We all have them, and our livelihoods depend on them- they are our clients (etymology– a client is one who ‘leans on another’) The client is one who has willingly created a paid dependency on another based on expertise that one does not have and which the other does.
There is a line in this relationship, and that line defines who works for whom. Ostensibly, and of course, the expert, being paid by the client, works for the client. However, human nature what it is, this line rarely remains entirely clear. The expert can easily become ‘a client’ of the client as well.
The line is totally violated, though, when the expert becomes romantically, emotionally or sexually involved with the client. One of my greatest teachers from long ago, John Gladfelter, Ph.D, had the best analysis of what’s wrong with this that I have ever heard:
“When you get in bed with a client, you get screwed every time.”
Says it all, doesn’t it? But we’ll dive deeper into this as we go along. That’s all for now.