I used to think therapy could be beneficial if only you went through the trials of finding a good therapist—and by “good,” I mean one that is not only well-trained/well-educated, but one that is a “good fit” for you in particular. There are no easy ways to find such a “fit,” of course; it all has to be trial and error. Poking around on the Internet and making the most of the shockingly little third-party information that’s out there about therapists. Making an appointment for either a phone or video consultation (remember those days when stuff used to be in person?) that would give you anywhere from 15 to 50 minutes to get to know the therapist in whatever way less than an hour allows you to get to know anyone. Signing up for weekly sessions, sharing what you know about why you’re so messed up and allowing them to invalidate, gaslight and question you (but call it “challenging” you). Repeating the process and comparing your notes from different providers.
While all of this felt like approaching strangers simply because they had certain letters after their name, pointing to your deepest wound and waiting to see how they would respond while hoping for the best, what I didn’t ever question was the process itself or if I really needed to do it at all.
To be fair to myself, society doesn’t really present many other options for people experiencing mental and emotional distress. The psychology industry has so seeped into our lives that they’ve trained most people to encourage someone in pain to “seek help” from a “professional” and to maybe even suggest medication. Every once in a while (though I thankfully haven’t seen this lately), a well-meaning mental health “advocate” will post the number to the National Suicide Hotline on their Facebook profile with a reminder that “you are not alone,” clearly having done zero research into the many harms of the hotline. Otherwise, that’s about it that I know of in terms of “supports” for those in distress. So it’s not all that surprising that I wouldn’t have questioned seeking therapy itself.
Still, the best-case scenario is that the therapist validates your wound and asks you how you feel about it over and over again until you “understand” and can “integrate” that pain into your life. I’m not saying it’s categorically a bad thing to ask people how they feel—I often feel very differently than what others might guess from just knowing my circumstances. But I’ve never actually felt better after “naming” or “observing” my pain or whatever therapists are calling it these days. Those things don’t actually make pain go away if the source of the pain still persists.
Unless you all know of a therapist who claims and can back it up with actual client experiences that they themselves can permanently relieve the psychological pain you take to them by talking about it or “neutrally observing it,” it seems like this is a long-haul situation: if you’re still in pain, it must because there is more to uncover from your childhood. Let’s knife around in the wound from current circumstances (like housing insecurity, discrimination at work, social trauma, or any number of other legitimate external conditions that cause actual damage regardless of how good of a childhood you had) for whatever limiting belief or story you’re telling yourself as a result of some mysterious experience you had as a child that caused you to have such damaging beliefs.
Then let’s talk about that story over and over until it somehow dislodges—because that’s what things we repeat do, they go away on their own!—and you’re free to experience the oppression of real-time circumstances with the freedom of the “observer.” (As an aside, I’m not sure how encouraging clients to “step back” from their situation far enough to be able to see it from a “neutral” place, if that’s even possible, is really all that different from the “dissociation” the same profession claims is a “symptom” of a “disorder,” but I guess contradictions are only real for the peasants who have no power.)
Then, if you’re still in pain, let’s hypothesize that there’s actually a totally different wound that’s been infected with stories you made up as a kid to deal with whatever you experienced in childhood. Only once did a therapist tell me that nothing was wrong with me—and not only did they never validate that what was wrong was the shitty choice between staying in an abusive marriage or subjecting myself to the recurring brutalities of single-womanhood, they also told me that they thought it “was in my best interest” to keep seeing them after I’d started wondering why I wasn’t getting better and perhaps this wasn’t a good fit anymore.
It took the explosive ending of the five-year relationship I had with that therapist for me to realize that the reason it wasn’t a good fit anymore is because therapy isn’t a good fit. I can only speak for myself (and maybe for the increasing amount of people who have told me about their at best not helpful and at worst deeply injuring experiences with therapy/therapists), but I wish I had realized sooner what it took me months to recognize after the blowup with my therapist that ended our relationship, when I was still struggling with whether I should find another therapist—and actually feeling guilty that I hadn’t “yet.” This is how much power the psychology industry has taken from us: I had an extremely painful ending to a five-year relationship from which I thought I was receiving emotional healing and to which I kept showing up because I thought that this was the path that led to the mental wellness, self-confidence and life I wanted in general.
As I used the time I had been spending at therapy to reflect on what exactly I got out of it, I realized that, though I showed up weekly—for over two years, it was twice weekly, I was that convinced I was that messed up and my therapist helped themselves to my delusion and did not bother to “challenge” or “question” it at all—to something that claimed to be “therapeutic,” it didn’t even touch some of my deepest issues I believed were keeping me from the life and relationships I wanted. Not only that, it actively harmed me and undermined my ability to trust myself, validate my own emotions like an adult and develop the skill of not taking things personally.
It actively harmed me in that it made me dependent on another human for “reality checks” and ratification of my emotions. It actively harmed in the way that it ended—though I have never had a wholesome conclusion to a therapeutic relationship, the way this one ended was the worst yet. I was challenging my therapist’s assertion that they were able to help me and that it was in my best interest to continue, they interrupted, I raised my voice to cut them off to finish what I had started saying first and they interrupted me again to shout, “I have worked hard for you for five years” as the introduction to what would have been a major guilt trip had I let it. I did not: for the first time in my life, I was the one who abruptly ended a relationship, by clicking the “end meeting” button in the middle of whatever the therapist was saying.
Not even after all of that was I sure the relationship was officially over. It took me two days to send the email stating the obvious: your behavior was completely inappropriate. Please take me off your schedule permanently and do not contact me again. I felt guilty for not being in therapy for months after that—didn’t I still clearly need it after how I behaved with that therapist? Didn’t my inability to handle conflict and unwillingness to give someone a second chance indicate just how dire my psychological straits were?
What was actually going on was that I had an abusive relationship with and thus a trauma bond to therapy. That’s why I didn’t stop after my first therapist canceled on me with less than 24 hours’ notice and simply never reached out to reschedule. That’s why I continued despite the accusations and incompetence and projection of my former marriage therapist. That’s why I persisted for five years with a therapist who kept telling me we “would get to” my concerns about self-confidence or my perceived inability to stop the story playing in my head every waking moment that goes, “I’m inferior to everyone for every reason” despite knowing how illogical and damaging and self-injurious that story is. That’s why it’s taken me over six months to write about this, and that’s why this is the first time I’m saying anything in detail about it at all: to you, strangers on the internet who could leave a mean comment without a second thought.
It also actively harmed me in that it diverted my resources toward something ultimately useless for me, and away from what would have greatly benefited me, especially as a single/divorced low-income woman living in a very expensive city that’s exploding with homelessness. I spent over $6,000 on copays over the past five years. Yes, if you save $25 a week instead of paying someone to (not really) listen to you, you’d have somewhere between half to a full emergency fund. It’s probably closer to $8,000 since there were about two years there where I was attending therapy twice a week, working my butt off to save my marriage since neither my individual or my marriage counselor bothered to inform me that actually, it’s rarely 100% one person’s fault when a marriage falls apart and the cases where it is involve much more horrific behavior than anything I was putting my ex through. From my vantage point, over a year out from being officially divorced and over half a year out from finally ending the other abusive relationship I was in (the one with my therapist), I can say that financial fitness beats psychotherapy in terms of mental health benefits any damn day.
Of course, I can’t make generalities. I’m sure someone can come up with a really good reason why I’m wrong or a specific experience they personally had where psychotherapy was more effective for mental health than financial wellness. For me, though, I wish I hadn’t traded my Tuesdays (and for a while there, also my Fridays) for the peace of mind that comes with a financial cushion, however small it may be. I wish I hadn’t spent so many years gaslighting myself into believing that my real problem was buried beliefs from my childhood experiences rather than active, present-day harm.
