Monday, June 21, 2010

Falling in love? // Standing in love.

Over the several years, especially in our group sessions, this question was raised many times: Now, about all this professional ethics business. What happens if you fall madly in love with a client? How do you distinguish between that person being a lover as well as a client?

This time it is raised by our friend Gary. Good question. Fall madly in live with a client?

How about this? Love is a decision and a choice. I may be out of my mind attracted and aroused by someone. . . . I don't think I can control myself. . .I've got to have him. That is not love; it is lust. . .which is cool. . ..well, rather, hot. . . wicked hot. But it isn't love.

We only love someone we know. . . .because knowing someone takes time. . .sexual arousal, attraction, desire, passion happen instantly. . . .most of the time and have little or nothing to do with knowledge.

So if I am an honest, ethical man, and I find myself sexually attracted to a client
I will recuse myself and transfer him to another therapist. I could hardly be able to remain objective in therapy and be if any real help to him.

Knowing someone also engenders care and respect. . . .seeing someone as he really is, not as I desire him to be, and caring for what is best for him, not for my need or passion.

Professional ethics stresses the need for discipline in our conduct and interactions with clients. Self-control is possible and even desirable! ;-) I guess this is sufficient; you get my ideas.



J said...

The same principles apply to attorneys. Some time back a divorce client told me that his vicious estranged wife had told him in the midst of litigation that he was trash, and that she was going to marry her lawyer. I told the man that this had to be bullshit, because the attorney on the other side would never jeopardize his license by getting involved with his client. Two days later I received a letter from the lawyer saying he was withdrawing from the case. Two kids later she left her lawyer husband for a rich younger man, and the poor guy dropped dead of a heart attack before the decree was final. Ask any woman and, if she is honest, she'll tell you that men are exceptionally easy to manipulate.

Coop said...

Yes, Justin, I get your ideas :)

While reading Justin's ideas, I Brilliantly concluded that lust is selfish. And I'll throw in crushes, too (no cost) LOL Lust caters to our passions and sees others as We desire them.

I don't want to sound like I am "holier than thou". Lust is cool... wicked hot. It is a feeling that all humans have. I've had lusty thoughts and I still have them. What we choose to do about lusty thoughts is our decision.

YEOW... how's about this for a flash of brilliance?? If the therapist loves the patient, he must set the patient free.

I'm wrestling with Love being a choice. Yes, we only love someone we know. Yes, knowing someone takes time. No, I don't think there is Conscious decision making going on. The human mind deliberates and suddenly reveals its conclusions to our conscience. Love is a sudden realization "Hello I'm smitten... Can I have a name tag" LOL

All this late night sermon writing writing. Sheesh. Edit at will, Justin :)

I stayed up to watch an "American pickers" episode featuring a '50/'51 Studebaker and typed away at this missive during the uninteresting segments.

Now that everything is done with; I shall slip away...

Gary Kelly said...

Well, if J is right about men being exceptionally easy to manipulate, then I must be a man.

Anyway, Justino, I read your piece and can't believe that the answer to my question is so simple: refer the client to another therapist. There ya go... problem solved.

BTW, I lived across the road from a therapist one time (in Canberra) and her sign was on the front gate. But the gap in the gate split the sign into two parts... The rapist. Hehe.

As to sexual arousal, attraction, desire, passion and all those things NOT being love... true. But how many times have you heard your mother say, "Eat your dinner while it's hot, darling".

Ya know, if everyone was my age, JustinO, you'd be out of a job.

JustinO'Shea said...

Gary comments. . .."Ya know, if everyone was my age, JustinO, you'd be out of a job."

No, I'd have another job. . .I'd be working for a funeral service, probably with Stew. . . ;-)

The divil made me do it!!! ;-)

Jabacue said...

So mature for your age! I know it can't be easy for you considering the profession you are entering, but thank god you are setting such a great example, Justin.

JustinO'Shea said...

Thank you, Jabacue, for your kind comments. "I do my possible" as the French tend to put it. . .hehe

I've had great role models and teachers, starting with my parents. As Gary Kelly is wont to say "Justino, you are spoiled." Yes, I am. . .I've been gifted with so many great people in my life.

COffee break in my "office". . .hahaha Work is going OK. . I am doing great. . .I think. LOL

ciao ~

Stew said...

I think in general, it's a good idea to not get involved with a client or even someone from your place of employement. No matter what your profession.
I used to own a restaraunt and had a guy come in quite often. After going out once, we never saw him again. Income lost.
The workplace is just a good place to take your defenses to. Keep it professional.

PhotosbyErich said...

Jabacue IS right. You are incredibly mature (in thinking, NOT looks) for your age.

I have read your posts for over two months, Justin. I am especially impressed with the ones in which you discuss your faith (e.g. here and on the Ugly Ducklings site). You have such an incredibly well-grounded outlook on everything from relationships, to keeping your faith in circumstances that might cause others to just say "pitch it." You mix it in with a healthy dose of good humor, gratitude for what you have, and perenial optimism in a way that frustrates the cynic, but keeps us all regularly tuning in to Justin Dunes!

You are grateful for your folks, but they should be incredibly proud of their son also.

Coop said...

Y' know, Justin, I am jealous of your perennial optimism.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, "you are mature for your age" .... and with luck you'll mature even further as you get older, I hope. (on both counts too!)

BUT, and this is a big BUT, it will be totally wasted if you ever lose that sense of humour....I love it.

Why do I follow your blog? Is it for the interesting articles and discussions they promote....yes, but only partly, I enjoy the fun and silly (yes, silly!) comments and laughs. If your blog was without your impish humour I'd probably lose interest.

Wot? Shallow? Me? ...Haha, better believe it!

Greg in Adelaide.

Gary Kelly said...

Check this CNN report, and be sure to watch the vid: