Should the therapist suggest alternative values?

Up to what point does a therapist keep his/her values to himself/herself and up to what point does he/she present them to the client?

With particular reference to the area of relationship, one realises that entering into a committed relationship is a big challenge and also entails a lot of fear. It is thus understandable that people avoid it. My belief, after living it out, is that one can never really understand what beauty there is unless one has gone through the struggle of living it out.

Others may say that there are different ways of living out one’s sexual and relational life and that being in an exclusive relationship and being in an open relationship, etc., are equivalent in quality. I recognise that my upbringing does make me think more in the line of monogamy. But how should I approach this? Can one say that all modes of life are qualitatively equal and involve the same level of maturity or growth? Or should one assert that some kinds of relationships are more mature and that, if it were possible, one should strive for those types? As a therapist, should I just help the client live out what he/she feels or should I indicate that there are also other alternatives, albeit leaving the decision in the hands of the person? And if one says that all relationship modalities are qualitatively equivalent, then what is it that constitutes ‘normality’ or disorder in a mutually consenting situation (can’t there be 2 mutually consenting immature people)?

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