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    Old 03-29-2004, 11:00 AM   #1
    spreeville
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    Angry Therapist messed up my life

    I'm curious if anyone else here has had any bad experiences with therapy?

    I've suffered from social anxiety disorder my entire life. To make a long story short, I was going to therapy for over a year with the same therapist, which is long for me, I usually switch therapists often. Anyway, a time came last year when I really needed to talk to him, and/or see him. But for some reason, he completely abandoned me. He no longer acknowledged my existance. I left him message after message on his voicemail, but he never returned any of my calls. I even ran into him, and when he saw me he started walking the other way, away from me. I even spoke to his supervisor and she said she was going to have him call me, but he still never got in contact with me. I feel like such an idiot. All those times I practically begged him just to talk to me, I must have sounded like a fool to him.

    When he just turned his back on me, it destroyed every single ounce of trust I ever had for anybody, not just him. He was the only therapist who ever helped me with my problems, but I never got a chance to thank him for making my life a little better. I just don't understand why a therapist (out of all people) would do something like this to a client. I am studying psychology, and I know that this is not something considered normal behavior in a therapist, anyone with common sense would know that. I still do not know why he did what he did. For months I've been tempted to go to his office and ask him 'why'. I don't think he, or anyone else understands the damage this has done to me mentally and emotionally. I need closure, but I'm not sure what to do, or how to get it.

    Any suggestions?

    Last edited by spreeville; 05-22-2004 at 09:50 PM.

     
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    Old 03-30-2004, 02:08 PM   #2
    hry33
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    Red face Re: Therapist messed up my life

    IMO lots of therapists are in a worse mental state than their patients
    many therapists originally got into the job due to their own mental problems leading them to study psychology and to qualify as psychologists or therapists, however they often never get around to using their knowledge to cure themselves

    strange and bizzare behaviour is common from them, especially to their clients, sadly

     
    Old 03-30-2004, 09:23 PM   #3
    missmokay
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    I actually had this seemingly happen with a substance abuse counselor I saw in college.

    I was never really addicted to any drug, but my recreational drug habits were part of the reason I started failing some of my classes and they made me go to drug counseling in order to repeat some classes for a 3rd time (since 2 was the allowed max).

    Anyway, I saw this woman for probably 6 or 7 weeks. Then, all the sudden, I was told she was in a car accident and she'd get back to me when she recovered. I never heard back from her. Weeks and months went by. Then, one day, I was walking on campus and happened to bump into her, looking healthy and able-bodied as she ever was. If she was in an accident, it didn't seem to be terribly serious. And she acted really weird..like she didn't want to talk to me. It was strange because I'm pretty sure I never did or said anything weird or even acted particularly neurotic or ANYTHING in these meetings. I was never rude to her. I was never late or absent.

    To this day I wonder what really was going on with that. And it did bother me because it made me feel like I did something.

     
    Old 03-30-2004, 10:55 PM   #4
    spreeville
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    That's too true.

    missmokay,

    Your story is pretty similar except for the fact that there was nothing holding my therapist back. I was also attending college when I saw this therapist. Have you ever considered asking her what happened?
    You're right, you feel like you've done something wrong. It's done wonders for my self esteem issues I'll tell ya that.

     
    Old 03-31-2004, 06:31 PM   #5
    billy7772
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    So True Hry!!!! Sad but true.

    Hi Spreeville-
    Look into getting involved in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It changed my life and got me off meds. It takes work but if you are willing to do the exercises and use the tools it can be quite beneficial. My favorite starter book on cbt is "been there, done that? Do this!" By sam obitz if you're interested and many universities offer cbt programs for little or no charge. It's the best stress reducer around and once you learn the tools they are with you wherever you go


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    Last edited by billy7772; 03-31-2004 at 06:32 PM.

