I have often heard that one should not love one's clients, that by allowing oneself to do so, one risks ethical violations or, at the least, a blurring of boundaries that defeats the therapy. But, given the definition of love given here, how can one do good therapy if one does not love one's clients? How can clients learn self-love if they do not intuitively sense that they can be/are loved? For many of my clients, at least early on in the work, they have no place to safely learn about love except with me. I'm not so grandiose as to think I'm "it"...just that they don't know yet that the universe is full of love and they can learn to open up to it in ways that will not be hurtful to them or others.
I am interested in what others have to say about this. But Stephen's post suggests to me that Erickson did love his clients...in the way Mother Teresa loved...that he loved humanity, himself included...and radiated that love in a most respectful and ethical way. Could this have been a major component of his genius?
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