“I hated the distance between us .It left me unbalanced – like parts of myself were fading.

As a trainer and supervisor of therapists, I see that new practitioners are often faced with a perplexing dilemma. In their zeal to be successful and helpful to their clients, many make the common error of creating an imbalance in their therapeutic relationship. More specifically, they fail to maintain appropriate boundaries with clients. They tolerate the breaking of appointments. They tolerate non-payment of agreed upon fees. In general, they assume an inordinate degree of ownership in the execution of the treatment plan. In other words, the clinician is working harder than the client! Their desire to help exceeds and, therefore, subverts their ability to be helpful.

But for my non-clinical readers, this principle (and this newsletter) has applications for them as well. In all of our endeavors, the principle of homeostasis should govern. Homeostasis, simply put, involves maintaining a balance in all of our affairs. For example, we maintain physical homeostasis by eating well and exercising. We do so with financial balance by avoiding frivolous purchases and controlling (or eliminating) credit card debt.

On a relationship level, the principle of homeostasis also applies. I believe that this application is more complicated than the others because there is a great deal of emotion involved here. Whether it is romantic, fraternal, or familial love, we all seek the affection and approval of those that we value and appreciate.

So what is the problem? It has been said,

The one who loves less controls the relationship.

It is somewhat frightening as we consider the accuracy of that statement. But it implies that the person who “loves more” might be vulnerable to “doing the work” in a relationship while the counterpart allows it to happen.

Homework: As we understand the principle of homeostasis, of the importance of balance, take a gaze into your metaphorical mirror. Are you maintaining your fair share of effort, assistance and caring for those close to you? Or are you tired of feeling overworked and under-appreciated?

If one of the last two sentences seems to describe you, it’s time to start moving toward a more balanced relationship with those close to us.

If you allow people to make more withdrawals than deposits in your like, you will be out of balance and in the negative. Know when to close the account.