     
    Old 04-02-2004, 10:45 PM   #6
    lori j
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    I am amazed at what I am reading here about therapists! Heck, we have enough low self esteem without the person we're pouring our hearts out to, to drop us! Is this more common than I know? I have had some friends from other boards and they have not been dropped by their therapists, but they do feel like they do not even listen to them or care & that they just keep them coming for the money. That is terrible, to mess with someones mind, who is in trouble to begin with. Do they fall under the AMA?

     
    Old 04-05-2004, 07:41 PM   #7
    billy7772
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lori j
    I am amazed at what I am reading here about therapists! Heck, we have enough low self esteem without the person we're pouring our hearts out to, to drop us! Is this more common than I know? I have had some friends from other boards and they have not been dropped by their therapists, but they do feel like they do not even listen to them or care & that they just keep them coming for the money. That is terrible, to mess with someones mind, who is in trouble to begin with. Do they fall under the AMA?
    I was never dropped, but I certainly experienced the feeling of them having me just coming back to supplement their income. That's another reason why I like CBT so much as it is designed to get you in and out in about 12-weeks and you are done instead of turning you into another therapy junkie

    Billy
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    Old 04-06-2004, 12:38 AM   #8
    antares_wish
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    I am shocked to hear that any therapist would treat a patient that way! You have my sympathies. Like the other posters have said it sounds like that therapist has their own issues to deal with. I think it is important for you to realize that it was YOU that cured yourself, your therapist may have guided you and helped you to see what is not obvious only to the person in the situation but ultimately the real cure had to come from within. You had a willingness and desire to change your life, to make the hard decisions and act on them. Don't let someone elses problems cause you to throw away your ability to trust and care. The worst thing you can do with a life is to not share it. Not everyone has issues like those you describe in your therapist and wouldn't it be a pity to miss out on those great relationships?

     
    Old 04-08-2004, 03:03 AM   #9
    pinkie1234
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    like any other business you are a customer to this company. you pay them for the services you recieve. if you feel that what empolyee is wronging you, you should go up the line in supervisors until you get someone who will take some action. as far as theripsts goes you should find another one. but still persue this one because if he can do this to you he can do it to others. it is unacceptable and he should be repremanded for it.

     
    Old 04-08-2004, 01:44 PM   #10
    billy7772
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    Great advice Pinkie1234. We're not prisoners!
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    Old 04-08-2004, 07:22 PM   #11
    spreeville
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    You guys are right.
    But I think I will confront him face to face and let him know what a horrible thing he has done and that he failed me. No therapist wants to know that they've failed a client by their own hand. I think that will be punishment enough.

     
    Old 04-09-2004, 01:26 AM   #12
    Tesseract
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    Hi spreeville-Nah-I'm stuck still doing the e and voicemail thing tho, at this point, while I've left him an open invitation to respond anytime and ocassionaly reinforce it, after so much time going by I don't expect that to ever happen and, when all illusions are stripped down, there's a part of me that really wouldn't want his response if this is what I had to go thru to get it ya know?: now I just express myself to him regarding various other things. I'm so tempted to move things to the symbolic plane-in fact after what happened with the customer service thing last week I pretty much am required to-but alas something holds me back (I will definitely get to it tho). It's funny: had he just responded and helped me with this thing I prolly wouldn't have given him much more thought but now I am truly forever his.... Sometimes I wonder if there's some weird co-obsessional and/or sadistic folly involved on their parts?.


    We didn't do anything wrong tho I know that feeling. I wonder if we may be behaving in some manner that, as a result of their training, causes them to react this way tho I have no clue how or why and perhaps snooping in some of their training material would help suggest some answers (for example, maybe they're taught that if a patient expresses a certain emotion or engages in a particular behavior it can be indicative of something that they don't want to reinforce)?. Therapists and people in the field are absolutely brainwashed with policies for interacting with patients and they really do make it seem like an "us" and "them" thing replete with strong, immutable, prescribed boundaries with a nauseatingly Victorian flavor and an ultimately distancing, cold, dehumanizing effect:

    A case manager once told me that in their training they are told to never consort with patients and that, for example, if they were to see a "client" (I've always hated that term) in a public place on their private time that the CM is supposed to leave the place????; and I know of an instance in which a patient ran into her doctor at an upscale restaurant and the patient approched the doctor and said "hi" and the doctor gave her a really cold stare and then simply turned away from her, dismissing her without even returning the hello (the patient left in tears and ended up switching doctors and never seeing that other one again).


