Transference and Counter-transference in Sport Psychology Service Delivery: Part I. A Review of Erotic Attraction

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Stevens, Lisa M and Andersen, Mark B (2007) Transference and Counter-transference in Sport Psychology Service Delivery: Part I. A Review of Erotic Attraction. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 19 (3). pp. 253-269. ISSN 1041-3200


Sport psychologists work in a variety of settings, often with athletes who have qualities that most people find attractive. For athletes, their worlds are usually filled with people who have agendas other than their happiness (e.g., medals, fame, future financial gains). The sport psychologist may be the only person with whom the athlete can talk about deeper issues than training and performance. Romantic or erotic attraction between sport psychologists and those in their care probably occurs more often than many would believe, or want to believe. The topic is so taboo that it is often kept in the closet in the training and education of sport psychologists. Erotic feelings in service are often disturbing, shocking, and sources of professional and personal shame. Helping students and practitioners of sport psychology understand the roots of these phenomena may go a long way towards a better understanding of our all-too-human responses to those we serve. In Part I we review the literature on erotic transference and countertransference in psychotherapy and sport psychology service delivery and make suggestions for opening the closet doors on these phenomena for educators, students, supervisees, and supervisors.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/10413200701314003
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Ageing, Rehabilitation, Exercise & Sport Science (CARES)
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Keywords ResPubID12757, sport psychologists, athletes, erotic transference and countertransference in psychotherapy, sport psychology service delivery
Citations in Scopus 18 - View on Scopus
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