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.
Girl let me know tell you something – what you are describing as harm is pure iatrogenic!
You sound extremely amazing human. Period. Nothing to add.
I always love your extremely insightful take of this process. I wonder honestly why you are not a therapist yourself?
Every single thing you write here I had similar experience that I could never put into words as you have. I am very sorry this happened to you.
That feeling of guilt that is induced in therapy is also what most therapist consider healing – cause it keeps us inline with society! As long as we are feeling guilty of something, we will never do anything against the grain – like leaving therapy cause we are all dependent and professional dependency replaces the mother.
Feeling guilty, feeling anxious, and full cripple of natural aggression (killing inner power). Well what we end up is absolutely mindless bodies and we stay year after year.
We will never be alone when we are truly alone – how much gaslighting one can handle?
Imagine that. If you actually ever record a therapy session and watch it back, you will be shocked the double talk!
I am thankful for any therapist that gave me space but at the end, I could have lived without re-experiencing childhood trauma in my adult body! Breaking all my defenses and being reduced to baby like state (thank goodness I have a lot of support in my life). The reason people say children are resilient is cause children dissociate/repress and do not remember what happened. When an adult goes through abandonment feeling arising from when they were 1 yrs or 6 months (I wont even guess sexual abuse), ooh mine, that must be just debilitating – especially if the person in the room with you just looks at you!
I do not know for sure, but I think most people who end up with bipolar label are those who went to therapy and get some serious disintegration going.
I have been lucky enough to say to my husband almost after each session, ooh boy, I need to break the spell of regression.
Thank you for sharing your story. You are not alone, and you are just too intelligent to put into words what many of us experienced so succinctly.
I am not going to say a mean comment, because although I didn’t seek therapy for an abusive marital relationship, I had sought it out nonetheless and I agree with most of your assertions about therapy. It really boils down to a waste of both time and money. I had always thought a tragically ironic play on words on how the word “therapist” can be broken down into the word, “the-rapist.” I know the psych drugs, which were definitely championed and reenforced by the different therapists I saw over the years, but now I also know that “therapy” in and of itself does contribute to some amount of brain damage. And, for something that allegedly is supposed to make you feel better about yourself, it actually makes you feel worse about yourself. I hear people speak of how therapy helped them “so much.” Sadly, in my opinion and after my experiences, I can only say they must be deceiving themselves. “Therapy” hs only one goal to make you dependent on them. The only way to “get better” and “healthy” is to free yourself from them and just walk away. The client owes them nothing. A relationship with a therapist is tragically is just another form of an abusive relationship. Thank you.
My experience with a “the-rapist” was that she was just a funnel to psychiatrists, so I have no love of therapy. Humm, that might make an interesting painting. A funnel representing psychotherapy, with millions of people being funneled into … the dragon of psychiatry, maybe? Forgive me, I digress.
Nonetheless, I must say, Megan, I think you’re way too hard on yourself. I hope and pray you can some day see the beauty within, since those of us who read your writings can. And I hope you’ve realized that therapists are really just people who’ve been trained to assume there is something wrong with their clients, who must stigmatize their clients with an “invalid” DSM disorder, in order to get paid.
I think being in a relationship with someone who starts out that relationship with such a negative assumption, is likely always doomed to failure. Since I believe good relationships really need to be based upon mutual respect and an even playing field. Which is not what a relationship with any psychologist today is, since they’ve been given the power by the state to play judge, jury, and executioner to their clients, not to mention steal your children. Although that comes from a person whose had nothing but bad experiences with psychologists … except ones who were friends, not people I was paying to “help” me.
Removed for moderation.
If you live in Seattle or the concentration of Microsoft types, along with the wealth if one is an extension of the computing industry, does one experience a more layered understanding of mind, singular and collectively? Both a gift and perhaps even an orientation towards attitude, the space now attributed to the new buzz of trauma that grew from Gabor Mate’s work, one is challenged to understand the nature of the port city in Vancouever, the harbor for immigration and when people wish escape, via the drugs, was that a choice or an abdication of responsibility? To calculate the costs of lives, careers, marriages lost to “seasick”, the tilting and shifting of the mind’s cargo needs a bit of rest, an ability to maybe just be? The homeless are houseless, and in part may be a result of learning how to “speak” through computerized systems while having difficulty to create a legit currency. Something is grossly attached to “being in this space capsule” and then that of Bezos, Musk, or Branson’s escapes into pushing the engineers to realize precision monies while ignoring the pollution.
I pay a golf professional for my therapy. He’s much cheaper, much more effective, doesn’t call me names for my weaknesses, isn’t trying to constantly talk me into using ‘performance enhancing substances’, and actually wants me to get better at the game so I don’t need him. And whilst the world is still a shit place, at least I can say my handicap is coming down slowly so I’m actually getting something for my money.
Unlike the psychologist who, when I said I was suffering from suicidal ideation due to missing putts to the left (short game inconsistency syndrome, with persecution delusions requiring a cocktail of drugs washed down with my cocktail at the 19th) said “I’m going to have to ask you to pay in advance”.
I think back to the Private Clinic psychologist who, when I expressed that I had no need for her services as a ‘marriage counselor’, simply ignored my instructions that she was not to speak with my wife, sat with her and conspired to have me ‘spiked’ with date rape drugs (benzodiazepines), and then explained a method of overcoming the protections of the law to have me kidnapped and tortured (once incapacitated, have a Community Nurse call police and tell them he is an “Outpatient” and he requires assistance in obtaining an ‘interrogation’, then plant a knife on him for police to find when they jump the victim in his bed. Arbitrary detentions and torture made easy). And this was done as I had refused my wifes request to speak with this Private Clinic psychologist who obviously wanted the right to force her ‘marriage guidance counselling’ onto me. Personally I think this basically confirmed my suspicion that this psychologist was trouble, something I told my wife before she left to speak with her but ……. seems I don’t have a right to privacy (my medical records from the Private Clinic shared with the hospital that did the kidnapping once I was locked in their ‘care’. I guess such breaches of the Federal Privacy Act with court sealed records when someone refuses to talk to a ‘marriage counselor’ when they don’t want one saves time. All criminal of course but the law is funny like that, it doesn’t apply when your justification for torture and kidnapping is to “save a marriage”. The ‘good faith defense’ lmao. See Article 2:2 of the Convention against the use of Torture, “no emergency provisions” and “no superior authority” ergo, no ‘good faith’ acts of torture?
Best $200 of my money my ex wife ever spent, because when the hospital that did the kidnapping and torture found out what the Community Nurse (and co conspirators) had done, they decided it was easier to “fucking destroy” me (having gone to the trouble of slandering me with their fraud already made it easy. The offense of “Create false belief” used to have police cause an “acute stress reaction” can then be used to ensure that Police provide no assistance to the victim [who they falsely believe is an ‘Outpatient’, and so have a little ‘fun’ with them. Sadistic filth that they are. Video proof available on request] whilst they go about “fucking destroying” them, police in fact providing material support to these criminals to retrieve evidence of the offending). This, rather than doing their mandatory duty and reporting the large number of serious criminal offenses that had been committed to the Corruption and Crime Commission. Which I note was made perfectly clear to the Operations Manager who “edited” the documents for my ‘legal representatives’ to conceal the crimes. It was when I pointed out that what she was doing was attempting to pervert the course of justice, and that this carried a mandatory prison term, that she explained that her employers (the State) path was going to be to “fucking destroy” me and my family. And the whole community has provided her with their support, preferring the slander fabricated to justify my incarceration and torture, rather than examine the facts which are ‘distasteful’. (thanks guys).
So does any good come from therapy, best not ask me, but my ex wife might answer in the affirmative, given that she still has everything I ever worked for, whilst I still suffer the trauma of being tortured, and then gaslighted for complaining.
