I know why she did, but should I tell her not to do it again?


A few sessions ago, my T did a major thing and opened up about her personal life/past. She informed me that her father, and even her mother, used to "beat the sh!t" out of her and her sibling(s). She said she knows dissociation, used to leave her body, knows what that's like, a child has no choice but to do what a bigger stronger grownup tells them to do. I totally intellectually understand why she may have let this personal information out in session, BUT she knows I have an attachment disorder and am currently attached to her, quite excruciatingly painfully. She knows I am easily triggered when it comes to out-of-the-blue disclosures and especially from HER! I understand that she was trying to make me see that a child can bear no blame or culpability whatsoever when it comes to CSA. I know she was trying to help me in some way.

However, I desperately need not for this to happen again. After the few days it took me to process the session and what it had to do with me, then there was the "OMG, my poor beloved T was beaten to a pulp on the regular as a child" panic and nausea, and I just didn't need that.

Part of me wants to just gently tell/remind her to please not disclose painful personal information such as this in future. Part of me feels like I'd be shooting myself in the foot in some way because this woman who keeps her personal cards so close to the vest (I'd like to think mostly because I've asked her to) decided it would be to my benefit to go ahead and share this traumatic part of her life/childhood, and I'd just be spitting in her face to reproach her for such.

What do you guys think I should do?

This attachment is so painful, I'd be willing to "dump" her if I thought I could find another T as competent on such short notice.


I would talk to her about it. My T once brought up a personal trauma. I found myself thinking about it quite a bit. Like, did she suffer from PTSD? Is this why she does xyz? It is the only time she talked about her stuff in our multiple years together. It wasn’t a big deal, but distracting, none the less.


she was trying to make me see that a child can bear no blame or culpability whatsoever when it comes to CSA.
But you don’t think you’re ready to see this?
OMG, my poor beloved
This is what you are supposed to see about yourself.

(Now I understand why my T hasn’t disclosed beyond neutral, positive memories. I already project enough onto her to take that on as well. If I don’t care for myself then I will only care for others exclusively.)

I agree that talking about it to your T would be helpful, which sounds excruciatingly difficult from what you shared regarding your attachment. Kudos for seeing it—really good work! Best of luck, and please come back and share how the process goes.
I don't know how many times I've been told in my counseling classes to not share our personal stuff with clients UNLESS we are 100% incredibly sure that it will help them in some way, and then even if we're sure, we probably shouldn't share anyway.

So your T blew it big time. In your shoes I would ask her not to do that again.


i've had several therapists do similar to me in hopes of helping me open up. "engendering trust" is a term i have read in psych textbooks. the first few i ran hysterically from, thinking that somebody who was crazier than i couldn't be trusted. i've seen horror movies about those shrinks who become shrinks because they need a shrink, themselves.

later, i started to get the logic and working through the reaction with them lead me to very healing places.


sounds like she was trying to help in a way that backfired.

I know both my ts have trauma history but they are very limited in what they share. But I do see that knowing they get it from where I'm sitting can be helpful. Or not sometimes.

It's entirely ok to say "I reacted badly to what you told me - maybe we can talk about why it triggered me"
Because it's the trigger, not her history, that's in play right now.
So it could be a great way of finding new tools - even if it started out "wrong".