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Yahav, R. Oz, S. (2006). The Relevance of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy to Understanding Therapist-Patient Sexual Abuse and Treatment of Survivors. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 34(2):303-331.

(2006). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 34(2):303-331

The Relevance of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy to Understanding Therapist-Patient Sexual Abuse and Treatment of Survivors

Rivka Yahav, Ph.D. and Sheri Oz, M.Sc.

Regardless of the therapy modality, research continues to point to the therapeutic relationship as a major salient factor in clinical success or failure. When a patient is sexually abused by his or her therapist, this therapeutic relationship is cynically exploited in a way that does not properly serve the essential needs of the patient. When this patient then seeks reparative therapy, the subsequent therapist needs to pay close attention to issues of the relationship which were breached by the previous clinician. In this article, two case studies showing very different dynamics will be presented in order to demonstrate: (1) relevant factors related to transference, countertransference, projective identification, and the analytic third pertaining to the former, abusive therapy; and (2) needs versus wishes, and issues related to boundaries and self-disclosure in the corrective therapy.

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