This matter of my privacy (records held at the Private Clinic which did a report for a workers comp. claim. They also do a lot of Legal Medico reports for the courts).
I realise now why my wife and the hospital FOI officer were so desperate to have me sign my medical records over to my wife.
Lure with bait, strike with chaos.
The FOI officer was telling me that I could have copies of documents relating to my ‘referral’ if I would simply sign my medical records over to my wife. This really confused me, why do I need the permission of my wife to access my medical records? I get what I want for simply signing that little piece of paper?
What the FOI officer knew was that my medical records had been unlawfully released from the Private Clinic (after a meeting with my wife to discuss my FOI application. My wife prepared for the meeting by the clinic psychologist. ‘Houston, we got a problem’), and that she was concealing the offending by my wife and the clinic psychologist. He is someone’s ‘patient’ right? They were his benzos right? And of course when my wife and the clinic psychologist who knew I wasn’t a ‘patient’ were asked to prove what they had said about me being a ‘patient’ they couldn’t. Which then meant that the FOI officer was quite clearly providing material assistance in the commission of serious criminal offences.
So how do we get around that? By ‘plugging’ the gap’ and making my wife into my ‘carer’ post hoc. Must admit that the ‘three letter’ confidence trick attempted by the FOI officer is one of the better ‘cons’ I have seen in all my time as a public officer dealing with contracts. They needed me to be made into a ‘patient’ before the police or anyone else (for example my legal representatives) had time to go through what had occurred, and figured out I had been tortured and kidnapped. And unfortunately they failed to obtain the document they could defraud others with, so had to resort to having me dealt with by someone in the Emergency Dept (which also failed). Ewww that’s kind of yucky that the State is doing that to people who pay them their wages.
So at this point the police are fully aware of the fact that they were deceived into a false belief by the Community Nurse but…… they don’t actually like the facts. Because that would mean that the people they are relying on to torture and kidnap (and provide them with the opportunity to ‘interrogate’ people drugged without their knowledge or consent) might actually be subjected to the law. And we simply can’t have that, and okay it got a little out of hand with the thing at the E.D. and slipping a few past the Coroner who isn’t looking to hard anyway…….c’mon. Just business right?
Knowing a psychiatrist who is providing what Fanon calls ‘psychological services’ to the State is a distinct advantage though. And of course such people need the ‘space’ to conduct their work, especially when people are being ‘Shanghaied’ from a Private Clinic and elite University counselling services for electricity treatments (with their ‘consent’ of course. Which we have become acutely aware of the methods of ‘coercion’ which the State is using now with COVID. You have a choice, not much of a choice but a choice none the less).
So getting me to the Church on Time for an ‘unintended negative outcome’ was a rational decision as far as I can see, and not some …. well, there was an element of paranoia involved, given that the Police won’t actually do anything about doctors committing serious criminal offences (or their wives for that matter) So is there really a need for ‘outcoming’ their little problems in the E.D.?
I did explain this to a Police officer that it would be best if they let these organised criminals operating in our hospitals know they do not intend doing their duty where they are concerned, and that lives could be saved. No motive to ‘outcome’ if the police aren’t going to act on the torture and kidnappings.
Mind you, this did raise the same issues faced by people when they saw the report of Josef Hartinger, that is this could be viewed as being a “joint enterprise” with the State being responsible for the criminal conduct of public officers [see UN report on Corrina Horvath beating by Police]. And the State has since rectified that issue by passing “Voluntary Assisted Dying” legislation, which concerns me given the way that official documents can be “edited” before examination by a persons legal representatives. The Attorney General not prepared to put my concerns to rest though. The ‘protections’ afforded under the Mental Health Act which are denied by the Chief Psychiatrist, are the same legal protections boasted about by our legislators as proving protection with the Euthanasia Laws they have passed. They simply ignore them and point to them as being ‘protections’ See the letter I have posted from the Chief Psychiatrist regarding the “suspect on reasonable grounds” protection. What good are the laws when the person charged with enforcing them doesn’t even understand how they work. Care to see the letter? Thought not.
These documents I have, removed information demonstrating kidnapping and torture (and numerous other offenses) and replaced them with misleading and slanderous information for my lawyers, and they call that “editing”? I think the correct term is criminal fraud, and can see how doctors could easily provide ‘assistance’ to people who have ‘volunteered’ to die, and then change the legal narrative once they had been …. well, no real nice way of putting it, killed.
Thought for the Day: “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”
Of even greater concern is the fact that the Form 1 referral was KNOWN to be a fraudulent statutory declaration by Dec. 2011. The only way that it could not be seen as being fraud was if you removed the other related documentation stating the facts from the legal narrative. Which was precisely what the Operations Manager did before providing that fraud to the Law Centre. Police were then procured to retrieve the partial documents I had showing the ‘spiking’, and to ensure that the fraud could not be seen by anyone other than those who had prepared the fraud.
So Boans is sitting on documents which demonstrate the fraud, and the hospital is of the belief that they have retrieved them and that their fraud can only be noticed by those in authority. Enter the Chief Psychiatrist who, two years after the fraud is known about, writes “The Form 1 is considered to be reasonable grounds”. Now to me the use of a statutory declaration that you KNOW is fraudulent is called uttering …. but haha you can’t prove it because you don’t have the documents anymore, and your lawyers are actually helping the State rather than their client so……..go fuk yourself.
Except, I then walk into a police station with proof that the Chief Psychiatrist is uttering with fraud? Or maybe he didn’t actually write that letter, given that these people have gotten involved in some heavy weight offending by this point, so having the Law Centre forge a letter purporting to be from the Chief Psychiatrist to “fucking destroy” their client who went to them for help and trusted them isn’t out of the question.
But surely the Chief Psychiatrist would have said that he didn’t write that letter, and you would think that such serious misconduct might result in some action? But it does explain why no one seems to want to touch that letter if it was forged by criminals (see the response by the Council of Official Visitors for example). Imagine, forging a letter from the Chief Psychiatrist as a lawyer, and then sending it to someone thinking they couldn’t prove it was forged, and they could?
And then the guy turns up in a Police station, and triggers the ‘flag’ for referral to ‘psychological services’ to ensure he is silenced rather than treated as a victim of crime?
Makes not seeing my family for more than ten years and loosing everything I ever worked for pale to insignificance really. Might be nice driving the Porsche they get for committing such offenses for the State, but they really don’t like such sloppy work. Get your shit together if your going to torture and snuff anyone that complains people. It’s not a good look.
Thanks for sharing your experiences and observations. As someone who has tried psychotherapy, I couldn’t agree more regarding your observations concerning the fundamental problems with therapy. If you want to use psychobabble, you could say that your decision to terminating the session with your therapist when they continued to rudely interrupt you was you being “assertive” and having “firm boundaries”. 😉
I agree with your observation that mental health professionals have become the de facto “designated helpers” in our society — to the point that, at least in some circles, the “proper” response to an acquaintance confiding in their problems is to promptly refer them to a therapist — and perhaps classify them seeking a sympathetic ear as “emotional dumping”. Anyone other than a “professional” is not “qualified” to provide “help” — even if this help merely entails listening to someone and maybe giving them your perspective.
What is disregarded is that psychotherapy exists as a sociocultural institution, incorporated the belief of a certain society at a given time — and having a tremendous degree of similarity to religious institutions. The somewhat amusing fact that your psychotherapist was utilizing notions from “mindfulness practice”, like observing one’s pain as a neutral observer — with the idea that such “equanimous” observation would magically give rise to “wisdom”, and thereby “liberate” you from your suffering — attests to the fact that therapy closely follows cultural trends. What is ignored is that these ideas originally arose from specific cultural and religious traditions — and that the widespread “cultural appropriation” of certain religious concepts in the context of psychotherapy, without first considering whether a particular psychotherapeutic paradigm is appropriate, can lead to significant harm. While mindfulness-based therapy might make sense for a client suffering from addiction, impulsivity, or severe emotional lability, applying this to someone suffering from an abusive relationship might be entirely inappropriate — and only further harm the victim.
If the idea behind therapy is “relearning” how to live — or “reparenting” oneself — expecting a 30-50 minute session, once-a-week, to accomplish such a goal is an extremely tall order. A student learning to play a musical instrument or learn a foreign language cannot expect to make any appreciable progress if they only have lessons once weekly, for less than an hour — unless the teacher provides ample homework for daily learning. If the goal is to simply have someone who will listen, then talking to a shelter cat or dog will probably provide someone with the full and undivided attention of another living creature — without a fee or co-pay — or even the hassle of cleaning up after the animal.
If you’re a therapist providing a fee-based service, the least you can do is listen to the customer when the customer explicitly tells you that what you’re doing is not helpful. The fundamental problem — I suspect — lies in psychotherapy being a fee-based service, while simultaneously retaining its original function of “policing behaviour” — and mental health professionals still being charged with maintaining “safety” by “managing” the “crazies”. This is why the therapist is the eternal “expert” — while a client expressing reasonable dissatisfaction with the services provided is merely being “attention-seeking” or help rejecting” — and invariably afflicted with “poor insight and judgment”.
I wanted to say thank you to Megan for authoring such a brilliant article. It opened my eyes, and the first time I read it, I felt such a rush of recognition and validation that I kind of got lost in my own memories. What you describe is so familiar and it helps me shed more of that shame that built up over the years, when everyone around me blamed me for not “getting better” while I was spending all my energy surviving the treatment.
Congratulations!! You’ve chosen a better life for yourself. ❤ I see you’re an MSW student, and given your experience, I’m so curious what you plan to do upon graduation and what you envision a “real” therapeutic relationship to look like. Thank you so much for your bravery. I think it does more good than we can know. 🙂
Thank you so much for this absolutely brilliant article. I hope you appreciate yourself for the important work you’ve done here. Kudos!!!
Thanks so much for this. I concluded that psychotherapy foundationally defies common sense: a subordinating, regressive relationship promising actualization and contrived, asymmetrical bonding masquerading as a road toward authenticity.
Then there is the remote vocabulary and the artificial concepts that describes passionate human experience in remote, detached vocabulary. It has us all talking like robots.
Obsessing on wounds and unfairness is no liberation either, only habituating self-pity and a sense of “special” victimhood.
It’s impossible to pinpoint causation, and even if we could, no dove burst from our chests to free us from the past.
My evolution over years didn’t come from therapists’ performed cooing, but rather building my own record of competence and mastery.
It’s time clinicians break the chains of their artificial protocol and babble to examine human-to-human how they relate to other people.
My two entry blog launched a 10-year discussion around the points you raise.
PS. Single womanhood can be joyful.
I find single womanhood doable–as long as I don’t date. Lol
Dating apps stink.
I hope you come to find my comment.
I found your blog a decade ago when it was in its infancy. I never contributed, but read it as it unfolded over many years.
Before your blog, I thought I was the only one to have had my mind shredded by the crazy making antics of psychotherapy from the many meandering clinicians I saw over fourteen years.
At that time, before your blog, there really wasn’t much else on the internet from which to find relief. I had felt my brain rip from treatment and carried a pain in my head for two years after I had extricated myself from the codependency and the gaslighting.
I couldn’t bring myself to find another clinician in hope of healing from the accumulated iatrogenic harm and how I had become withdrawn and submissive. I was experiencing increased suicidal ideation and covered in their shame. I had lost the ability to trust and have faith in the goodness of people. I isolated myself, lost in confusion from it all.
By their aggressive treatment of me, they had convinced me that I was inherently bad, as my unwell family in childhood had repeatedly stated to me. I had sought professional opinion and healing because I was really suffering with no self-esteem.
It had backfired. The professional opinions matched family opinions and for a while I half believed them all.
All clinicians without exception were seething people. The last couldn’t hide her disgust for me as I began to deteriorate in her care. She would resist if I asked to be referred elsewhere. I had told her that I loved her in hope that her aggression would stop. The boundaries and goals of therapy were never explained to me. Their dead stares and silences unsettled me through the week between sessions. Their questioning was prurient and shameless.
I couldn’t report those clinicians to validate my experience as they were clearly masters of avoiding accountability in therapy, kept self-serving notes that pathologized me, and were respected amongst their peers who were quick to close ranks when I made the first fragile steps towards reporting.
I couldn’t describe the harm even if I wanted to formally complain. I couldn’t bring myself to sit down and write what my complaint was in fear of reliving it. I was stuck between holding them to account and moving on. I could only write that it was like being raped. Any draft of a complaint I wrote made me sound gullible and inarticulate.
I mourned the lost time and the money I went without which funded their luxury lifestyles. They went off on leave with little notice while I was left with no time to plan for a vacation myself.
Psychotherapy had taken my resilience because it replicates the trauma and abuse of a narcissist and the associated destruction of codependency.
You, disequilibrium1, slowly sewed my mind back together. I sincerely mean it when I say that you saved my mind and that you are a hero of mine. Your blog gave me the words I couldn’t articulate. Thanks to your blog, my self-confidence slowly returned.
Thank you, disequilibrium1, from the bottom of my heart.
Sorry it took a while to find you. Thanks so much for your kind words. I posted long ago hoping to generate discussion, and I’m gratified it continues.
My therapists too left me feeling crazy and violated, crazy because I believed their perceptions over mine and violated because I handed them in weaponry of my vulnerability.
Any restoration came from community; any provider I saw was too indoctrinated to understand his own contrivance. I don’t think it coincidental there’s so little literature about iatrogenesis –most seems the same deflecting rehash.
Dorpat, I assume that refers to Dorpat’s excellent book.
The bottom of the About page on my blog refers you to a discussion board founded by a correspondent. You’ll have to register to see most of it.
So glad you feel better. Examining these charlatans helped me more than therapy ever did.
I, too, felt “violated” by most of my therapists. Actually, when I look back, they said things that were “crazier” than anything that I said; yet I was the “sick one” receiving the “diagnosis.” But that “violation” thing gets to me sometimes, even today. It is really a “rape of the mind” or “mind/brain” when you add in the psychiatric drugs and that the therapists are basically enablers of the psych drug system. I have written about this before. But, once in a whimsy of thinking, I noticed that the word; “therapist” can be divided into the words, “the-rapist.” As many claim, there are no coincidences. Thank you.
Have you ever heard of family systems therapy? There is a book by Rabbi Dr Edward Friedman called Generation to Generation that outlines it. My therapist and I worked on this for a bunch of years with great success. Also realize that the tongue is the beginning of the nervous system and talking often helps a person realize their own answers.
It’s great that you had this good experience with family systems therapy and were able to realize your own answers by talking.
I found DBT therapy very invalidating. The therapists would validate me in small ways (like, “the hopelessness makes sense in this context”) but looking back I feel like they were feeding me Crumbs while I was starving. They didn’t know the context, they only knew what had happened from the time I started the program however many months before. Because at that time in DBT they said that the past was irrelevant, that treatment was about learning coping skills and moving forward. They said if you had trauma you don’t need to address the trauma in order to recover. The therapist directed the conversation. It was their agenda all the time. So I might get a little validation if the therapist that I was seeing (which was mandatory for me, to see an outside therapist, just any outside therapist, while I was in this program) said something rude to me, which happened on a regular basis, they would validate that but then told me that I needed to use my skills to either address it with the therapist or radically accept it and move on but I had to keep seeing that therapist who had been rude to me. I was instructed to give them the benefit of the doubt. They had no idea what my life had been like up until the point where I landed in the DBT program. They knew nothing about it. They never asked. They would ask a few clinical questions on my intake like how many suicide attempts have you had, when and what method did you use. But nothing beyond that. It was like a very concerted effort on their part to not look at me in terms of what had ever happened to me before. I got angrier and angrier as time went on and I experienced more abuse in treatment. Also no one ever acknowledged that the only reason I wound up with a borderline diagnosis and ndbt therapy was that I had had electroshock therapy for what they were calling treatment resistant depression. But after the ECT when my functioning went way downhill and I couldn’t work any longer, they said I had borderline and needed DBT. Of course none of that was addressed.
