I have those whom I have counseled who are in different stages of an affair. I have counseled some who are contemplating an affair and trying to figure out what the fallout would be. I have counseled some who are in the throes of an affair and are trying to figure out how to end it. I have counseled some who are leading a duplicitous life, trying to manage a long-term relationship and an affair at the same time, counseling those who want marriage counseling because of the damage to the marriage after an affair, those who have gotten into trouble with their employer, state licensing board, their church’s denominational leadership and need to learn how to prevent another affair from happening and how to restore their professional trust, etc.
I have also counseled people with sexual addictions/fetishes, pornography addictions, process addictions, and chemical addictions. As a counselor who integrates Biblical principles with Adlerian theory, I have learned that there is never just one reason a person has an affair. A person doesn’t just wake up in the morning and say, “You know, I feel like having an affair today!” No, my experience has told me that affair behavior occurs over time.
So, I am addressing this blog post to two (ok, 3) people: those who are professionals in the field of counseling, pastors, and those who care about leaders in our churches. I have noticed that there are common factors between pastors and professional counselors that can lead to affairs, and a blurring of professional boundaries. There are areas that need to be firmed up to prevent a loss of integrity, fidelity and professionalism.
Tomorrow, I will share with you what I have observed over my experience…