Unless a pastor or counselor understands the nature of borderline personality disorder and takes concrete steps to establish safeguards, difficulty or even disaster may follow.
Linda was the divorced wife of a Presbyterian pastor. She was bright, articulate, and charming. Inwardly, though, she was filled with a paralyzing sense of confusion, emptiness, and need. Having dallied in a number of promiscuous relationships, she had yet to sate her emotional hunger.
One morning after Sunday school, she approached Jim Smith, a counselor in our church-related center, about her problem. That week they met for an initial psychological evaluation, during which he first suspected the nature of Linda's problem. His suspicions were confirmed when a short time later she handed him a two-page sonnet she composed in his honor entitled Gantos for Counsel.
Here, with her permission, is a portion of her poetic idealization of Jim, whom she had known for less than two weeks:
I discover ...1