I really wanted to get well. I wanted that more than anything. I wasted 15 years from the time of the ECT with this damn diagnosis that is an invitation for treatment providers to be callous and judgmental. I’ve had more than one treatment provider actually laugh at me to my face. I know the idea of life is to accept the past, learn from it and move on, but I’m completely stuck. Just biding my time and trying not to think about how bad things could get before I finally check out.
Sigh and hugs. What else can another do?
or do you expect, or want another to do? to support in exploring
and choosing to experience, relate to, with, what you’ve been given?
..more pleasurably? (and what if they don’t?) sincerely..
What about a life coach, embracing each day as a new life, one step at a time?
Thank you. I suppose I don’t want anything except to be heard and believed. I come to this website, read about other people’s experiences which I often very closely relate to, I write my comments, which are often just me venting but also, if I write it somewhere public, and it’s there for people to see, then there’s a record of sorts, and a cautionary tale. I know I can come here and be heard, and not mocked or dismissed, and that, to me, is a big deal.
I think I’d like to have a friend. Maybe two or three. And a pet. If and when I’m ready and I know I can manage the responsibility, I hope to get a cat or two. At the moment, I’m very physically weak and barely leave my apartment. I would need to be stronger.
I would also like assurances that I’ll never be force medicated again or forced to undergo more ECT.
I’ve had so many therapists and psychiatrists tell me in one way or another that I’m beyond help that I believe I should qualify for euthanasia. I can’t take care of myself due to extreme physical and mental disability, have no family, friend or emergency contact. Every one of those rejections by professionals should count as “points” toward being approved for euthanasia. If they are the experts and they say I am beyond help, shouldn’t they stand by their word? Instead when I suggested this to a DBT therapist after they told me I’d failed DBT, they said, I was being “provocative” and “what possessed you to say those things?”. I live every day alone in fear. I can barely dress myself. The system refuses to acknowledge people like me, let alone help.
Sorry to have missed your response,
I hear you, with smiles and hugs.
You’ve come a long way, to get to where you are.
I trust you are still exploring ways and means of learning surviving, taking care of yourself, one day at a time?
author: “It took the explosive ending of the five-year relationship I had with that therapist for me to realize that the reason it wasn’t a good fit anymore is because therapy isn’t a good fit.”
YES!!! Why in the world subject yourself to another human and invite a power imbalance????????!!!!!!!!! And pay for it!!!!
Read books, keep a journal, walk, whatever, do things and reflect.
A therapist is not a a savior; there is no savior.
“YES!!! Why in the world subject yourself to another human and invite a power imbalance????????!!!!!!!!! ”
She says she had a tendency to form a trauma bond.
For me, it really sucks to realize I had this weakness and went to people for “help” who, in effect, just exploited it.
I couldn’t agree more.
Yes, a therapist is not a savior. He or she is actually “the-rapist.” However, there is a Real Savior and His Name is Jesus Christ. I give Him credit for my freedom and deliverance from the evil psych drugs and therapies, etc. Thank you.
I too am a Christian. I found a deliverance more helpful than years of so-called therapy.
Do you sense all learning, if substantial is about the beliefs yielding to an awareness a little deeper as the result from the balance shifting into conditions far from equilibrium?
Whoa. Glad you’re doing better.
Thanks, Megan, for this very well-written and well-expressed article. How many have had similar experiences? Who knows, because nobody is counting.
I was in and out of therapy for over 50 years, believing the same kinds of things as you did until eventually the last therapist, a Ph.D. with a 2-year postdoc, terminated me after 6 years saying she didn’t “have the emotional resources” to continue.
Like you, in the 7 years since that time, I have reflected and tried to find out how I could have made such a big mistake as to trust those people. I have found other people with similar stories in forums and websites on the internet. I think “trauma bond” is a good description for what happened to me, too. It’s something that therapists, and clients, too, should be made aware of as a risk for any client with a history of family trauma. And perhaps other people as well.
Every therapist I dealt with, professionally and in outside settings, is outwardly or subtly domineering. They inevitably market themselves as modern shamans possessing some special secret to lifting human distress which they parcel out by eyedropper to supplicating clients. I found the relationship itself, despite the performed “empathetic” cooing, as utterly diminishing.
Therapists remotely acknowledge the power differential. However, I’ve yet to see one consider how this unfolds in human-to-human terms. In fact they dissemble superpowers no person actually possesses.
They turn patients into outcasts when they diagnose them with a scary sounding “illnesses” like borderline personality, then tell the patients they need to “use their skills” to “build natural supports” when the patients would probably have had better luck finding and keeping friends if they had never become mental patients. Being in an IOP DBT program and being told I need to find someone to invite to Friends and Family night where they talk about how to support someone with borderline personality disorder is a prolonged exercise in futility and humiliation. Talk about reasons to feel hopeless.
The combination of therapists and psych drugs can make a person feel hopeless. We all have a right to our good days and our bad days, feeling hopeless means that although we may have stopped therapy or are no longer taking the psych drugs; we are still their prisoners. Prisoners without bars. We don’t have to live that way. We can adapt and forgive and renew ourselves. It’s not always easy, but it’s possible. Thank you.
Yep. Are they really that lacking in awareness of how this harms relationships just like the system’s drugs harm us physically?
You have hit the nail right on the head! The most perverse and ironic thing about “psychotherapy” is that the very same therapists who define themselves as the be-all and end-all experts on the human mind — who insist that nothing short of “professional help” will ever help — then proceed to turn around and tell patients to seek “natural supports” and that the therapist can’t “do everything” for them.
What’s a therapist? What’s an effective therapist- therapon?
One who loves, (accepts, respects,) and walks with a client…facilitating exploring,
self discovering, more useful options, in ‘doing oneself,’ relationally.
Effective self stewardship can be discovered, embraced, when one trusts oneself
to explore and embrace more useful options. 🙂
Duplicate comment removed.
“By ourselves is evil done
By ourselves we cease from wrong
No one helps us but ourselves
No one can and no one may
We alone must tread the path
(fill in your favorite benefactor’s name here) only points the way.”
From The Black Heart by Steven Van Lustbader
Far too few who hold themselves to be ‘therapists,’ have little expertise or appreciation, its their client who is best equipped and only one knowledgeable enough as to what its like to walk in their shoes, and discover, embrace the freedom and responsibility that is theirs alone to discover, and can if effectively supported, trusted. <3
I think the point you make about “therapists” is correct. However, it isn’t just “therapists” who disregard the “autonomy” of the individual as regards to what benefits them and what harms them. The problem is pervasive in of course, psychiatrists, but almost all medicine, education, government, other social services and way too much etc. It is way too easy for all of these alleged authorities and experts to think either “one size fits all” or “one size fits most.” Thank you.
