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#410015 - 09/13/12 09:50 AM Bad therapist experience, what to do?
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1046
So, OK.

Lately, I've been shopping for a new therapist. I've moved out of the big city where I had a great T, and now I've moved back home where the psych services are apparently in the dark ages... so finding a therapist here is suddenly much tougher than I first suspected. The wellness needs of adult male survivors remain dramatically underserved, it appears.

So here's what happened with my first therapist:

1) After agreeing in the first session to not pursue hypnotherapy; she spent 15 minutes of our 2nd session talking about the hypnosis she wanted to do with me in our 3rd session.

2) She tried to diagnosis my CSA symptoms as being related to Attention Deficit Disorder

3) She tried to sell me on her "soul mate finding" self-actualizing program, in the school of Deepak Chopra. I haven't been in a relationship since 2006, the end of which prompted serious suicide ideation on my part. She was not aware of the details of my relationship history nor of my suicide ideation, but offering "soul mate" services to an abuse survivor seems to me to be insensitive and irresponsible -- but I could just be triggered by it, so hard to tell for sure.

4) She presented herself as unshockable, but then was clearly unprepared to handle the details of my acting out.

5) Had zero poker face; her reactions to my issues revealed she was in over her head, not to mention that she kept telling me how intelligent I was, how I had "hyper focus" and how she kept fiddling with her necklace pendant made me think she was intimidated by me and completely out of her depth.

My question is this: Should I just cancel the 3rd appointment I have with her and just walk away -- or should I show up and tell her what a terrible therapist she is?

My first thought is that I would gain nothing by telling her off, but if it prevented her from trying to attempt to poorly treat CSA survivors in the future, then maybe it's worth it.

I don't know.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#410018 - 09/13/12 10:40 AM Re: Bad therapist experience, what to do? [Re: cant_remember]
cymrotom Offline


Registered: 06/15/12
Posts: 30
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
I would be honest with her. Tell her of your concerns, but in a way that shows you're not getting what you need from her. You gotta take care of yourself, not her.
_________________________
I just want to be me.

Tom

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#410048 - 09/13/12 03:35 PM Re: Bad therapist experience, what to do? [Re: cant_remember]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1596
Loc: New England
Dear Can't Remember,

I would lose her like a fat lady at a nudist camp.

Seriously, you don't owe her an explanation. Don't waste another minute on her. Put your recovery first and move on.

Gary
_________________________
Seems I've got to have a change of scene
Every night I have the strangest dreams
Imprisoned by the way it could have been
Left here on my own or so it seems
I've got to leave before I start to scream
Joe Cocker

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#410049 - 09/13/12 03:35 PM Re: Bad therapist experience, what to do? [Re: cant_remember]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1046
I called and cancelled via voicemail. Seemed like the best thing to do.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#410050 - 09/13/12 03:44 PM Re: Bad therapist experience, what to do? [Re: cant_remember]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3621
Loc: South-East Europe
Oh this would be very difficult issue if I would be in such position. It is always easier for me to avoid direct talk. So I guess that it would be more prone to canceling 3rd session.
But as you said that there are limited possibilities to find good T, maybe you should in first place check how many other options (Ts) you have and than make final decision? just my 2 cents...
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My story

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#410051 - 09/13/12 04:38 PM Re: Bad therapist experience, what to do? [Re: cant_remember]
Lancer Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/13/12
Posts: 901
Loc: Florida
You've done what I'd do, c_r. What I'll add is that the old T might be good for a recommendation to someone or someone who knows someone.

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#410090 - 09/14/12 08:50 AM Re: Bad therapist experience, what to do? [Re: cant_remember]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5780
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Bad therapist with an agenda. I certainly wouldn't pay for a 3rd appt, but in a note to her, it might be helpful for her to get some feedback about what she was doing wrong. I'd send her a copy of your original post.

Maybe she would clean up her act. Otherwise, she will likely be running the same crap with other clients.

Sometimes people are not ready to deal with issues, and that's ok. But if she attributes your not "being ready" instead of getting the feedback you presented, she will not grow professionally. (Not that it's your job to help her grow, but she can always write your cancellation off as you not being ready for her "approach".)

Maybe you should send her the article "A Consumer's Guide to Therapist Shopping". And next therapist you look for, use the guide yourself to spare yourself from another bad choice.

Good luck in your efforts.

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#410118 - 09/14/12 05:13 PM Re: Bad therapist experience, what to do? [Re: cant_remember]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1046
Well, an update.

Her assistant emailed me for a mailing address to send me a "routine closed letter." I told him I was between addresses and if she wanted to contact me, she could do so by email.

Then, I was sent a scanned-in letter by her, that misquotes me in from our 2nd session, where she twists my concern about hypnosis into a concern about therapy in general, and then says in the letter that "that is not how therapy works."

So, I responded with the following email:

To <redacted>

This letter does not appear to be "routine" at all, and further calls into question Ms. <redacted>'s competency as a therapist. I wish to receive no further communication from you or from her.

I am well aware of "how therapy works." For Ms. <redacted> to suggest otherwise is insulting.

Agreeing to not use hypnosis in session one, only to spring hypnosis on the client in session two -- that's not how therapy works. Trying to diagnose my CSA symptoms as attention deficit disorder? That's not how therapy works. Offering "soul mate" matchmaker services to a child sex abuse survivor? That's not how therapy works.

Please leave me alone, or I will be writing to the state licensure board, Psychology Today, and anyone else who wants to know that you're peddling Deepak Chopra-style narcissism training to vulnerable clients.

Do not contact me again.

<cant_remember>

***************************************

So there you go. I have 4 intake sessions scheduled for next week to find a competent therapist that's a better fit for me. But I think I might have overdone it, so I might cut it back to 3.

And... I'm exhausted, and getting no work done. But gotta take care of myself.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#410125 - 09/14/12 05:42 PM Re: Bad therapist experience, what to do? [Re: cant_remember]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Subtitled: 'Am I pissed with my therapist?'

I've experienced this problem also. I guess I've seen 7 (seven) therapists. Some of them only once. I also posted on this recently. Some therapists really helped. Some made things worse.

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...true#Post409363

When I was really going through the fog, I needed some light from outside of myself to help with finding therapists.

The problem and solution is reported at length in the book: Nice To Meet Me by Chris Carlton:

http://www.amazon.com/Nice-To-Meet-Chris-Carlton/dp/0578098407/

For some reason this book isn't in our book list yet.

Is it a faux pas to recommend a book to a good author?

http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/95q4/beard.html


Puffer




Edited by pufferfish (09/14/12 05:52 PM)

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#410128 - 09/14/12 06:04 PM Re: Bad therapist experience, what to do? [Re: cant_remember]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1046
That looks like a good book, Nice to Meet Me. I'll check it out.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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