Janeen McGuire Nelson highlights the tension between what's personal and what's professional:
The hidden covenant of being a marriage and family therapist is that we must allow our clients, as well as the general public, to hold on to their delusions that we are omnipotent and almost perfect. It could be considered the Mary Poppins Rule: Therapists are practically perfect in every way, and we never explain anything. The Mary Poppins Rule is passed down to us from our teachers and mentors in the form of osmosis because it is against the unspoken rules to speak of it. Compliance is mandatory, spit spot, so I couldn’t have my clients knowing that my daughter was bi-polar, or that my husband was chronically unemployed, or that my grandfather was an abusive alcoholic.