I agree, Rebel. It is almost as if, as soon as a person admits, “I need help,” they are ushered into a paradigm of professionals who have the power to define what kind of help it is that the person needs, along with when, how, and if that help will be administered. The help as defined by professionals might bear little or no resemblance to the help the person was seeking, but this never gets addressed. If the person is so bold as to speak up and say, “this is not the kind of help that I was seeking” or “this help is hurting me”, that can lead to very negative consequences, like being told they are ungrateful for the help that they have received, or that they are not able to recognize that the help that is being provided exactly is the help that they need, or that they are beyond help. This is a trap that I got caught in and was never able to extricate myself from. My focus went from seeking help (the help I was seeking from the start according to my definition) to surviving the help that was provided to me, at times with my consent, many times without it.
The piece of propaganda that was popular in PSAs for a while, that went something like:. “don’t be afraid to ask for help. Help is available” made me realize how diabolically untrustworthy the system is.
When all you’ve got is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.
And thus when people come looking for ‘help’, they are vulnerable. From that point on does it look anything like a cult doing ‘exorcisms’? I think they collectively loose their minds in thinking that what they are doing is helping from that point onwards.
When all you’ve got is electricity and drugs, the whole world looks like ……… their wallets can be easily extracted once in your ‘care’.
I hear you Megan…It’s one thing to be disappointed or thoroughly let down by your everyday interloper, and another by someone who claims to be someone they turn out to not be, especially someone who’s supposed to more emotionally or psychologically evolved than a middle schooler in gym class.
True story: 8 years ago I made an appointment with a psychotherapist, the first in over a decade. When journaling uncovered so much betrayal and trauma I’d been blind to for decades, I knew I needed a ‘skilled witness’ to help me process the overwhelming unrecognized consequences, save grief. After all…my psychiatric kidhood didn’t just happen in the vacuum of my head, it happened in an array of human relationships: best to repair it there, right! From a ‘website’ reflecting a sea of smiling faces- who seemed to be experts at a dozen or more psychological categories, I picked one Ph.D. who specialized in trauma.
I wanted to start slow during that first appt, to build some trust, and get a feel for her ‘character’ (empathy, EQ, IQ, etc.), before jumping into the whole journaling thing. About 15 minutes in, apparently going to slow for her, she pressed, rather suspiciously. “why are you here, you can tell me”, before rattling off about a dozen psychological maladies (addiction, etc.) Before I could even respond, she gave an oral presentation of her resume, as if to convince me of her professional acumen. But when I looked up at her, I suddenly saw an insecure person, a woman who was neither sufficiently curious nor in awe of anything beyond her credentials or their institutional myths, save people or the world at large. I suddenly, and without any conscious intention, felt sorry for her (of which took some time to unpack). I then apologized to her, handed her $150 cash, thanked her for her time, and left (she emailed me to return half, of which I just ignored). To this day I consider it the best investment I’ve ever made, including my last donation to the MHIC.
My guess, Megan, you have more psychological and emotional acumen to offer than the psychotherapist you’ve entrusted, if not most (?). That can be a scary thing to come to terms with…
I already read this article and In defense of anger.
Basically it is the same thing that has happened to me and what I feel and think about what has happened to me.
I also have a wordpress blog, fb page and youtube, where I talk about these topics, but in Spanish. They are called Another Bad Victim.
I have been attacked a lot for criticizing psychotherapy. People are very indoctrinated.
I’m not quite over it yet to write it all up in an article like this, but I’ve written bits, pieces of the puzzle that maybe I’ll put together and publish one day.
I agree, Rebel. It is almost as if, as soon as a person admits, “I need help,” they are ushered into a paradigm of professionals who have the power to define what kind of help it is that the person needs, along with when, how, and if that help will be administered. The help as defined by professionals might bear little or no resemblance to the help the person was seeking, but this never gets addressed. If the person is so bold as to speak up and say, “this is not the kind of help that I was seeking” or “this help is hurting me”, that can lead to very negative consequences, like being told they are ungrateful for the help that they have received, or that they are not able to recognize that the help that is being provided exactly is the help that they need, or that they are beyond help.
I think you have hit the most fundamental problem with the “helping” professions. Anyone who thinks they can tell another person what is wrong with them, what they need, and/or what they need to do about it is inherently dangerous. People don’t need someone to define things for them, they need someone to help them figure out what they need and how to get their needs met. Humility and empathetic listening, along with a few carefully-selected pointed questions, is what most people find most helpful, whether it’s from a professional, friend, family member, or a stranger on the street. As soon as a person forgets that the only one who knows the ‘right answer’ is the person seeking assistance, they become a hindrance rather than a help. And when they expect the person seeking support to “appreciate” whatever “help” they choose to provide, they become inevitably damaging to the person they are claiming to “help.”
And then we get to the question of “voluntary assisted dying” as a form of “help”. What if the person being ‘assisted’ doesn’t really require the ‘help’, but it’s what the doctor ordered? The legal protections of no use when the State is “editing” legal narrative before legal representatives are allowed to examine documents relating to the ‘treatment’ (despite the law allowing examination of such documents to protect human rights), and Police find it a situation where “it might be best I don’t know about that”. Was it ‘voluntary’? We’ll never know given that situation.
“As soon as a person forgets that the only one who knows the ‘right answer’ is the person seeking assistance, they become a hindrance rather than a help. And when they expect the person seeking support to “appreciate” whatever “help” they choose to provide, they become inevitably damaging to the person they are claiming to “help.””
Doesn’t the rapist think along the same lines? That is, they forget that the person who has said “no” actually knows what is best for them? Of course with a little force (ie spike their drink with date rape drugs and procure police with guns to force the person to accept the ‘help’) they will surely realise at some point that they are fortunate to have received the attention they have? I know that was the opinion of the Community Nurse who found it laughable that Police would do anything to assist me in regards his criminal offences (his lie to them that I was his “Outpatient” an offence in my State), they were the ones who held me down while he metaphorically fukd me, despite my express denial of consent. Any complaints he would simply do it again…. and so best I shut my mouth and leave him to harm others with his ‘help’.
Exactly. This is so well said.
And the determination that a client/patient is “beyond help” can be communicated in multiple ways, including an “escalated” diagnosis like borderline personality, which will almost certainly lead to more harm. And the cycle continues.
There’s a private discussion board for clients to explore therapy harm and relationships from client viewpoint– The Reality of (Bad) Therapy-The Client’s Side (TTCS) Forum. Consumers appear to delve into topics and angles I never see approached by practitioners.
You write “Consumers appear to delve into topics and angles I never see approached by practitioners.”
I am in Australia and I find myself wondering about countries where there is a right to privacy with regards the therapy process. I found myself in a position where I spoke to a ‘therapist’ for over a year regarding my matters, and presented him with documented proof of what I was saying.
As a result of his ‘therapy’ I found myself strong enough to go to Police and make a complaint about the criminals who had lied to police about my status to have me subjected to a little ‘lip loosening’ shall we say (police beatings here are fairly common, though you might struggle to get any aboriginal families to speak about it, lest they loose their kids with a ‘referral’). My refusal to speak to filthy verballing public officers based on a knowledge of who they actually are (ie they have ‘history’). I believe things may be better in other parts of the world where a rule of law is valued. It certainly isn’t here, and especially not by our police who are for all intents and purposes acting as a Schutzstaffel for our Politicians. Ask our ex treasurer lol
After speaking to this ‘therapist’ and explaining how I had been the victim of corrupt public officers, I then went to police who tried to have me ‘referred’ for “hallucinating” (that is, I put documents proving I had been ‘spiked’ with date rape drugs on their desk and expected them to do their duty…. that’s what is considered grounds for referral by police. ‘Stick a needle in it and snow it thanks Doc’). They ended up being put through to the ‘therapist’ who explained that their referral was not valid because having proof of the offences was not a “hallucination”……. big problem for the police because they were covering up for the criminals and had me flagged to ensure they were protected. So they tried to arrest me for having my medical records, etc ……..eventually having to pretend to take the documents from me, and create the appearance they had done their job (the ‘flag’ on the system told them to do otherwise. Knowing they had subjected me to acts of torture a problem should they take the proof I imagine)
So I return to the ‘therapist the next week and speak to him about the stupidity of police trying to refer me for having proof I was a victims of a crime (s). we laugh about it and then …….. after Police had the time to find out how the fuk I still had the documents they thought they had retrieved, thus perverting the course of justice, they then rang and threatened the ‘therapist’. He told me he was now afraid for his family, and that the events with police calling and attempting to have me ‘referred’ for a snow job “never happened” (how’s that for ‘gaslighting’? Nothing like knowing your slander of a ‘patient’ will assist criminals).
