Can we as Christian men and women have deep, maturing, ongoing platonic closeness between men and women in friendship? As soon as one suggests the possibility of sustaining friendships between men and women the conversation immediately turns to boundaries.
Can we have clear boundaries and yet enjoy maturing closeness? Can we learn to drop our walls and move past our fears into valuable enriching relationships?
This week is therapists week on my blog. I am honored that Jean Holthaus was eager to participate this week. I have a growing friendship with Jean. I met her at the Sacred Frriendship Gathering in 2013. Jean has become a dear friend. We've had quite a few conversations about nurturing friendships between men and women. Enjoy this post.
Jean Holthaus, LISW has been a licensed counselor for nineteen years and finds it incredibly rewarding to both teach and walk with individuals as they explore who God created them to be and how to live this out in all aspects of their lives. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in teaching and from the University of Iowa with a master’s degree in social work. She has a daughter who is twenty-six and recently returned from working as a missionary in China and a son who is twenty-four and works at an environmental science camp in California. Jean routinely speaks at and leads workshops and conferences on a variety of
subjects related to individual growth and development including intimacy with
Christ, relationships, and sexuality. In addition, she mentors a wonderful group of adults which includes both men and women from different ages and stages of life.
Having been a therapist for nineteen years, I am convinced relationship with both men and women are essential for people to become everything they were intended to be in life. In fact, research shows THE PRIMARY predictor of healing in therapy is the quality of the relationship between the therapist and the client (not the technique used by the therapist). In other words, what helps people to heal is entering into and living within relationships!