Can we offer help and yet remain safe?

She was a very attractive woman, by my estimate about thirty-five years old. (She turned out to be a well-preserved forty-five.) I introduced myself in the waiting room and told her I would be her counselor.

"I'm Colleen," she said. Then, lowering her head slightly, she looked me intently in the eye. It was one of those looks that needed no words. I got the message, even though I don't normally attract the instant attention of women.

Colleen then fluffed her hair, pulled her sweater tightly over her well-endowed figure, and looked back at me coquettishly as if to say, "Do you like what you see?" I knew at that moment that Colleen's sexuality and my reaction to it would be a primary dynamic in the counseling to follow.

If counseling were mere advice giving, her sexuality and what I thought about it would be immaterial. But the therapeutic art of counseling is far more than advice; it's a relationship between the counselor and counselee. It deals with deep emotions. It draws both parties into ...

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