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This article discusses issues surrounding the potential violation of sexual boundaries in sport psychology consultancy and critically evaluates the current state of knowledge in the field. Limited discussion and research relating to this ethical issue exists within sport psychology; the discussion that has occurred has mainly focused on erotic transference and countertransference (Andersen, 2005). Research and knowledge from clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and psychotherapy proffers ideas for discussion and research into the factors that precipitate sexual boundary violations. The relevance of the controversial practice of touch as a therapeutic tool and a stimulus for sexual boundary violations is considered, alongside implications for the training of neophyte practitioners through role-playing, peer support, and supervision.
The authors are with the School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences at Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire, UK.