A survey of Music Therapist' experiences as well as perceived effectiveness of education and training on sexual attraction to clients.
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The purpose of this descriptive study was to investigate music therapists’ experiences of sexual attraction to their clients and the music therapists’ perceived effectiveness of their education and training on therapist sexual attraction to clients. Based on previous studies with verbal therapists, it was hypothesized that music therapists frequently experienced sexual attraction to their clients and perceived their education and training on therapist sexual attraction to clients as ineffective or nonexistent. A survey questionnaire assessing related experiences and perceptions was sent to all professional members of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) with a music therapist designation (N = 1,569). Of the 1,491 participants with working email addresses, 304 agreed to participate (20.4% response rate). Significantly less music therapists (26.7%) reported they at least once experienced sexual attraction to their clients. Many music therapists (70.0%) reported that their education and training included little to no discussion about therapist sexual attraction to clients. Many of them (63.8%) also reported that their education and training about sexual attraction to clients was less than adequate. The need for improvement in educating and training music therapists about this phenomenon is evident, but it is still unclear whether music therapists are less likely to experience, become aware of, or admit to the attraction. Possible explanations and implications of these results are discussed.