If this were an isolated incident of poor judgment, I could write it off as such.But the theme has become so ubiquitous as to appear in highly rated productions reaching tens of millions impressionable minds worldwide.However, research tells us that the power imbalance remains strong, even after time has passed, and that romance in this situation is usually still emotionally damaging to the one who was the client.
In the healthiest of situations, the client would admit these feelings to the therapist—the best therapeutic alliances are built on trust and acceptance, communicating to the client that no judgment or disgust will befall them in that room, under any circumstances.
A well-trained and ethical therapist will seek professional consultation if romantic or lustful feelings arise and will follow wise counsel as to the most ethical way to proceed.
Often these feelings can be worked through and resolved without any negative effect on the therapy.
I started enjoying the recently cancelled sitcom, , until the female character’s therapist asked her out during a session and they started dating. After a few therapy sessions, in which he did nothing of therapeutic value, he declared her problem-free and decided to hit on her.
My concern is that the writers of these shows may actually be typical, regular people who truly believe that relationships with therapists are normal.