Now the problem for Police was that they couldn’t actually ask ME who else had the documents, because that might get documented and the issuing of threats and intimidation of those others who were aware of the failure to act against their colleagues who were torturing and arbitrarily detaining citizens with a Community Nurse could not continue to be concealed. So they got the ‘therapist’ to ask the questions they needed answered to allow them to continue to attempt to pervert the course of justice. Clever huh? Get someone I had built a relationship of trust with to do the dirty work for them. And he aware of what they had done, now afraid for the safety of his family after hearing about what they had done to mine.
This issue of privacy in ‘therapy’ bugged me, because here I was with my court sealed medical records being handed over from a private clinic to a hospital in breach of the Federal Privacy Act, I’m being ‘spiked’ with date rape drugs and a Senior Medical Officer is writing fraudulent prescriptions and making them my “Regular Medications”, …. the list of offences is too long to list…. but Police quite happy to assist in the concealment of these offences it would seem, and in fact telling me they didn’t have a copy of the Criminal Code in a large metro Police station (confirmed by a Police Superintendent in writing. So there’s some heavy weights covering up on this one it would seem. Or are the lawyers at the Mental Health Law Centre forging and uttering with letters form senior police as well as the Chief Psychiatrist one would have to ask?)
Point being the Police attempts to conceal these offences and the evidence/proof had failed. Members of Parliament get involved and in the meantime police are still trying to find out “who else has got the documents?” ie who else is aware of their corruption in providing assistance to organised criminals operating in our hospitals.
So I find myself wondering about the use of ‘therapists’ as police informants. In my case it was an unwilling informant who had the questions they wanted answered, but couldn’t be seen asking, put them to me, lest his families safety be put at risk. But I feel sure there are those who are more than willing participants in ‘letting slip’ information police might find useful.
In fact I know of one young woman who was given an awful lot of psychiatric ‘medications’ before confessing to killing her infant, an d receiving a rather long prison term. A little ‘eavesdropping’ of assistance in that regard.
Once again though, in my instance the police were trying to avoid finding out the facts (which they were already aware of anyway). They did want to know who else they needed to threaten given that I had the documents proving certain facts (ie the ‘spiking’ and that they arbitrarily detained me based on a known lie by the Community Nurse. can’t let the protections of the law get in their way when organised criminals want something done)
Mind you, I’m glad there ARE people out there who can’t be run in circles by a ‘mental patient’ the way our Police can. It was farcical the way they continued to try and conceal the offending for these criminals, doubling down under the assumption that they were untouchable (though that paranoid look they get when they aren’t sure if I was a ‘plant’ sent to test them makes me laugh to this day. Any wonder we need to have them sent for a ‘psychiatric evaluation’ before retirement?)
Point being though, that these differences in systems where Australia allows lawyers and ‘therapists’ and doctors to act as informants for the State is unique I believe. Sure it works, and quite well really…. the amount of suckers who walk in the door and ‘confess’ their ‘sins’, and find themselves being shipped of to the ‘camps’. I prefer to keep things to myself……. especially when it comes to women ‘therapists’. But when you get no choice……
The decision by the High Court that there is no ‘privileged communications in common law in Australia’ not really understood by the plebs. they think that what they tell their lawyers is confidential, and well, when lawyers start forging and uttering with letters to assist the State in criminal concealment, and Police get involved and ensure that the victim is referred to mental health for a little sleep (all relative isn’t it?) and some electricity as a teaching device.
Personally I think they underestimate the power of the grapevine. The prof who rudely interrupted the doctor in the E.D. who was in the middle of ‘snowing’ me one example. My wife explaining to him what she was being asked to do, and he not having the stomach for what he knew they were going to do. Perhaps his friendship with senior police allowing him to use the resources of the state as his personal servants? he picks himself up a ‘crew’ operating in the hospitals, and police ensure that his ‘procurement’ of said criminals goes unnoticed by authorities?
I mean I get it this isn’t as bad as say China where they have laws that potentially allow them to arbitrarily detain (but no actual proof that they ever do it). Funny but the reason I know the authorities are aware that what they did was torture, is because they complained about another Nation allowing it to be done. The hypocrisy reeks when they aren’t having police flag the individual and then dropping them off at an E.D. for an unintended negative outcome.
How many therapists have heard from the victims of the child raping priests? And how many reports were actually made? (confidentiality of the therapy process they tell us, but here’s this guy asking questions provided by police to allow them to conceal their misconduct?). And how many of them were ‘referred’ for ‘treatment’ and their complaints ignored and then ‘snowed’? Not within the terms of reference of the Royal Commission no doubt, the use and abuses of the Mental Health Act of little concern to them.
Therapists? They provide absolutely nothing of benefit to our community when all they are doing is gathering information to be used by others to deliberately harm.
“Would you spy on your Brother? Would you eat your dead brothers flesh? Nay, yeah would abhor it”
Megan wrote: “I used to think therapy could be beneficial if only you went through the trials of finding a good therapist—and by “good,” I mean one that is not only well-trained/well-educated, but one that is a “good fit” for you in particular.”
Megan, I think this is what gets a lot of us hooked into it and keeps us hooked. With a therapist one is investing so much time and money, but you still don’t know what the therapist’s actual views are.
But then, why should you care, why should you be telling them any of your personal stuff? They aren’t going to the one representing you in court, and they aren’t going to be out on the barricades either.
And if you want to live in this world you need public honor, not just to have found a therapist who sees things your way.
Megan, as I re-read your account, the more it parallels my own experience, that obsessing about childhood wounds is a pointless exercise. But worse, I’m led by an authoritarian expert, who expects me to subordinate myself to him and defer to his questionable wisdom. So instead of self-sufficiency and competence, I’m (further) taught to depend on a stronger, “wiser,” person– opposite of my goal of becoming more confident at work or an attractive romantic partner.
Even the coaching they provided was absurd, one-size-fits-all assertiveness prescriptions, discounting a recipient or consequences of my mechanical scripts. The therapist remains the the authority figure and puppeteer, while I’m the passive vessel of the his rescue illusions.
I too felt guilty leaving, like I’d failed some self-improvement or penance. But maybe leaving was more like rejecting a parent figure, but refusing in his gratification rather than my own.
and the forum below discusses these very issues–the ostensibly “ethical” therapist who still does harm:
I too have had a number of bad experiences with both psychiatrist and psychologists over a period of more than 50 years.
Not all of them however have been bad news. On this forum, few people seem to report good experiences. I think this is unfortunate because it gives a very biased point of view.
I have just finished 20 sessions over about 10 months with a therapist experienced in working with psychosis. It took me about three years of searching to find someone suitable. The sort of therapy that I was looking for doesn’t seem to be available at all in the public sector in Australia and is extremely limited from private practitioners.
I located a number of people who claimed to have these skills and experience but didn’t meet my requirements when checked out
During this search I did an on-line Udemy course in the type of therapy I was interested in (CBT-p). It gave me some valuable insights and understanding about what I was to eventually embark on. The course was run by a guy called Ron Ungar who has written articles on this forum. It turned out that he is considered to be something of an expert in this area.
