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Power in Therapy

Online Courses:
Power Relationships in Psychotherapy: Rethinking Therapists’ Omnipotence and Clients’ “Inherent” Vulnerability
Power in Psychotherapy and Counseling

Alpert, J. L., & Steinberg, A. (L.). (2017). Sexual boundary violations: A century of violations and a time to analyze. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(2), 144-150.

Arendt, H. (1986) Communicative Power. In S. Lukes (ed.) Power. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Barstow, C. (2008). Right use of power: The heart of ethics. Boulder, CO: Many Realms Publishing.

Barstow, C. (2015). The Power Differential and Why It Matters So Much in Therapy. Retrieved from

Barstow, C., & Feldman, R. R. (2013). Living in the power zone. Boulder, CO: Many Realms.

Beker, D. (2015) The Myth of Empowerment. NYU Press

Bersoff, D. (1999).Ethical conflicts in psychology (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Breggin, P. (1991). Toxic Psychiatry: why therapy, empathy and love must replace the drugs, electroshock and biochemical theories of the “new psychiatry.” New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Brody, H. (1992) The Healer’s Power. 311 pp. New Haven, Conn., Yale University Press, 1992.

Brown, L. S. (1994). Boundaries in feminist therapy: A conceptual formulation. In N. K. Gartrell (Ed.), Bringing ethics alive: Feminist ethics in psychotherapy practice (pp. 29-38). New York: Haworth Press.

Caplan, P. J. (1995). They say you’re crazy: How the world’s most powerful psychiatrists decide who’s normal. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.

Celenza, A. (2017). Lessons on or about the couch: What sexual boundary transgressions can teach us about everyday practice. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(2), 157-162.

Cook, R. M.; McKibben, W. .& Wind, S. A. (2018). Supervisee perception of power in clinical supervision: The Power Dynamics in Supervision Scale. Training and Education in Professional Psychology,12(3), 188-195.

Corrigan, J. D., Dell, D. M., Lewis, K. N., & Schmidt, L. D. (1980). Counseling as a social influence process: A review. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 27(4), 395-441. 

Dahl, R. A. (1957). The Concept of Power. System Research and Behavioral Science 3, 201-215

Dahl, H.-S. J., Røssberg, J. I., Crits-Christoph, P., Gabbard, G. O., Hersoug, A. G., Perry, J. C., . . . Høglend, P. A. (2014). Long-term effects of analysis of the patient–therapist relationship in the context of patients’ personality pathology and therapists’ parental feelings. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 82(3), 460-471.

Dawes, R. M. (1994). House of cards: Psychology and psychotherapy built on myth. New York: Free Press.

Dell, D. M. (1973). Counselor power base, influence attempt, and behavior change in counseling. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 20(5), 399-405.

Demos, V. C. (2017). When the frame breaks: Ripple effects of sexual boundary violations. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(2), 201-207.

DeVries, J. (1994). The Dynamic of Power in Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, 31, 588-593.

Dimen, M. (2017). Eight topics: A conversation on sexual boundary violations between Charles Amrhein and Muriel Dimen. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(2), 169-174.

Dineen, T. (1996). Manufacturing victims: What the psychology industry is doing to people. Westmount, Quebec, Canada: Robert Davies.

Dineen, T. (2002). The Psychotherapist and the Quest for Power: How Boundaries have Become an Obsession. In Lazarus, A. A. & Ofer Zur, O. (eds.), Dual Relationships and Psychotherapy. New York: Springer Publ.

Douglas, M. A. (1985). The role of power in feminist therapy: A reformulation. In L. B. Rosewater and L.E.A. Walker (Eds.), Handbook of feminist therapy (pp. 241-249). New York: Springer.

Fors, M. (2018). A Grammar of Power in Psychotherapy: Exploring the Dynamics of Privilege. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association – APA Books.

Foucault, M. (1980). Power/knowledge: Selected interviews and other writings. New York: Pantheon.

Frank, J. D. (1973).Persuasion and healing: A comparative study of psychotherapy. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

French, J. P. R. Jr., and Raven, B. (1960). The bases of social power. In D. Cartwright and A. Zander (eds.) Group dynamics (pp. 607-623). New York: Harper and Row.

Fromberg, D. (2014). Trouble in the family: The impact of sexual boundary violations in analytic institute life. In R. A. Deutsch (Ed.), Relational perspectives book series. Traumatic ruptures: Abandonment and betrayal in the analytic relationship (pp. 163-175). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Gabbard, G. O. (1994). Reconsidering the American Psychological Association’s policy on sex with former patients: Is it justifiable? Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 25(4), 329-335.

