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Therapy can be an important method for people to work through difficult problems that are negatively impacting their lives. In order to be effective, therapists, counselors and psychiatrists must have the trust of their patients. These professionals often hold a great deal of influence in the lives of their patients. When therapists take advantage of this power and influence by sexually abusing patients, the results can be catastrophic.

If you have been sexually abused by a therapist, a lawsuit can help to hold your abuser accountable and prevent this type of abuse from taking place again. The lawyers of Teal & Montgomery, with offices in Sacramento and Santa Rosa, can help you get justice against your abuser. Call Teal and Montgomery in Sacramento today at 916-448-1010 or contact us online today.

Transference and Therapist Abuse

As part of the therapeutic process, patients often discuss painful memories with their therapist. During this process, a patient may transfer intense feelings towards the therapist. This process is known as transference. Although transference is a helpful therapeutic method, it is one reason why a therapist can become a very important figure in a patient’s life. When therapists abuse that power and coerce their patients into sexual relations, it can be devastating to the patient.

The Problem of Therapist-Patient Sex Abuse

Similar to other mental health professions, Psychology has faced challenges in addressing the complex problem of therapist-patient sexual intimacies forcefully, carefully, and effectively. Kenneth Pope has identified six central issues, which are based on the comparison of therapist-patient sex to incest and rape, which is commonly made. These “are identified as crucial in addressing forms of sex abuse in which perpetrators are predominantly male and victims are predominantly female: (a) acknowledging the scope of the phenomenon, (b) affirming the notion and the mechanisms of accountability, (c) assessing the validity of allegations, (d) evaluating the nature and validity of research evidence, (e) overcoming perpetrator stereotypes and inclinations to collude with or to enable sex offenders, and (f) confronting the notion of victim responsibility” [1].

Our law firm will closely examine the evidence in your case to prove the abuse. We will also find every possible source of compensation for your injuries. Whether your case is resolved in trial or in settlement negotiations, you can take comfort that our law firm will be here for you at each point in the legal process.

The Damage of Sexual Abuse

Sexual violence can cause psychological, emotional, and physical damage to survivors. These effects are complex and are not easy to cope with, but when the right assistance and support is available, these effects can be controlled. Getting as much education and information about what sexual abuse is and how to deal with it can help survivors discover the most effective type of care to initiate the process of healing.

Some of the effects of sexual trauma and abuse are:

  • Depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Traumatic flashbacks
  • Substance use
  • Self-harm
  • Eating disorders
  • Unexpected pregnancies
  • Sleep disorders
  • Dissociation
  • Suicide

Contact the Sacramento Law Firm of Teal & Montgomery

It can be extremely difficult to talk to someone about this type of abuse. If you are ready to discuss your abuse with us, we would like to hear from you. We will listen with compassion and approach your case with the aggressive defense you deserve. Contact us or call 916-448-1010 to schedule a free initial consultation at your convenience. We will not charge attorney’s fees unless we are successful in your case.


[1] Pope, K. (n.d.). Sexual Issues. Retrieved July 7, 2015.