Saturday, October 10, 2009
During a recent Supervision group, I asked everyone to create an image of how one of the patients had used sex to manipulate staff, either in an Art Therapy group or just in everyday interactions. When working with this population, it is important to be aware of how the sex offender will try to manipulate or take advantage of staff, often using sex, either in a subtle or obvious way. The more aware we are of the attempts and intent, the better we can prepare ourselves to defend against it and deal with the patient. Several examples were given such as the patient who tries to touch staff's hand when she is handing him his art supplies. Also, there are those patients who speak very softly, so staff have to lean in closer to hear him. Some offer compliments or a sympathetic ear. All these practices serve as a test of boundaries, so we were able to discuss feelings around these circumstances and how best to address the issue with the patient.