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If self-disclosure is the door to friendship, then the danger for pastors, teachers, doctors, and counselors is that the very nature of their jobs requires those to whom they minister to open up about the parts of their lives that they would normally choose only to share with a friend. This very act blurs the line.

Do I share because we are friends?

Are we friends because I share?

In many cases, neither is true. But it feels true. So there is an imbalance of power, of influence, of affection. And it is all too easy to misinterpret signals. Or to take advantage.

It is all too easy to misinterpret signals.

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