Posted by Dinah on October 22, 2008, at 18:59:54
In reply to Update, posted by Morgan79 on October 22, 2008, at 12:31:44
Well, ordinarily I'd be concerned for the clients he's leaving, but at this point he's likely no good to any of his clients. Maybe he won't be again until he gets some therapy of his own. Therapists in personal crisis aren't all that much good, in my personal experience. Perhaps giving up his practice won't be that awful a thing. And he's less likely to be swept away by passion in the future in a high school. One would hope anyway.
Just remember that if he leaves his practice, it's not your fault. And he's not actually doing it for you. He's doing it for himself. Edward didn't really give up the throne of England for the love of a good woman. He gave it up because he wanted to. And while Wallace Simpson got a lot from the arrangement, from what I've read she had to pay a pretty hefty price too. And I don't mean society's reaction.
This is who he is. This is his character, and this is his level of strength. And it may suit you just fine. It's just good to see him as he really is, without the patina of therapy power or department head power.
He's just human, that's true. But humans can be noble as well as weak. Humans can choose to do the right thing. It's what kind of human he is that makes a difference.
He's a human who has in the past been swept away with passion to do something he knows is wrong. He's a human who is ready to ditch his whole life for what may be love or may be obsession. He's a human who's done it once and could do it again. That would be scary to me. Very scary. Maybe I'm passionless, and I probably am, but when I'm choosing a life partner, I want it to be someone with strength and moral courage. I want it to be someone who is willing to wait the two years, not because of the law, but because he's aware that therapy does include a power differential, because he's aware that this could be harmful to the person he loves, and because he's willing to put his desires aside to do the right thing. Someone with self control and the ability to delay gratification.
What does it mean to be only human? Does it mean to be ruled by animal instincts? Does it mean to be able to rise above them?
(To be utterly frank, I'd be a bit turned off by the ten text messages and the tearful phone calls too. Flattered, but a bit turned off.)
Only you know what you're looking for in a man. Everyone values different things.
But speaking as a client who would be devastated by the loss of my therapist to something like this, I *still* think it's not such a bad thing for him to quit practicing and become a teacher.