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Old 03-18-2008, 07:01 AM   #14
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

If you go through graduate training in a mental health/therapy field, you must go through a course in ethics. One of the main topics centers around dealing with aspects of an intimate, inequitable-power relationship. Issues related to this are continued to be dealt with in practicum, externship, internship, and fellowship positions. Despite this emphasis, the number one reason for psychologists to lose their licenses, and be censured by the national association continues to be having inappropriate (almost always of a sexual nature) relationships.

Did anyone of us have specific, in-depth training in handling the inequitable-power relationship of teacher-student before we opened our schools (or were asked to teach within our schools)? In the last couple of months, two Aikido instructors have been arrested and accused of these types of abuses. Maybe it is time that we use this forum to go in-depth and explore the nature of these types of relationships in order to help us become better and safer teachers?

People fantasize about all types of things. People get in trouble when they act-out on fantasies that they know violate societal, moral, and ethical boundaries. An inequitable-power relationship is a ripe field in which these problems can surface. The person in the weaker power role loves the attention from the powerful person. The person in the higher power role loves the adoration and idealization from the weaker power person.

Maybe we could use some type of confidential mentoring/buddy system in which we all can be open to privately discuss anything. It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge our areas of fantasies, weaknesses, .... We need to be able to acknowledge those parts of our existence that we would like to never acknowledge in public. Making peace within us takes a lot of personal acceptance. The wisdom of those ahead of us in the road of life, can help us to live a life that maintains a high degree of integrity, morals, and ethics.

We function on a daily basis in having these types of power-inequity relationships. We need to strengthen our own community in order to help us do so in a manner that reflects the highest ideals of integrity, morals, and ethics. In the mental health field, there are plenty of venues in which this type of support can be found. I think that we need to find some way to implement that as well. The last thing that we need is a government agency trying to mandate and dictate how things are done, because of a pattern of abuses within our community.

I only hope that we can use the events of the last couple of months to make our community stronger, rather than weakened by taking positions without all of the facts, based upon our preconceived notions.

Marc Abrams
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