    I felt the same way about my guy as you do yours too-that he was the first one to come along in so long that I felt such a positive rapport with-like I could maybe finally get the guide that would help me with my screwed up life and I still sometimes just "know" that he wanted to help too but...I honestly have to tell myself to look at the evidence: look how I'm feeling and where this got me: have to ask "would a person who really cared do this to you?"-and those realizations really help alot cause if he cared about you he wouldn't watch you go thru this trauma that you're expressing to him ya know?. Still I know how difficult it can be to emotionally assimilate such intellectual realizations and the result is truly maddening.

    Besides the obvious inherent imbalance of such a relationship, and the illusory aspects (i.e., you putting out something different than him and misperceiving what he did or didn't put out) they may have other issues like being afraid of us or even liking us too much or be having personal problems-who knows?-and people react differently to all those things: but whatever the case, ultimately all that matters is they failed to behave in a manner congruent with their prescribed roles at our expense (I'd go as far as to say I have a PTSD from this experience-I'll have to share that with him in my next email).


    You just never really know what's going on in another person's head or heart no matter what they say or how they behave.

    Last edited by Tesseract; 05-25-2004 at 01:00 AM.

     
    Old 04-14-2004, 12:16 AM   #13
    Tesseract
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    Yes I have asked this person myriad times in voicemails and emails and they simply never respond and I just can't turn it off. I think the crux of it is that we simply had a different valuation of the relationship from radically different vantage points. The entire idea of the "counseling relationship" has always struck me as being very unbalanced and ultimately demeaning to the patient: on the patient's side it's completely personal but on the therapists side it's anything but personal to the point where appts. have to be made and a paycheck has to be involved and yet they'll behave in manners that definitely indicate the involvement of their own personal issues.

    I just try to tell myself that it wasn't real in the sense that we weren't both perceiving the same things: I mean the "people" we are missing and anguishing over simply wouldn't have behaved in such a manner so how can they be as valuable as we think they are/were ya know?; when they surely must know the (at least) discomfort if not outright mortification that they are causing with distancing behavior?. I think part of it is us transferring certain things onto them whereby getting these powerful postive feelings while they wrestle with their own issues related to countertransferring things which may, and usually may not, mesh with what we've transferred. I think alot of this disillusioning occurs when we realize that what we put out isn't what they put out. I'm sure there are as many reasons for it as there are cases of it happening and ultimately we need to recall that we were there for ourselves and anything we ascribe to them did ultimately come from within ourselves and even tho I can intellectually understand this it is sometimes impossible to emotionally assimilate it and the result is just maddening, tormenting, haunting, obsessive agony: I mean all the rationalizations in the world don't lessen the sting of man's inhumanity to man. You are not alone and when it gets tough just know there are many out here that are going thru the same thing (it's alot more common than you'd think actually)-I think alot of these therapists and people in the mental health system have superiority complexes arising from deep inferiority complexes and have to feel "above" people in order to validate themselves as worthwhile. The field attracts some really warped people-it's not you: you did nothing wrong but alas I know firsthand how hard it is to find peace with this experience: I'm still searching for it myself.

    Last edited by Tesseract; 05-25-2004 at 01:05 AM.

     
    Old 04-14-2004, 09:17 AM   #14
    spreeville
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    That's exactly what I plan on doing, confronting him face to face.

     
    Old 04-15-2004, 01:44 AM   #15
    Tesseract
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    Re: Therapist messed up my life

    .............

    Last edited by Tesseract; 05-21-2004 at 05:40 PM.

     
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