Gabbard, G. O. (2017). Sexual boundary violations in psychoanalysis: A 30-year retrospective. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(2), 151-156.

Gabbard, G. O., Crisp-Han, H. and Gabrielle S. Hobday, G. S.(2015). Professional Boundaries in Psychiatric Practice. In The Oxford Handbook of Psychiatric Ethics, by J. Z. Sadler, K. W. M. Fulford, and W. van Staden (Eds). London, Oxford University Press.

Gottlieb, M. C. (1993). Avoiding exploitative dual relationships: A decision making model. Psychotherapy, 30, 41-48.

Grand, S. (2017). Seductive excess: Erotic transformations, secret predations. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(2), 208-214.

Greenspan, M. (1994). On professionalism. In C. Heyward, (Ed.), When boundaries betray us. (pp.193-205). San Francisco: Harper Collins.

Guilfoyle, M. (2003). Dialogue and Power: A Critical Analysis of Power in Dialogical Therapy. Family Process, 43, 331-343.

Heller, D. (1985). Power in Psychotherapeutic Practice. New York: Human Sciences Press.

Heppner, P. P., & Claiborn, C. D. (1989). Social influence research in counseling: A review and critique. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 36(3), 365-387.

Heppner, P. P., & Handley, P. G. (1981). A study of the interpersonal influence process in supervision. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 28(5), 437-444.

Heyward, C. (Ed.) (1994). When boundaries betray us. San Francisco: Harper Collins.

Høglend, P., Hersoug, A. G., Bøgwald, K.-P., Amlo, S., Marble, A., Sørbye, Ø., . . . Crits-Christoph, P. (2011). Effects of transference work in the context of therapeutic alliance and quality of object relations. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(5), 697-706.

Holmes, D. & Jacob, D. J. (2014) (Eds.) Power and the Psychiatric Apparatus: Repression, Transformation and Assistance. Routledge

Jackson, H., & Nuttall, R. L. (2001). A relationship between childhood sexual abuse and professional sexual misconduct. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 32(2), 200-204.

Jones, E. (1951). The God Complex.” In idem, Essays in Applied Psychoanalysis, 2, pp. 244-65. London: Hogarth Press.

Judson, T.J., Detsky, A.S., and Press, M.J. (2013). Encouraging patients to ask questions: how to overcome “white coat silence.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 309(22): 2325–2326.

LaCrosse, M. B. (1980). Perceived counselor social influence and counseling outcomes: Validity of the Counselor Rating Form. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 27(4), 320-327.

Laing, R.D. 1985. Wisdom, Madness and Folly: The Making of a Psychiatrist 1927- 1957.  London: Macmillan.

Lazarus, A.A. (1994). The illusion of the therapist’s power and the patient’s fragility: my rejoinder. Ethics and Behavior, 4, 299-306.

Lazarus, A.A. (2007). Restrictive Draconian Views Must Be Vigorously Challenged. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 38, 405-406.

Lazarus, C. (2015). Do Therapists Really Have More “Power” Than Their Clients? Debunking the myth of therapists’ “power” in the therapeutic relationship. Psychology Today, December.

Lazarus, A. A. & Zur, O. (Eds.) (2002). Dual Relationships and Psychotherapy.New York: Springer.

Lazarus, C. (2015). Do Therapists Really Have More “Power” Than Their Clients? Debunking the myth of therapists’ “power” in the therapeutic relationship. Psychology Today, December.

Marziali, E. & Alexander, L. (1991). The power of the therapeutic relationship. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61(3), 383-391.

Mason, J. (1988). Against Therapy: Emotional Tyranny and the Myth of Psychological Healing. New York: Atheneum.

Merluzzi, T. V., Merluzzi, B. H., & Kaul, T. J. (1977). Counselor race and power base: Effects on attitudes and behavior. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 24(5), 430-436.

Milgram, S. (1963). Behavioral study of obedience. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67/4, 371-378.

Milioni, D. (2007). ‘Oh, Jo! You can’t see that real life is not like riding a horse!’: Clients’ constructions of power and metaphor in therapy. Radical Psychology, 6/1. Retrieved from

Pizer, B. (2017). “Why can’t we be lovers?” When the price of love is loss of love: Boundary violations in a clinical context. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(2), 163-168.

Proctor, G. (2002) The Dynamics of Power in Counseling and Psychotherapy: Ethics, Politics, and Practice. Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire: PCCS Books.

Ravella, N.F. (1988). The Myth of Power: Clinical Implications of Cybernetics and Self-organizing Systems. Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities

Riolo, J.A. ‘Til Death Do Us Part: Does a Client Ever Stop Being a Client? The New Social Work. Retrieved from

Rogers, C.R. (1978)Carl Rogers on Personal Power. London: Constable.

