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The First Time You Meet Someone

Looking back on what I believed and was trying to make happen, I’m left questioning my apparent naïveté or idealism. Decades of working with individuals in recovery taught me that recovery is only just beginning after a sustained period of stabilization is achieved. I saw early-stage recovering clients venture out on their own, rearing to connect, but who invariably returned to therapy quite demoralized. They were unable to stay afloat in an ocean of other relationship- challenged people. The blind were leading the blind.

I wanted to believe that I could best serve my clients by being someone they could count on for unconditional support, and by providing a healthy point of reference, something that was sorely lacking in their families of origin. I believed that our therapeutic alliance would serve as a prototype or springboard that would shape how they relate to others or be a springboard from which they would make more meaningful and deeper connections.

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