Seminar Leaders: Dr. J. Kohl and Dr. R. Ruskin
In these two seminars, we explore aspects of sexual boundary violators, and whether being seen as a “lost cause”, can be a way to deny more common vulnerability to transgression. Also considered are the institutional responses to boundary violations by prominent analysts, and the impact this can have on our organizations. In the second seminar, we delve further into the possible constructive roles of ethics committees, codes of ethics, and the historical changes in this area. Different professional backgrounds in the field (medicine, psychology, social work, and other disciplines) provide us with several different sets of rules and codes to study together, and similarities and differences will be discussed.
- To consider the role of denial, when it comes to the susceptibility we have, in our profession, to lose reality testing in the area of boundary awareness and work with patients. This ensures safe and effective use of ourselves with our patients, (4.3)and allows us to maintain appropriate therapeutic boundaries (4.2). Within our group, vilifying all boundary violators as predators may inappropriately use an “us” vs. “them” type of “splitting”, which does not accurately reflect the research in the area.
- To consider the type of (more often) predatory boundary violator who may become a leader in our field, how this develops, and the impact on our organizations, as we seek to heal after such group trauma. In this way we are allowed to continue to prioritize the physical and emotional safety of our patients in our clinical work (4.2, 3.2).
- To consider the possible constructive roles of ethics committees, codes of ethics, and historical changes in this area. Different professional backgrounds in our field (medicine, psychology, social work, and other disciplines) give us several different sets of rules and codes to study together, and we shall discuss our similarities and differences in this area. By constructive use and reminders to apply these rules and guiding principles, we maintain appropriate therapeutic boundaries, safeguard the physical and emotional safety of our patients in our work, and increase our dependability (4.2, 3.2).
In this session we discuss factors that relate to seeing sexual boundary violators as a “lost cause”, as a way to deny our vulnerability to transgression. Also considered are institutional responses to boundary violations by prominent analysts, and the impact this can have on our organizational functioning.
Celenzo, A. & Gabbard, G.O. (2003). Analysts who commit sexual boundary violations: a lost cause? Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 51(2), 617-636.
Gabbard, G.O. & Peltz, M.L. (2001). Speaking the unspeakable: institutional reactions to boundary violations by training analysts.Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association, 49(2), 659-673.
Blechner, M.J. (2014). Dissociation among psychoanalysts about sexual boundary violations. Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 50, 23-33.
In the second session we delve further into roles for ethics committees, codes of ethics, and some historical changes in this area. Our differing professional backgrounds (medicine, psychology, social work, and other disciplines) will encourage discussion of similarities and differences in our perspectives.
Haas, E.T. (2000). Does the IPA need a code of ethics or an ethics committee? Ten arguments against. International Psychoanalysis, 9(1).
Freebury, D.R.(2003). Psychoanalytic ethics: has the pendulum swung too far? In Confidentiality: Ethical Perspectives and Clinical Dilemmas (pp. 212-227).C. Levin, A. Furlong & M.K. O’Neil (Eds.). Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press.