Yes, I believe Erickson loved...some were clients. Did he love them all? Probably not all. There were aspects of almost all that made him shine with joy, however. It seemed like what I call love for others (in a sense that almost transcends the individual involved). He also cared in that way for a great many of the people as individuals. All? I don't know -- probably not. Some really angered him, some were examples of bewilderment, etc. He invited some to remain as family freinds.
I'll share a glimpse of Wednesday at 2:30pm in my office. I ended the therapy of a man who had come to town to stay for therapy for a few days. (He had scheduled time through Thursday and Friday too - but we completed the sessions two days early. At the end of the very successful and meaningful Wednesday session, he came out of trance and said that he had come to town almost fearing to hope that he might find within himself joy, freedom, security, and contentment. But, in fact, he was feeling and knowing all that now. He really felt wonderful about himself and knew how he had come about it, too. (The background is all too complicated to share, but I hope you'll concede that my view of this was accurate and he had, in fact, done a huge amount of work and gained a great deal). We looked at each other smiling brightly for about tens seconds and I stood up to hug him (which he sensed - and stood to also hug me back). We embraced and both cried tears (of joy) for a few moments. Then looked at each other again and hugged again with a firm upbeat heartiness. Shortly, we said goodbyes and he left.
I don't think harm was done in this. (Oh, harm to the analytic relationship was done, to be sure -- but I was not analyzing him). Change was happening. His hard work and courage to change was moving and unforgettable to both of us. Did/do I love him? I believe so. So, that is how it looks to me. I hope that helps your perspecive become more clear.
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