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The Impact Of A Controversial Child Porn Law And How It’s Affecting Therapists And Their Patients

Therapy counseling office
Therapy counseling office
Photo by randomwire via Flickr Creative Commons

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The California Supreme Court is considering a challenge to a controversial state law that requires therapists to report patients who admit to watching child pornography. Two lower courts dismissed challenges to the law. 

Failing to report could lead to a criminal fine or harsher punishments against the therapist, according to the LA Times. Many therapists have argued the rule discourages people from seeking help and treatment for porn addiction and that it turns therapists into police officers. And other experts say there are a lot of misconceptions around pedophilia and the state has played into them. But some argue the risks override privacy concerns because protecting minors is the priority.

Today on AirTalk, we discuss the implications of the law and how it’s impacting therapists and patients. Are you a therapist? What do you think of the law? Should the Supreme Court take up the challenge or should the law remain in place as a means to protecting children? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.


Michael L. Alvarez, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Torrance, with a clinical specialization in addiction and problematic sexual behavior, he’s one of the therapists challenging the law

Dmitry Gorin, criminal defense attorney with the Los Angeles-based firm Eisner Gorin, LLP and a former trial prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office; he tweets @DmitryGorin