Mandatory reporting of sexually exploitative psychotherapists

Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1990;18(4):379-84.


Although there is unanimity among mental health professionals as to the unethical aspect of psychotherapist-patient sexual contact, there is disagreement as to whether subsequent treating psychotherapists should be required to report the abuse of a former therapist to a licensing agency. Such reporting may have negative effects upon the patient and upon the patient's relationship with the therapist. It may also, however, prevent further exploitation by the original abusing therapist. Three states have adopted reporting statutes designed to protect patients from this type of abuse. The current statutory enactments of California, Wisconsin, and Minnesota are compared in terms of their differing approaches to the problem.

MeSH terms

  • Confidentiality / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Liability, Legal
  • Malpractice / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Mentally Ill Persons
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Professional Misconduct*
  • Psychotherapy*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Offenses / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Sex Offenses / psychology
  • Social Control, Formal*
  • United States