I was talking to a colleague the other day and he had mentioned to me that he had met someone socially who is in our profession. The conversation got around to socialising with ex-clients. To my colleague’s horror the other person said yes he socialises regularly with his ex-clients and will often go down the pub with them.
My colleague was genuinely shocked and horrified at the thought of this. It is something, I have to admit, I never thought I would find myself writing about, but here is it. It is not appropriate to socialise with people who are your clients or ex-clients. The relationship is totally different to a regular one and not something that should be taken lightly.
Now there are a couple of very small exceptions, the main one being that sometimes our clients become colleagues. They train to be therapists because they experienced such good things from their therapy. In this instance a person must be mindful of the previous relationship, but association is almost impossible to avoid in this context. However, in this case, it is essential that discussion of previous therapy with this individual must not form part of the social interaction.
If you are getting your social, emotional, or sexual needs met through therapy, the time has come for you to re-consider your career and certainly to get back into therapy yourself.