Vistas Online 2006

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.


Client Masturbation During Counseling

Renee T. DeVuyst and Leslie A. McCulloch


For mental health counselors practicing in the correctional setting, responding to client masturbation during counseling is a familiar occurrence. Masturbation within the correctional setting is pervasive and may be a release of sexual tension during long periods of limited sexual outlet (Aldridge, 1982) or nonsexual acting-out of dominance, control, and power (Darke, 1990). While client masturbation during counseling is file:///C|/counseling%20outfitters/McCulloch.htm (1 of 14) [8/12/2006 10:06:40 AM] Client Masturbation During Counseling pervasive in correctional institutions, client masturbation can occur in any counseling setting and may be unexpected by counselors who are not trained and/or are inexperienced in dealing with such client behavior. This may mean that a large number of clinicians ignore or shun client masturbatory behaviors during counseling. Kucharski and Groves (1976) have noted that when clients act out sexually “...staff often becomes paralyzed, as if to interact with the [client]... in the obvious, corrective way would be to become involved in the sexual behavior itself” (p. 216). Addressing the issue of client masturbation during counseling may be helpful to all mental health professionals in all settings. This article (1) defines masturbation and explores related clinical issues, (2) suggests clinical responses to client masturbation during counseling, and (3) discusses client masturbation relevant to counselor education and research.

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