Rosenhan, D. L. (1973). On being sane in insane places. Science, 179, 250-258.

Schonner, G. (2000). Exploitation of Professional Relationships. First Swiss Congress Against Violence & Abuse of Power. Pre-congress Workshop, Rehabilitation for the professional who has violated boundaries. (21 September)

Spinelli, E. D. (1998). Counseling and the abuse of power. Counseling, 9/3, 181-184.

Starhawk (1987). Truth or dare: Encounters with power, authority, and mastery. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Strong, S. R. (1968). Counseling: An interpersonal influence process. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 15(3), 215-224.

Summers, F. (2017). Sexual relationships between patient and therapist: Boundary violation or collapse of the therapeutic space? Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(2), 175-181.

Sutherland, O. (2007). Therapist Positioning and Power in Discursive Therapies: A Comparative Analysis. Contemporary Family Therapy, 29, 193-209.

Sykes, C. J. (1992). A Nation Of Victims: The Decay Of The American Character. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Szasz, T. (1997). The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement, Syracuse Univ Press.

Tavris, C. (1993, January). Beware the incest survivor machine. New York Times, Book Review, pp. 1,16-1.

Tylim, I. (2017). On transference, passion, and analysts’ sexual boundary violations. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 34(2), 182-185.

Veldhuis, C. B. (2001). The trouble with power. Women & Therapy, 23, 37-56.

Wallace, E. (2014). Losing a training analyst for ethical violations: Short-term and long-term effects. In R. A. Deutsch (Ed.), Relational perspectives book series. Traumatic ruptures: Abandonment and betrayal in the analytic relationship (pp. 93-108). New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.

Welch, B. L. (2000). Borderline patients: Danger ahead. In B. L. Welch (Ed.), Insight (pp. 1–5). Amityville, NY: American Professional Agency.

Walling, D. and Levine, R. E. (1997). Power in the hypnotic relationship: Therapeutic or Abusive? American Journal of Psychotherapy, 51, 67-76.

Welch, B. L. (2000). Borderline patients: Danger ahead. Insight: Safeguarding Psychologists Against Liability, 2, 1-6.

Williams, M. H. (2000). “Victimized by victims: a taxonomy of antecedents of false complaints against psychotherapists,” Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 31 (1), 75-81. (Available online at:

Williams, M. H. (2013). Malpractice, disability, sexual harassment and other civil claims arising from plaintiffs’ psychopathology. Retrieved from

Wright, R. H. (1985a). Who needs enemies. Psychotherapy in Private Practice, 3(2), 111–118. doi:10.1300/ J294v03n02_15.

Yeheskel Hasenfeld,Y. (1987). Power in Social Work Practice. Social Service Review 6/3: 469-483.

Younggren, J. N., Fisher, M. A., Foote, W. E., & Hjelt, S. E. (2011). A legal and ethical review of patient responsibilities and psychotherapist duties. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 42(2), 160–doi:10.1037/a0023142.

Yukl, G., & Tracey, J. B. (1992). Consequences of influence tactics used with subordinates, peers, and the boss. Journal of Applied Psychology, 77(4), 525-535. 

Zimbardo, P. G. (1972). Pathology of imprisonment. Society, 6, 4, 6, 8.

Zur, O. (1994). Rethinking “Don’t Blame the Victim”: Psychology of victimhood. Journal of Couple Therapy, 4 (3/4), 15-36.

Zur, O. (2005). Dumbing down of psychology: Manufactured consent about the depravity of dual relationships in therapy. In R. H. Wright & N. A. Cummings (Eds.), Destructive trends in mental health: The well-intentioned road to harm (pp. 253-282). New York: Brunner-Routledge.

Zur, O. (2007). Power and Boundaries. In O. Zur Boundaries in Psychotherapy: Ethical and Clinical Explorations (pp. 47-51). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Zur, O. (2008). DSM: Diagnosing for Status and Money. National Psychologist, May/June, 15.

Zur, O. (2008). Re-Thinking the “Power Differential” in Psychotherapy: Exploring the myth of therapists’ omnipotence and patients’ fragility. Voice: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy, 44 (3), 32-40.

Zur, O. (2009). Power in Psychotherapy and Counseling: Exploring the “inherent power differential” and related myths about therapists’ omnipotence and clients’ vulnerability. Independent Practitioner 29, (3), 160-164.

Zur, O. (Ed.) (2017). Multiple Relationships in Psychotherapy and Counseling: Unavoidable, Common and Mandatory Dual Relations in Therapy. New York: Routledge.


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