Sexual Boundary Violations in Psychotherapy: Managing Transference and Countertransference and other Dynamics Leading to Transgressions

Sexual Boundary Violations in Psychotherapy: Managing Transference and Countertransference and other Dynamics Leading to Transgressions
Thumb main image sexual boundary violations in psychotherapy

Message from Naomi: This training by Christine discusses a very difficult and painful topic. It might be considered the ‘last taboo’ in the field of therapy. Some people may have a strong feeling of disquiet reading the outline below. I suggest this would be a positive response. It might be followed by a thought, ‘if I sign up for this people might assume I have done something along these lines.’ We won’t. As a therapist and case consultant over three decades, I have worked with female and male clients who have experienced sexual and other boundary violations by a previous therapist and consulted with many therapists who report the same. Working with a client in the aftermath of such an experience is therapeutically challenging and ethically confronting. If this is an issue that has arisen in your practice or you have worried it might, we want to create a forum to learn and understand the ramifications for your client, yourself and the field.

I would encourage all therapists to hold any feelings of discomfort and disquiet and explore this issue with Christine, because collectively, we have a responsibility to confront it.

The #MeToo movement, documenting sexual violations across many professional and occupational settings, makes clear that such events are alarmingly common. The psychotherapy setting is not the exception. In fact, the nature of psychotherapeutic work may contribute to vulnerabilities given the powerful and intimate emotions engendered and the transference and countertransference responses that are relationally stimulated. Clinicians who treat the victimized client in subsequent therapy and those who treat or supervise the offending therapist face special challenges and require specialized knowledge.

Most clinicians operate under the belief that they would never get sexually involved with a client and assume that SBVs are only perpetrated by colleagues who are highly impaired in some way (“the other”). And, when such violations come to light, many castigate and shun the therapist or patient (or both) or look on as passive bystanders and do not involve themselves.

SBVs are solely the responsibility of the therapist, regardless of the circumstance. They often have profound and life-changing effects for both members of the dyad and for many third parties (known colloquially as collateral damage). They therefore deserve ongoing study and more sophisticated attempts at education, prevention, and intervention for both offender and those offended against.

This webinar will provide an overview of contemporary knowledge and issues regarding sexual boundary violations based on a recently published book co-edited by the presenter. It will place these issues squarely in the context of transference, countertransference, and other relational issues such as traumatic reenactment, victim-victimizer dynamics, life transitions, and burnout. Specific issues to be addressed include a brief historical overview of SBVs including prevalence findings, as effected by racial and cultural contexts and issues of intersectionality, and new challenges and risks associated with the digital age and social media.

Victim statements and narratives will be presented to give a personal voice and perspective to these issues. We will further discuss issues related to witnessing/discovery, disclosure, reporting, and termination of the relationship, as they often create conditions of second injury and retraumatization at both the personal and organizational level.

Learning Objectives

  • Attendees will be able to identify several serious consequences of sexual boundary violations on the patient, therapist and third parties and organizations
  • Attendees will be able to identify risk and protective factors in sexual boundary violations.
  • Attendees will be able to list several techniques used in grooming behavior.
  • Attendees will be able to discuss challenges in the treatment of patients who were victims of SBV in previous therapy.
  • Attendees will be able to identify several primary consequences of SBVs in the client/victim.

