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After she shed her street clothes and changed into her soft cotton pajamas, Rhani retrieved her phone from her purse and the client notebook from her tote bag. She lay across the bed, stared at the ceiling, then at the telephone and back to the ceiling. She thought about calling Dr. Albert Spruill, a colleague she’d met at the Executive Summit, the annual conference of the American Psychotherapy Association. She and Dr. Al had hit it off right away, and Rhani had often contacted him for advice when she had a particularly difficult client. But she already knew what his recommendation would be, and it would come with a stern warning. Never mind.
The reason why her notes from Greg’s session were short and cryptic escaped her at the moment. Her typical session summaries tended to be quite thorough. For whatever reason, she hadn’t gone into detail about how he presented himself or what he had said, although it was burned into her brain. Rhani reached into her tote bag for her iPad, pulled herself into a sitting position and propped two pillows behind her back. Since she kept her session comments on the iPad, she used codes for clients just in case; God forbid, she lost or someone stole the device. She typically used the date of their first visit.
Client 517, a college-educated, African-American male in his late thirties is a colleague referral. His employer ordered a minimum of ninety days’ counseling as a result of his arrest for public indecency. Asked him questions about the woman with whom he’d been arrested, but he couldn’t answer, because he doesn’t know her personally.
Initially, he was reluctant to talk and hid behind his sunglasses until I asked him to remove them. Gradually he began to share. He wasn’t hesitant to discuss his family relationships. From the little he said, it’s apparent he loves and respects his parents and had a somewhat privileged upbringing. Need to inquire further into his relationship with his older brothers. Something of a middle child, with two older and three young brothers, he admitted to being the attention hound of the family during his childhood. He believes it’s how he developed his on-air presence. Got the feeling he’s used to charming women with his smile.
Rhani closed the file and logged into her e-mail account, but her mind still lingered on her intriguing client. Disconcerted by her attraction to him, she contemplated the reasons why she felt this way. She’d had good-looking male clients before, but never one with Greg Stafford’s presence. His self-assurance made her skin tingle, and that set off warning bells. The ethical thing to do would be to refer him to a colleague, but a desire to know more about him burned in her chest. She wanted to know what made him tick and what had driven him to the point where he had been ordered to seek therapy. On the surface, a man like him had no need to seek out sexual liaisons. Women would come to him unbidden, which is exactly what happened the day of his arrest. Surely he wasn’t used to women saying no to him, which tended to make men arrogant. She hadn’t gotten that impression from him though. Instead, she’d sensed an underlying shame behind his words.
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