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counseling: connections and "aha" moments

So, I'm sitting here at internship while my alcohol highway safety education class is watching a video, trying to read a book on Adult Children so I can have more material for my 2p client (trying to get her to own her complicated familial relationships). I keep reading the same paragraph over and over because what I'm still dwelling on is my client from last night.

Not in that way. Funny, but when I thought about him later, I couldn't really describe him (I do have a pretty vivid memory of his perfect legs, however), and I'm thinking this is significant.

Let's add it up
1. Group experience class(fall '03), the facillitator pulls me aside to tell me to "let people in". This makes me uncomfortable.

2. Group Theories and Techniques (my "let's learn how to be a group counselor" class which involves extensive therapy time as a client in Spring '04), I share with my group about my "intimacy issues", the idea that I don't let anyone in past a certain point, and that I'm capable of completely cutting someone out of my life with very little effort.

3. I start having this increasing sexual attraction toward clients. I'm actually afraid that I would have launched myself at the client last night, had he suggested it.

Looking at it from this progression, it all adds up. As a counselor, it is unethical for me to EVER engage in a sexual relationship with a client, even though our code of ethics states that it is permissible after two years. The power differential is huge between client and counselor; a trusting, comfortable client lays their whole life bare before the counselor and says help me change.

and that's what I think my problem is. I get to have an intimate relationship with clients, with absolutely no risk to myself!!! I don't have to let down a single barrier, am in fact encouraged to have "healthy" boundaries, but I get to experience an intense connection with people, feeding the fundamental human need to relate to others.

I don't know what I'm going to do about this, but I know I have to do something before I become a full-blown impaired professional(which is a big effin deal in the state of Michigan). Well, I just had an idea. I'm going to meet with Dorothy asap to tell her what I'm feeling and to get her insight. She's my supervisor, and I need to not sugarcoat what I'm going through. She can help me through this, I'm just afraid that she's going to share it with the other partners, or worse, Twinet. I wonder if I could talk to Twinet about it, but she would probably make me share it in front of internship class, and I'd seriously rather die than do that. Maybe I need to see about doing some individual work again. Will keep kicking this around until I have it figured out.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2004 11:11 am (UTC)
Your job sounds awesome. What is it?
Jun. 26th, 2004 01:14 pm (UTC)
I was at one of my two internships this morning. I intern there, a substance abuse counseling center, I also intern at an Employee Assistance Program. I'm in a Master's level Counseling program, and have to spend 600 hours "practicing" before I can graduate.

p.s. my job is great, though. I work at a crisis center, basically get paid to sleep, watch tv, read LJ and email, do homework, and deal with crisis callers. Crappy pay, but easy.
Jun. 26th, 2004 12:39 pm (UTC)
Loving what you do...and it shows. Stop by for a few drinks and fun in the pool!

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


hedwig (by radiocure)
Dr. Hapgood, your cruise director

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