The first therapist I found who appeared to have all the right credentials and experience lasted for about 15 minutes into the first session. She got triggered, apparently by something I said and probably, quite wisely, terminated the session. This was a somewhat traumatic experience for me as I was left feeling that it was “all my fault again”.
Shortly after, I found another therapist who works in the public sector and sees a few private clients one day a week. After some discussion on the phone we agreed to “give it a go”. This relationship has fortunately been successful.
I know that therapy doesn’t work for everybody in fact from what I read, it is apparently not much more effective than medication. Why this seemed to work for me this time is hard to say. Perhaps it was because I went into it well prepared and with my eyes wide open about what I wanted to achieve. I did have a couple of altercations with this therapist when I confronted and challenged her on a couple of issues but we were able to resolve our differences quickly.
Perhaps I just got lucky this time.
It sounds like you worked VERY hard to find the right practitioner! Not everyone has the resources, time, or freedom to do such a search, unfortunately. It is true, most of the people here had bad to horrible experiences, and in a way that’s a bias. But there are SOOOO many places folks can go to talk about their positive experiences, it’s super helpful to have a place where ALL experiences are welcome to be shared. I know of a person who got kicked off of a “bipolar support group” because she questioned psychiatry’s approach to her case. I’ve gotten ‘feedback’ on an “ADHD” site for using the term “Drug” – I’m supposed to say “medication” so as not to suggest any connection with street drugs, even though all the “ADHD” drugs are, in fact, sold on the street. There are many practitioners who view any skepticism toward “medication” as a sign of “lacking insight.” It is a lot of hard work to find the kind of help you need, and it shouldn’t be. That’s what MIA is about, IMHO.
Your quite right about the “Nice” forums. I seem to be in more or less constant trouble with one of the largest, government funded MH forums in Australia for saying things about the MH industry that are common knowledge. When I post something there these days I have to add a bunch of references and even then they don’t like it. I am forever walking the line of being kicked out.
What I am trying to do on this and a number of other forums is to get a balanced view of the situation. I am retired and have the time to try and “do something” about this huge and almost unbelievable world wide problem.
Even though I am considered a survivor with over 50 years of so called “lived experience”, it wasn’t until a year ago when the “thought police” came banging on my front door. They had an agenda to drag me off to a geriatric hospital for the insane because I refused their generous offer of depot antipsychotic injections. That was the point in time when I started to realise the magnitude of the problem and its horrific consequences.
I have just read Australian psychiatrist Niall McLaren’s article on MIA “Why Do We Lock People Up”. For someone in my position this is obviously a thought provoking article. I am in the process of establishing contact with people like McLaren and others like him in Australia.
I am still trying to figure out where to take aim so as not to waste my very limited supply of ammunition. To my mind, it needs more than just ranting or pleading with psychiatry, big pharma or the government although I have no doubt that each of these entities play a significant part in the problem. It just seems a lot more complex than that and probably boils down to the innate characteristics and limitations of our human nature.
Anyway, I’m grateful for MIA. Thank you.
The control of language can be a real issue, as I was to find out in one group where the ‘clients’ started discussing the terms “medications”, “drugs” and “products”. That last term has some subtle elements to it worth considering. Anyway, I got told I was being “disruptive” to the group and wasn’t allowed to attend
Well, that and the fact the Social Worker wet his pants when threatened by police over witnessing them trying to ‘refer’ me for reporting serious criminal conduct……. He had seen the documents which were ‘flagged’ and of concern to police. And our discussion about the failure of the Senior Constable to copy the documents to ensure “insufficient evidence” was the outcome by police not even noticed by such a trusting fool (“they wouldn’t do that”…… he just did, right under your nose J, and you didn’t notice the three card monte. Let me show you how it’s done sucker.). That and our immediate exchange of emails over the days events not allowing the S.W. to go back and “edit” his “observations”. And my how he boasted about his “advocacy” work, the gutless ‘yellerbelly’ that he is.
But I wouldn’t say all of my interactions with ‘mental health professionals’ has been negative. A similar situation with the guy who did actually have a PhD…. he was most helpful for more than a year. Examined the documents with me, discussed my interaction with the local Member of Parliament where I presented the two sets of documents showing the fraud presented to my legal representatives (and the forged letter from the ‘Chief Psychiatrist’). But after the Police called him when I was with the Social Worker and tried to have me ‘snowed’ (see the ‘flag’ placed on my file in the police records)and then forced him into claiming “it never happened”, well, speaking such a lie directly to my face was the very end of our ‘relationship’. And I get it, his family was being threatened by police to have him use his position to find out “who else has the documents?”……… nothing like using ‘mental health professionals’ as police informants huh? Though I can see an issue when it comes to having ‘unintended negative outcomes’ to cause ‘discomfort’ to people until they confess or answer questions. Particularly ones relating to public sector misconduct. That would open up the possibility of torturing public officers 🙂 And we can’t have that. The eagle comes home to roost huh?
Nobody going to believe me anyway right? or those that do soon realise the benefits of ensuring their silence for the State…… those brave individuals who value integrity and a rule of law……. except when ‘instructed’ not to.
My ‘anti psychiatry’ beliefs discussed with the Private Clinic psychiatrist at our very first meeting………. no need to give me the ‘like insulin for diabetes’ sales pitch Doc, I need a report for my legal representatives. Which always left me wondering why he would have ‘referred’ me to a ‘therapist’ whose husband IS a ‘shock Doc’. She keeping that information from me until our last meeting where she tried to test the waters and see if I would spend my ‘compensation’ on ‘treatments’. My response being that I can do the same sort of damage with a ball peen hammer, it just looks a little more brutal…….. and she, purple in the face, responding with …… “my husband is a psychiatrist”. Stick your treatments and your ‘therapy’ (suggesting i threaten my wifes family) up your anus.
My wife totally unaware of all of this turning up in her office crying over the problems cause by her ‘therapy’, must have been a ‘gift’ knowing she could have her return home and ‘spike’ me with date rape drugs and have her call the Mental Health Emergency response Line and set up a torture session with police …… with her playing the role of ‘they called me and had him in custody, so I was justified in releasing medical records from the Private Clinic’. The conspiring to stupefy and commit an indictable offense not something police want to consider….. in fact, the whole use of police to arbitrarily detain and torture by mental health services not something they want to even examine. Well, at least that’s how they tried to make it look to the casual observer. I say ‘they’, there are some who are interested in how public sector misconduct is being concealed. If you have the stomach for it that is.
Good news being that the public is there for the taking…….. not an ounce of resistance on their part. Something Hitler had an understanding of, when you have the ability to lay the boots into anyone who resists your preferred reality. The public service having been appropriated by certain sections of the community as their paid for thug services. Private Clinics using Police to do kidnappings and torture? Who’d have thought eh? And as my wife so eloquently put it….. “you just need to know what to tell them” (did I mention he’s related to the Cohens? Call this person at their day job to have it confirmed)
But on the whole, most of the ‘mental health professionals’ I have interacted with seemed like fairly ‘reasonable’ people. They just need to remain on the ‘right side of the law’, which is shut the fuk up about us arbitrarily detaining and torturing or we’ll do your family, and fuking destroy your reputation with fraudulent documents (I note our Premier spent $2 million of taxpayers money defending his ‘reputation’ in the High Court…… with a finding against him that he is a slanderer). All that while the State “edits” documents to slander peoples character with fraud, and then deny them access to legal representation?
I was thinking about these documents I have earlier. Funny how they are considered reliable enough to incarcerate and force drug an individual for the term of their natural life…. but when it comes to the fact they are PROOF of public sector misconduct and criminality, police find them to be “insufficient evidence”, and prefer the victim of the crimes is silenced with ‘treatments’ for illnesses fabricated by a filthy corrupt ‘verballer’.