working out the trouble with Dan, my second husband, and this therapist sounded great.

It's hard to remember exactly how I felt about him in the beginning. He was an attractive man in his mid-forties, soft-spoken and incredibly sure about himself. I think that's what I liked most. He obviously felt good about himself and I was sure he could teach me to feel the same about myself. At first I saw him once a week, but after just a few weeks it was like I couldn't make it through unless I saw him, so I started making up excuses to need appointments more often. It's hard to de-

-11-

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