Challenges: Male Counselors and Female Clients

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1.Discuss the problems that might be associated with a male counselor providing services to a female client. Are these valid concerns? Explain and provide options.

Some of the problems associated with a male counselor providing services to a female client are the main dynamics of transference and countertransference in therapy. With that, all counselors should know and adhere to the operations of the defense mechanisms and transference and countertransference dynamics. Such problems include sexual misconduct and sometimes sex-related issues revolving around anger. “Sexual misconduct in therapy remains the largest ethical failure in the helping professions and is perpetrated mostly by male therapists against young, vulnerable, attractive female clients” (representing nearly 90% of the cases) (Centore, 2013, para.2). Hence, during male therapist training, it should be assumed that all men are susceptible to crossing sexual boundaries, which is why sexual countertransference should be normalized and become a central part of all training and supervision of men. Men in training should become familiar with the kind of women who will create sexual feelings in them. This involves discussion, for prevention and control purposes of both the kind of women that men are attracted to physically and the seductive behaviors that some women will bring into therapy (both the more innocent histrionic types and manipulative borderline types should be addressed). Three things should be consistently stressed in this training/supervision to enhance the avoidance of sexual misconduct. One is that the therapist is always a therapist, even outside the therapy hour. Two, it follows that the therapist is responsible for maintaining sexual control 24/7, no matter what sexual temptations are thrown at him, no matter how direct, and no matter where, when, and how done. Third, supervisors must create a safe place to discuss sexual temptations and feelings, inviting and probing for...
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