by Dr. Jem Tosh
(Content warning: Discussion of s*xual abuse in professional settings)
While the #metoo movement has received a wide range of coverage in relation to well-known figures from Hollywood to politics, there is a similar movement within academia and psychology - from accusations of sexual harassment and abuse regarding Professors abusing colleagues and students, to discussions of sexual abuse of patients and clients by therapists and doctors. There is also increasing recognition that this is not an 'us/them' binary - many therapists and psychologists are survivors themselves.
A new collection due to be published by Deborah A. Lee and Emma Palmer in 2019 examines this issue - of therapists, counsellors, and psychologists who manage both their work in a profession that has a problematic history in its approach to sexual violence, and their positions in it as survivors of sexual abuse. The editors stated that they wanted "to make a rich and nuanced contribution to #MeToo, a significant political intervention for psychotherapists and counsellors, qualified and in-training", and it is a timely intervention.
The book includes my piece on my own experiences of childhood sexual abuse and how growing up in Northern Ireland as a queer and genderfluid survivor impacted on my career, titled, "Sexual Abuse and Surviving with(in) Psychology."
#MeToo: Survivors of Sexual Violence as Counsellors and Psychotherapists will be available from PCCS Books in 2019.