Providers Terms
  • Your registration includes: Handout, 6 month access to the recording and Certificate of participation.
  • Registration is for individual use only. Links to live webinars and recordings cannot be shared with others.
  • All payments must be made by Credit Card - Visa and MasterCard only. All credit card payments will incur a surcharge of 1.6% per transaction.
  • Group bookings 4+ people must be from the same organization and paid with one payment.
  • Invoicing is only available for group bookings of 4+ in the same training.
  • All fees in $AUD. Fees inclusive of GST.
  • NO SPECIAL EXCEPTIONS on fees or policies are possible.
  • Student discount on application where meet criteria – download application form.
  • No scholarships available for webinars.
  • Please provide your direct email and contact details for webinar materials / updates – ensure this is provided where an AGENCY funds your registration.
  • Confirmation with your tax-deductible receipt will be emailed within 3 days (contact +61 (02) 9431 8600 immediately if not received).
  • Registration is only available for the whole training. It is not possible to register for particular parts of a training when it runs over more than one webinar. If you are unable to attend part / all of the webinar, you will receive the recording(s) as part of your registration package. Refunds are not available for parts you may be unable to attend live.
  • PAYMENT must be received by the closing date of the registration category you registered under. If payment has not been received by the closing date of the category registered under, your registration will automatically be transferred to the next registration category. If payment is not received 2 working days prior to the event, your registration will be cancelled.
  • Transfer registration to another webinar is not permitted.
  • All dates subject to expiry at 5pm in Victoria, Australia
  • Time Zone: Webinars are scheduled for Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) from first Sunday of April - to first Sunday of October, when it changes to Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT). Please check your time zone. A link to a time zone convertor will sent with your link to the webinar. Delphi Training and Consulting is not responsible for miscalculations relating to the webinar start time in your area and will not issue refunds due to timing mix-ups.
  • A link to the webinar and any handouts will be emailed to you at the email address on your registration 48 hours prior to the training. Please notify us if you do not receive it for any reason.
  • Technical issues: We will do everything we can to eliminate technical difficulties within our control and we will have a contact person available for technical issues during the live webinar. Refunds will not be issued for technical issues on the attendees side.
  • CANCELLATIONS: Must be made in writing. A refund minus $25 for 90 minute webinars, $55 for 3 hour webinars, and $75 for 6 hour webinars administration fee will be issued up to 7 days (including weekend days) prior to the webinar for which you are registered. NO REFUND after this date. There will be no administration fee charged for cancellations from countries in the South Asia and Asia Pacific Region listed in the World Bank country classification by income level tier system. This applies to countries in the region listed as tier IV - V - VI.
  • All webinar recordings are copyright of The Delphi Centre Pty Ltd and may not be copied, shared or shown in public or professional settings without written permission. Purchasing webinars is an agreement to uphold copyright laws.
  • In the unlikely event circumstances beyond our control result in the postponement or cancellation of a webinar, we will reschedule as soon as practical. A full refund or opportunity to transfer to the re-scheduled webinar will promptly be provided to registrants. 
Super Saver (GST Incl.)$124Closed
Early Bird (GST Incl.)$138Book
Regular (GST Incl.)$153Book


Super Saver (GST Incl.)ClosedEarly Bird (GST Incl.)$138Regular (GST Incl.)$153
Contact Hours:

3.0 hrs


Fri, 17 June 2022

Start Time:

9:00 AM


Morning Session







Google map
Google map

Your Computer,
Webinar, Online,
Australia, AEST

Thumb speaker logo

Christine A. Courtois


Christine is a board-certified counseling psychologist, retired from clinical practice in Washington, DC, is now a licensed psychologist, author and consultant/trainer on trauma psychology and treatment in Bethany Beach, Delaware. She is known for her work on adult survivors of developmental trauma in childhood and complex trauma and its treatment. Her co-edited book, Sexual Boundary Violations in Psychotherapy, was recently published; the revised edition, Treating Complex Traumatic Stress Disorders co-edited with Dr. Julian Ford, was published in 2020. In addition to other professional books, she has written a consumer book entitled It’s Not You, It’s What Happened to You.

Dr. Courtois served as Chair of the Clinical Practice Guideline for the Treatment of PTSD in Adults for the American Psychological Association (2017) and is past president of APA Division 56 (Trauma Psychology). She co-founded and was Clinical and Training Director of a specialized inpatient and day treatment program, The CENTER: Posttraumatic Disorders Program in Washington, DC.

She has received recognition for her work from several state, national, and international professional organizations, including the Cornelia Wilber Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ISSTD.

More courses you might be interested in >