Therapeutic intimacy: A post-9/11 perspective

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This essay describes therapeutic intimacy as a deeply personal and evolving definition of what each therapist finds uniquely curative. The author arrived at her definition following the events of September 11, 2001, and notes that constructs such as vicarious traumatization do not adequately convey the profound impact that such a catastrophic event can have on the clinician's personal and professional life. She introduces the term "shared trauma" to describe the lasting, transformative changes in one's self-concept taking place when the clinician and client are exposed to a collective trauma. The arbitrariness of professional boundaries is captured through discussion of client narratives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-98
Number of pages10
JournalSmith College Studies in Social Work
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2006


  • 9/11
  • Countertransference
  • Trauma
  • Vicarious traumatization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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