Do Ya Think I'm Sexy: Sexual Transference and Countertransference in the Counseling Environment

Presented by Frances Patterson, PhD on 10-24-2014 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

In our work with clients, we can encounter transference dynamics when a client is attracted to or acts seductively toward the therapist. Additionally, many therapists and counselors will confront or have confronted their own sexual attraction to a client. Anyone who develops therapeutic relationships with clients is vulnerable to such feelings, which arise from normal human emotions and countertransference. If not properly addressed, these feelings and issues can have grave consequences, up to and including loss of licensure, arrest, and imprisonment. Most professional training programs do not adequately prepare people to cope with these issues.

This web conference will help participants to increase their awareness of the dangers of dual relationships, ignoring personal feelings, and failing to confront inappropriate client behavior. Therapeutic and anti-therapeutic seduction, how and why clients seduce, and therapeutic power dynamics will be discussed to aid participants in setting and maintaining appropriate boundaries in the therapeutic environment. Research-based evidence will be provided during the web conference.

This web conference is intermediate instructional level and designed to help clinicians:

  1. Define sexual transference and countertransference;
  2. Recognize the dangers of not addressing, with a supervisor or therapist, personal feelings triggered by clients;
  3. Discuss how a client might try to seduce the therapist;
  4. Define therapeutic seduction.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference, or would like more information, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

Attendees who register for this event will log in to the web conference center by using a computer and calling in to the teleconference line. Attendees will be able to ask live audio questions via phone and/or submit text chat questions via computer. Live streaming video and/or document sharing will also be available to participants. Alternatively, attendees may dial in to the teleconference line only, though attendees dialing in by phone only will be unable to ask questions.

Before the scheduled event, all registered attendees will be sent a reminder email with specific instructions on how to log in to the web conference center, as well as links to optional handout materials if applicable.

This event will include lecture and question-and-answer periods. A recording of the web conference will be available to members in's Continuing Education Archives within two weeks. After the live event, a written transcript of the event will be available in the Member's Area. Members of can receive continuing education credits for attending this event by logging in to the Member's Area.

439.5CE hours and counting!

All are available to members at no additional cost.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

Registration Information

This web conference is available at no cost to members.

This event has already taken place. An audio recording for this event may be available in the Member's Area.

Event Reviews from Members

"I found the frank discussion of the commonalities of transference and countertransference was the most important piece of this workshop. I appreciated the honesty that the presenter conveyed when she discussed the often-taboo topic of transference and countertransference, especially with regard to sexual attraction. I think that opening up more frank discussions of these phenomena will encourage therapists to keep it in the back of their minds at all times and emphasize strong and clear boundaries with clients so this becomes a thing of the past." - Kristen Martinez, MEd, EdS, LMHCA, NCC

Meet the Presenter

Frances Patterson, PhD

Frances Patterson, PhD

Dr. Patterson earned her master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University's Alcohol and Drug Education and Rehabilitation Program and her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from California Southern University. She is licensed as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor, board certified as professional counselor, and state certified in Tennessee as a clinical supervisor, and Dr. Patterson has enjoyed working as a program treatment counselor and administrator for over 25 years. She is also certified by the NAADAC as a Qualified Substance Abuse Professional, and she is a Criminal Justice Addictions Specialist.

Dr. Patterson founded Footprints Consulting Services, LLC where she serves as a professional trainer and clinical supervisor. She has 20 years experience as a trainer on addictions and professional counseling and mental health issues. She also sits on the board for the American Psychological Association Executive Committee.

Dr. Patterson was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award by the Tennessee Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors in 2005, the Mel Schulstad award in 2006, and the NAADAC’s National Professional of the Year award. She has authored and published articles in professional magazines and is currently working on writing her first book. For more information about Dr. Patterson and her work, visit

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • ace is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. maintains responsibility for this program and its content. received APA approval in May 2011. Events after 2011 may meet APA requirements for Continuing Education credits.
  • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo
    This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  • ace, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 03/30/2016 – 03/30/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 clinical continuing education clock hours.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.