So…I recieve this response to my blog…from a colleague, clearly…and I respond in kind.
While I realize this is only the first of what will be many who disagree on and react against my life choices (and is simply representative to what I have already run up against)…it makes it no less hurtful…leaving me feeling disempowered and saddened as it has only ever been my hope to connect and enrich, never to divide or engender “hate”. Still here it is, perhaps you will pass your own judgment as well:
(From a writer identifying only as, “Concerned”)
I’m writing to express my concern – if you are a psychologist, you are jeopardizing your license and standing in the field with this and linked sites. I want to encourage you to remove these materials from the web. This blurring of boundaries can be harmful to your patients if they come across them and may destroy your career. I’m wishing you the best with this message.
(What follows is my address)
This is an interesting response, although uninformed & closed-minded, it is what I should expect when opening portions of my life to public forum…essentially it is judgment and condemnation only thinly veiled by “concern”.
I am interested to know what this reader believes I have done in my life that would jeopardize my patients’ welfare and/or my license? When by all accounts, I have chosen a path that explores and expresses sensuality and sexuality in a positive and respectful manner, with those I love and care about, my projects chosen with only the utmost care.
As for my patients directly, in what way have I “blurred boundaries”? For you (“Concerned”) to assume that I haven’t taken the most conscientious measures to protect my personal identity, my patients and the mindful work I do with them is simply atrocious!
After 6 YEARS of working through the lens of compassion, straddling my two worlds, careful to negotiate a balance, it STILL shocks me that someone would attack my actions in such a way…What is it exactly that offends you so? Is is my security…my curiosity…my success…my happiness…my sensuality…my desire to find a way to explore and develop these alternate facets of my life, facets that I might conclude are common to MANY MANY people?
The difference, and I think what threatens you so obviously, being that I have made the personal public, in a way. That I have exposed what so many sadly hide. And yet what you have not guessed, nor even inquired after, is the great care I have taken to secure my OWN confidentiality, out of respect for the very important, even sacred, relationship between therapist and patient. And if, as can happen with ANY therapist, my personal life is discovered by a patient in a way that might negatively impact treatment, then I am confident that through compassion and mindfully cultivated common respect we will be able to create a place of acceptance…(and refer them to another capable clinician)…a process that can, as you know, be as therapeutic as any intervention in treatment. It has never been my intention to expose or exploit my patients and I am confident that the measures I have taken ensure that that will never be the case.
For you, “Concerned,” to assume that my life-choices embody negative and destructive forces in treatment is overly simplistic and borderline paranoid…what about the therapist who beats his wife? Abuses her children? Cheats on their spouse…are you to suggest that because their actions are less public…are they no longer culpable? I live a free, responsible, loving…and very healthy existence, one that I am happy to share with those who wish to approach the world in a similar fashion…but because my choices are not the norm…they are, to you, condemnable? I challenge you to rethink that verdict…with all of the knowledge and training that you hint at possessing, I challenge you to find ANY real crime in my actions…any unethical behavior…Portraying sex in a positive and open manner is all you will find…and if you still choose to pass judgment on THAT, then I have no argument here and your attack on me was not meant as a dialogue but merely as an opportunity to resanctify your own archaic and self-serving beliefs…and in fact I don’t stand a chance in your court of opinion…do I? Did I ever?
Are my choices in life THAT destructive so as to actually damage another? Do you really believe that? Or is it simply a profession that eschews sexuality in its practitioners that has you wielding such harsh criticism? Do my boundaries truly seem blurred, or is your statement based on your own enmeshed approach to your patients? What concerns you so very much that you would threaten me…as you truly have…AND my career? I ask you “concerned,” who am I hurting? Do you even KNOW? Or are you simply aiming judgment instead of admitting fear of what you do not understand rather than reaching into your own soul and discovering the origin of this rage?
It is my experience that when something is done with a careful and conscious heart and love…the results are reflective of that state…I look forward to your response, and will be writing further on this…AND I ask you to step out of your conflicted little box and open you mind…just a bit…you might find something you actually enjoy…living.