Ending with therapist; I feel betrayed

It turns out my therapist cannot work with me.

In the years he's known me, I haven't really dealt with PTSD symptoms, but I think everyone should have a therapist and he has been helpful in the past. However, at the beginning of the year, he started fading in usefulness.

This all came to the forefront just recently. In passing, my therapist mentioned an interaction he had with a ten-year-old patient who was worried because his mom was worried. My therapist's response was to expect the child to explain details about the adult situation, and when the child couldn't, my therapist dropped the subject entirely. I was horrified when he told me this, but in my therapist's eyes, he was showing the child there was nothing to worry about.

I ran through the situation with my psychologist, and he was in a bit of disbelief, because "that kind of thing is Therapy 101." I was able to show a supporting message from my therapist that showed I wasn't twisting his words. This did not meet either of our standards 😕

I had tried to address his inattention a couple times earlier this year, and the first time he literally ignored it; the next, he essentially ignored it. One time when I brought up the distress that him ignoring my attempts to talk about a stressful life event, he basically said "oops." Now he has sent me a little message saying he can't seem to have "clients such as [myself]," and "unfortunately [I was] on the wrong end of this discovery." In that same message, he announced unprompted: "I will, however, not discuss why or what has caused this distraction or overall lack of interest in being..more verbose." And this raises all sorts of red flags. What the hell does he mean by clients such as myself? He did thank me for my patience up to this point 🤷‍♂️ but somehow has missed every opportunity to say the word "sorry."

It pisses me off that he knows why he was distracted and he frickin volunteers that he shall not explain. I recognize mental-health professionals don't need to share their personal lives with patients, but it would give a bit of understanding especially when it seems I have wasted significant time, money, and stress trying to talk to this guy.

This is one of my most stressful events of the year — if not the most — and somehow there was a lot of competition for the title this year.

I wonder why he is a therapist if he treats patients this way, and I feel downright despondent that it seems I'm not his only patient getting this treatment. I wish he came with a warning label.
 

Friday

Moderator
I wish he came with a warning label.
Right???

Anyone with less than psychologist or LCSW does, by virtue of the fact they either can’t actually be bothered to spend the time in school & supervised clinical hours to get licensed & certified -or- they’re still IN school, working on those certifications... so you’ve got a “Warning : Student Therapist” sticker or “Warning : Uneducated Lazy & Arrogant MoneyWhore” sticker (anyone can do peer counseling for free, to actually CHARGE people for your opinions? Takes some serious DGAF).

But there are people who go all the way through 8-12 years of schooling, several thousand supervised hours, and really? Should be in Research, not Clinical. Because they just suck at people. Sorry it seems like you got one of the sucky ones.
 
I really appreciate it, Friday. I haven’t been on this forum in a LONG time but it helped me through a very difficult year or so. You all helped me get effective treatment and I’m very lucky to be considered more or less asymptomatic now.

This guy is an LMHC. He works at an office with other professionals. He inspired me to start a local peer-support PTSD group, which has been wonderful. Still overall I think he’s done more good than bad, because this is just something I’m really upset by now. That will fade and I will keep the good things he showed me.

But this is about the most upset I’ve been in years. I would hate for a patient just beginning therapy to have an experience like this and avoid mental-health services forever because of it.

I have a final meeting with him Monday and I really hope he finds it worthwhile to convince me that he will learn from this. I may be a bit indignant now but I plan to be more rational on Monday :p
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I'm really sorry.
You have invested a lot in to this relationship to help your healing, and he has let you down.

A) why on earth is he talking to you about other patients?!!! That in itself is a violation of that patients confidentially. And it makes your therapy session about him, rather than you.
B) he hasn't been present for you in your therapy
C) he doesn't sound like he has taken any responsibility

I'm really sorry.
But, I think him ending this theraputic relationship with you sounds like that is the best thing.
He's violated therapist codes.
What did your psychologist say? I wonder if they will report him?
 
Thankfully I’m not sore about losing him, and while it’s been clear this year I wasn’t getting as much out of him, I assumed it was due to some kind of innocent mistake. Now if I read into his message it almost sounds like he knew or could. have known that he couldn’t do his job.

With my psychologist, I was discussing the situation with the 10-year-old. As I quoted verbatim what my therapist claimed he said to that kid, my psychologist interrupted “We don’t do that.” He said if something like this came up at his firm, he would do an “individual consultation,” but that if the therapist didn’t improve it after that, “cultural competency,” and possibly additional escallations, it could become a licesning issue.

I’m not under the impression that one failed therapist-patient relationship means a therapist is bad — there are lots of reasons why people might not get along.

