Sex, Boundary Violations, and Psychiatry Legends
The provocative and entertaining film A Dangerous Method is a piece of historical fiction dipping into the early days of psychoanalysis and some of the interactions between Freud and Jung. The film also features the character Sabina, a patient with psychosis, who prior to becoming a physician and scholar was treated by both Freud and Jung. In the film, Jung has erotic, ecstatic, and sado-masochistic sex with Sabina. But as Eugene Taylor notes in his review of the film, "there is no evidence that any of the sexual scenes in the film actually ever happened."
Films are notorious for depicting psychologists and psychiatrists who cross boundaries, often of a melodramatic and sexual nature. But is there some truth to this boundary-crossing? Do most psychotherapists cross a "boundary" with patients at some point in their career? What percentage do you believe commit serious, substantive boundary violations such as sexual intercourse with a patient?
For those who have closely studied Freud, Jung, and/or psychoanalysis, how accurate is the portrayal of psychoanalysis and the characterization of these legendary psychiatrists in A Dangerous Method?
By Eugene Taylor
PsycCRITIQUES, 2012 Vol 57(16)