Sex With Your Doctor

Why is sex with a treating doctor criminal abuse and toxic for the patient? Abuse occurs whenever a person who is suffering illness, or has a need for treatment, hires someone in authority to provide the service, who then takes advantage of his or her vulnerability while providing the service.

It’s basically a form of predatory behavior. The deception involved permits the ‘sick’ doctor to impose his or her sexual needs on the emotionally ‘vulnerable’ patient who is victimized by the imposition.

For the purpose of illustration, I will differentiate between two general types of doctors who abuse. First there are your classic physicians. These are ‘doctors of the physical body.’ The extent to which they are concerned with or manipulate the ‘mind’ of the patient in the act of treating the patient is secondary or non-existent beyond bedside manner.

The other type are the doctors of the mind. These are doctors whose treatment is fundamentally mental even though they might define the curative impact with physiological terms and concepts. Doctors of the mind intentionally work with and in a relationship with the patient. Doctors of the body may form a relationship with their patients over time, but the relationship is secondary and usually not a topic of discussion between them.

In both instances the patient presents with sickness and a ‘need to trust’ the doctor and his or her evaluations and treatments. Patients of physical doctors have been taught that they can and should ‘expose’ themselves as per the direction of the doctor and/or his or her associates. Patients trust that doctors are examining them with professional eyes and modes of thought.

If the patient knew that the doctor was in a ‘state of sick need’ at the time of the evaluation and treatment, most patients would experience some combination of embarrassment and revulsion. This boundary between the professional presentation of the doctor and his or her personal needs, sick or normal, is supposed to be kept rigidly in place over the course of the evaluation and treatment regardless of what the patient says or does. This is what patients ‘consciously’ pay for.

Some patients, however, are more susceptible to the sick physical doctor’s sexual advances. These are people who have been traumatized by mistreatment or abuse and have developed a ‘post-traumatic personality.’ The post-traumatic personality is attracted to repeated situations of abuse because of the unhealed after-effects of trauma. They are drawn to repeat and revisit the situations that caused them injury physically, psychologically, or both.

Another group of post-traumatic patients have suffered tragic losses or abandonment when they were young. Seeking the love and approval of authority figures is a preoccupation they possess that increases their vulnerability to this kind of sick relationship. They often relate to a physical doctor with unfulfilled needs for childhood love and affection.

These patients are ready to interpret whatever the sick physical doctor does in loving terms. Unfortunately, sick doctors have ‘radar’ for these kinds of patients. They know that they have a certain power, given to them by these traumatized disappointed people, to take advantage of them sexually or otherwise. Nowadays, patients are a bit wiser about this form of malpractice. Unfortunately, this awareness hasn’t stopped this kind of sexual abuse from happening.

Now let’s talk about the ‘sick mental doctor.’ I happen to think that this type of abusive doctor is the most traumatic and toxic of the two types. Why? Because he or she abuses a patient in the context of a ‘therapeutic relationship.’ Most mental doctors, with some notable exceptions, work on or with patients they get to know over time. The fact that a deliberate and concentrated relationship is involved magnifies this kind of doctor’s influence over the patient.

Unlike the simplified authoritarian relationship the physical doctor usually has with his or her victim, the mental doctor’s authority has deeper roots in the patient’s feelings and expectations. In other words, in time the mental doctor usually gets deeper into the patient’s emotional life and needs.

Old disappointed needs for love from childhood or adolescence and the expectation that the doctor can satisfy them will be stronger in this context. Vulnerable patients who ‘fall in love’ with their sick mental doctors are highly suggestible and ready to interpret anything the doctor does as for ‘his or her own good.’ Judgment is blinded by need.

Sick mental doctors are notorious for ‘using’ vulnerable patients over time. They initially use them for sexual needs, and dominate them psychologically in the process. When the patient is exceedingly compliant and receptive, he or she may remain ‘annexed’ to the doctor’s needs over the course of a long-term relationship. The patient starts believing that the doctor’s guidance and direction is necessary for protection, prosperity, or simply emotional stability.

What is overlooked is the extent to which the patient’s opportunities for a normal and loving life have been drastically and irrevocably changed by this long-term association with a sick mental doctor. In some instances, this abusive association could last for many years and go through a number of different evolutions always guided by the ‘needs of the doctor.’

In fact, it’s not until a forced ending occurs that the patient has an opportunity to ‘shake off’ and begin repairing the toxic injuries of this limiting relationship. Most patients that enter into this kind of sick relationship with sick mental doctors are quite unaware of the extent of their self-sacrifice. When the relationship ends either due to abandonment or the victim becomes acutely aware of the limitations in the relationship, victims usually experience depression, anxiety, with the possibility of  post-traumatic symptoms.

The good news is, it is only in this state of temporary symptomatic illness that victimized patients are more receptive to real therapeutic influence. Of course, the first step in treatment is to manage the symptoms and work toward an acceptance of the sick doctor’s relationship with the victimized patient as fundamentally sick.

With this acceptance comes the possibility of repair, grief for the lost time trying to find ‘parental love’ in mental treatment, and a real opportunity to work on personal problems with a matured effectively treated and trained doctor whose purpose is to put the patient’s needs before his or hers.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan






Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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