From his cryptic message my best guess is he has identified a subset of patients for whom he cannot be effective. My best guess is that most or all of his patients get crap like this from him, and if he there’s something outside of work that prevents him for being an effective therapist then he shouldn’t claim to be one.

Some of this feels awfully presumptive of me to think I know what’s right here and my soon-to-be-ex-therapist (who has a degree) doesn’t, but I feel he’s demonstrated a sufficiently consistent pattern to show his head’s not in the right place for a lot of patients.
 
Why on earth is he talking to you about other patients?!!! That in itself is a violation of that patients confidentially.

It does seem odd at first glance, but I don’t actually thinks it’s a confidentiality issue. He didn’t give info that could even come close to identifying the patient. It came up because I was frustrated with his deflections, so he gave this as an example of how he can help me and other patients deal with stress. I’m not even kidding. He seemed so proud of how he handled it!!
 

Friday

Moderator
This guy is an LMHC
Ah. That’s as little as 3months, in some states. 2 years in others. Very few states still allow anyone with $30 to be licensed...

(my state used to be one of them, but whilst 60,000 LMHC were grandfathered in? They gave a 5 year time limit to them to meet the new standards of at least a 2 year degree IN counseling or chemical dependency. Still kind of a crappy McOption, but still better than anyone showing up at the capital with a debit card being a licenced mental health counselor. Sadly, my state has kept the religious exemption, anyone who can get certified online in 5 minutes to marry someone can also shell out the $30 for a license, and slap LMHC on their shingle. But that expected to change soon).

...So at least it makes sense why he’s pulled this kind of dick move. Doesn’t make it any easier to deal with, but people without the background to understand how their actions affect others? No Therapy101 as your psychologist says? Do shit that f*cks other people up, without knowing it much less how to avoid it, all the damn time.
 

woodsy1

MyPTSD Pro
It turns out my therapist cannot work with me.

In the years he's known me, I haven't really dealt with PTSD symptoms, but I think everyone should have a therapist and he has been helpful in the past. However, at the beginning of the year, he started fading in usefulness.

This all came to the forefront just recently. In passing, my therapist mentioned an interaction he had with a ten-year-old patient who was worried because his mom was worried. My therapist's response was to expect the child to explain details about the adult situation, and when the child couldn't, my therapist dropped the subject entirely. I was horrified when he told me this, but in my therapist's eyes, he was showing the child there was nothing to worry about.

I ran through the situation with my psychologist, and he was in a bit of disbelief, because "that kind of thing is Therapy 101." I was able to show a supporting message from my therapist that showed I wasn't twisting his words. This did not meet either of our standards 😕

I had tried to address his inattention a couple times earlier this year, and the first time he literally ignored it; the next, he essentially ignored it. One time when I brought up the distress that him ignoring my attempts to talk about a stressful life event, he basically said "oops." Now he has sent me a little message saying he can't seem to have "clients such as [myself]," and "unfortunately [I was] on the wrong end of this discovery." In that same message, he announced unprompted: "I will, however, not discuss why or what has caused this distraction or overall lack of interest in being..more verbose." And this raises all sorts of red flags. What the hell does he mean by clients such as myself? He did thank me for my patience up to this point 🤷‍♂️ but somehow has missed every opportunity to say the word "sorry."

It pisses me off that he knows why he was distracted and he frickin volunteers that he shall not explain. I recognize mental-health professionals don't need to share their personal lives with patients, but it would give a bit of understanding especially when it seems I have wasted significant time, money, and stress trying to talk to this guy.

This is one of my most stressful events of the year — if not the most — and somehow there was a lot of competition for the title this year.

I wonder why he is a therapist if he treats patients this way, and I feel downright despondent that it seems I'm not his only patient getting this treatment. I wish he came with a warning label.
Wow! Sounds like you have every reason to be angry and feel betrayed. It sounds like this therapist may still have a LOT to learn or may need to consider finding another career.

My hope would be that this leads you to a therapist that is going to be a much better fit for you.

I had to try out some 4 or 5 therapists before I found a good fit.

I hope things improve for you quickly on this front.

Woodsy1
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @Lady McCormick, ugh! Sounds like you've had a terrible time with that guy. I also have had some absolutely awful therapists and it really affected me badly. Finally I found a good one. I'm waiting to go back to him once covid lockdown is lifted. When your vulnerable and go to these people for help the bad ones can just make things worse. Don't let it put you off looking for a new one. All the best to you. S3 😊
 
I really appreciate the kindness and support from all of you. It helps me feel like I’m not overreacting. I expect to update this in a few days once I see how our “post-mortem” goes.

I don’t think he’ll show any sign that he understands the scope or severity of the problem, at which point I’ll have the option to escalate my concerns past him. If he does better than that, I’ll be surprised and perhaps even delighted!

Thank you again! 🤗
 
Top