Thank you David for sharing this most painful experience both with your parishioners and with your counselor. Both experiences can cause a deep wound and a real sense of betrayal. I pray that there has been some healing for you in both of these relationships.
Am I right in understanding that your counselor did not question your lack of eye contact until your last session? And, then concluded that you were lying? Sounds like he did not use the ‘perception check’ that we learned in chapter 3 thus conveying caring and sensitivity.
You shared that eye contact was a way to connect with the residents in memory care. I believe that too. Eye contact is important in any conversation. So, if I had been your counselor and I had observed that you were looking towards a corner of the room rather than looking at me as you told your story about the accusations against you, I would wonder why that was: was he feeling embarrassed, angry, rage, guarded? Then would come my tentative statement: “I am wondering if it is painful for you to share this story? I ask this because you are not looking at me as you share. You are looking over there in the corner and I wonder why? I would ask this the first time it happened so that we could both learn. Thanks for sharing!