Poetic Injustice: A True Story of Forbidden Love
by Jonathan Sure
Balboa Press

"I was on a romantic rollercoaster that breathed life into my lonely soul, and I seemed to care little about the rest of the world."

Licensed therapist Sure recognizes the challenges inherent in a case and aims to refer his client, Kulai, out. However, her husband pleads with him to take Kulai on. Therapy begins with dream analysis, processing her young daughter's death, discussing the complex relationship with her husband, and revisiting her love for poetry. The two aim to uncover Kulai's therapeutic needs through their work together. However, Sure documents the myriad ways that his client seduces him. Each time he sets boundaries or attempts to terminate the relationship, Kulai reverts to extreme measures, such as suicide threats or running away, leading Sure to remain on the case. Eventually, he embarks upon an emotional affair with Kulai. His thinking by then is so distorted that he neglects to take on the support of his peer supervision group, who ultimately report him to the licensing board.

This courageous contribution leads readers to question and reflect upon the helping relationship. What is helping, and where are the boundaries? It also encourages thoughts about the mental health field and the supports that therapists can and cannot access as they support multiple clients under high demands. While Sure's account is fictionalized, it reads like a memoir presented like a case study, raising questions about humanity that fall within the realm of personality and social psychology. Despite some intriguing theoretical ideas, there are moments when the point of view and the theoretical perspective take the reader out of the story. Additionally, the theoretical portion is more intellectual and less emotional, leading the reader to want more about the feelings the narrator experiences. Overall, though, this daring account has the potential to facilitate thinking and advocacy around supporting mental health clients and professionals.

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