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In California, we’re supposed to have the bluntly named pamphlet displayed in our waiting room.  Except I share a suite with psychoanalysts, and there is no way they want to introduce that into the “field,” every time a patient sits down in the waiting room.  I left a note with a copy of the pamphlet by the check-in board, and promptly got a note back from an octogenarian Jungian analyst: “I’d prefer that each of us be responsible for dispensing these.”  In other words, no way am I going to let you leave these laying around the waiting room.

So, great, now I’m going to display them in my office, so that all through sessions, any time a client’s mind wanders, they will be reminded: NO SEX.  This is one of those situations where I am glad the rule exists, I just don’t want it to apply to me.

Time to bend a rule.  Into the file cabinet they go.  The other rule is that, if we learn of a client previously being inappropriately treated by a prior therapist, we’re to give them the pamphlet immediately and discuss their options, including a report to the Board of Psychology.

That I will do without hesitation.

3 Responses to ““Professional Psychotherapy Never Involves Sex””

  1. My understanding is that the law requires therapists who become aware that a patient has been abused by a prior therapist to give the patient a copy of this booklet (B&P Laws & Regulations, Section 728), but not that we are required to have it prominently displayed in our waiting room. Can you clarify on this? (I’m using the 2009 Laws & Regulations booklet: http://www.psychboard.ca.gov/lawsregs/index.shtml )


    We are, however, required to have a Notice to Consumers with the following information posted in a conspicuous location (B&P Laws & Regulations, Section 2936).

    ‘‘NOTICE TO CONSUMERS: The Department of Consumer Affair’s Board of Psychology receives and responds to questions and complaints regarding the practice of psychology. If you have questions or complaints, you may contact the board on the Internet at http://www.psychboard.ca.gov, by calling 1-866-503-3221, or by writing to the following address:
    Board of Psychology
    1422 Howe Avenue, Suite 22
    Sacramento, California 95825-3236’’

    My office mate has refused to permit this notice, and I have settled for framing it and posting it in my own office.

    It is very interesting to note how some psychologists fear letting consumers know of their rights and resources!

    Anyway, it was nice to come across your blog!

    • admin says:

      Keely and Michael – Thanks for the clarification! I don’t know how it got planted in my head that the brochures need to go in the waiting room, it’s a relief to know that my instincts are in line with the law.

  2. Michael B. Donner, PhD says:

    I am not aware of a requirement that the brochure Professional Therapy Never Includes Sex has to be in the waiting room of a psychologist. It has to be given to any patient who discloses a sexual relationship with a psychotherapist.

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