Date of Conferral
Empirical literature indicated that marriage and family therapists are not comfortable discussing sexual topics with clients. The purpose of this cross-sectional correlational study was to examine the variables that may influence or predict a therapist's willingness to discuss sexual topics with clients. The research questions focused on understanding the predictive relationship between the independent variables of therapists' (a) attitudes, (b) knowledge, (c) training, (d) supervision experience, (e) clinical experience, (f) sex, (g) age, (h) strength of religion, (i) sexual orientation, (j) practice experience, (k) practice setting, and (l) graduate specialization, and the dependent variables of therapists' (a) willingness to discuss sexual topics with clients and (b) comfort discussing sexual topics with clients. Bowenian theory provided the framework for the study. Survey data were collected from 90 state-licensed marriage and family therapists in the United States. Findings from correlational and stepwise logistic regression analyses indicated that supervision experience was the strongest predictor of a therapist's willingness to discuss sexual topics with a client. The second strongest predictor was clinical experience. Therapists' attitudes and knowledge were not predictors of comfort or willingness to discuss sexual topics with clients. Increasing the number of clinical and supervisory opportunities for marriage and family therapists may increase their willingness to discuss sexual topics and may decrease the number of clients who cannot receive help, which may improve quality of life for therapists, clients, and their families.
Moore, Byron James, "Therapists' Attitudes, Knowledge, Comfort, and Willingness to Discuss Sexual Topics with Clients" (2018). Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies. 5382.