From The Guardian: “There is now a widespread acceptance that therapy can change lives: a 2020 survey from YouGov and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) found that 86% of people believe it’s better to talk about your problems than take medication. Yet there is very little mainstream discussion about transgressive and abusive therapists, and even less about well-meaning therapists who are inadvertently damaging. In such a unique and emotional relationship, how can you tell when a therapist has crossed the line? What should you do when something goes wrong?
Glenys Parry is an emeritus professor of psychological services research at the University of Sheffield, and the author of a number of papers about therapy risks. ‘I think the most common ones are therapists getting out of their depth, working with a complexity and severity of problems that they are really not trained to do,’ she says. Some therapists can be too rigid or don’t listen enough. ‘Another reason therapy can be harmful is that the therapist is actually psychotoxic – this is where a therapist’s behaviour directly harms a client’s mental health or wellbeing, for example by undermining their confidence or self-esteem, or fostering unhealthy dependency.'”