The legacy of bad therapy, and how to move on past it?

Justmehere

Moderator
i saw a therapist quite some time ago that was terrible. She would laugh when I cried, laughing at my crying, all of a sudden held sessions in a hotel hallway until I asked for a private room from hotel staff, busy boundaries, tried to change my name to seven despite my objections, all because she said tears running down my face reminded her of that character from Stranger Things that had black tears running down her face before she did something bad... then there was the billing fraud and general shit therapy techniques. Such has intentionally pushing boundaries to teach me to say no. Which only scared the crap out of me and I would get to the point of bot only saying no but near scream no and leave suicidal. If I told her I was in that bad of a place she would only tell me to go deal with it, and in those words. She claimed to be a trauma expert but her boss and clinic ended up going bankrupt and her supervisor loaning his license for illegally selling pot and ketamine to patients for drug "assisted" therapy sessions and unspecified acts of "endangering safety."

I went to her in a vulnerable place, gave up a lot to see her, and somehow stuck it out way too long past many red flags but did finally quit. I'm proud of that decision.

Thing is, any therapist I see now... I'm angry at them at the get go.

I saw a therapist with the strict boundary of no trauma work, only DBT skills applying to specific goals... she's fine enough, ordinary, no red flags... but just the possibility she'll ask about trauma or childhood has me on edge, angry, defensive, struggling with a lot of symptoms... Which I think are not about this therapist now but the past one.

I think this difficult therapist experience stuck with me and I need to figure out how to shake it off. I think it's affecting other relationships as well, on a really bad way. I need to figure out how to move on past it.

Thoughts or suggestions?
 

piratelady

MyPTSD Pro
Would she be open to talking about your relationship with that therapist? Like not the stuff you were trying to process with the crappy therapist, but just how that therapist interacted with you and the fallout of it? Then process that specifically. It might help, but that would be more than just dbt skills. It would help you get more out of your work with her, so it seems like it would be worthwhile.
 

Survivor3

MyPTSD Pro
Hi @Justmehere, I agree with @piratelady. Even though because of how you were treated you set new and clear boundaries of what you wanted your therapy to be aimed at; I think that you really need to talk to your new therapist about what actually happened. You need to process that and be assured that you are now in a safe place.

one of my female therapists abused me psychologically so I told her to f*ck off. She then got all of her mates to bully me and made out that I had psychosis (gas - lighting) so she could get out of it. When I eventually found a new counsellor (male) I had to tell him what had happened and talk about it before I could even begin with my personnel trauma. Otherwise a major piece of the jigsaw will be missing.... You deserve and have the right to talk about ANYTHING that you want to. 😊💚
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry you are in this position. I had two very bad therapy experiences (one threw something at me) and I have not been able to trust or let go of that sense that they are basically assholes since.

I hope you find a way to move past it. I have someone (who refused to denounce the therapists) who I see, but we don't really do much therapy. I mean, he listens and tries to help me through difficult stuff, but I'd probably get the same response if I talked to my cats on a regular basis.
 

Justmehere

Moderator
Yeah, sometimes I feel like talking to my dog is far more helpful. She listens better. Mostly respects boundaries too, except when I have peanut butter treats, but the acceptance is so complete.

I don't currently have a therapist. I am making another go at it on Monday.
 

Friday

Moderator
I think this difficult therapist experience stuck with me and I need to figure out how to shake it off. I think it's affecting other relationships as well, on a really bad way. I need to figure out how to move on past it.

Thoughts or suggestions?
TBH? Ditch therapy, for awhile. Or at least be prepared to ditch therapy, for awhile.

The ONLY points of therapy, IMO, are the ability to learn from someone who knows more, & to have an ally whose only interest is your success.

You’ve worked in politics, so I’m sure you’ve seen the difference in someone who has a badass staff, and a staff who is only out for themselves, or a staff who means well but is generally clueless. Hiring a therapist? Is hiring staff. Really, it’s like hiring a chief of staff, since their fingers are in all areas of your life, and their counsel -good or bad- will greatly affect the outcome of... everything.

I’ve talked about how my Grandfather (b.1901) was a feminist... He taught me to type on his typewriter... not to help me become a secretary, but so that when ***I*** was between secretaries? I wouldn’t hire someone out of desperation, but could type my own stuff up until I found the right person for the job.

I’ve watched you in your therapist struggles, for a few years now, and this just keeps coming back to me. YES. Having an amazing therapist is like having an amazing spouse, chief of staff, or secretary. They make life BETTER. Easier. More fierce. But having the wrong one? Is -at best- a pity, and at worst, nothing short of brutal.

I’m not saying neeeeeever do therapy, nor to quit interviewing people. Just to remove the desperation from the equation, by being prepared to type for yourself, until you find the RIGHT secretary. Putting all your hopes/dreams/aspirations in the skills & peronality of any stranger is something nearly no one smart -but almost every desperate person- does. Remove the desperation & voila. You’re interviewing candidates, and prepared to fire them during their trial period if they don’t work out... instead of it being a gutting & emotional rollercoaster of needing someone, rather than wanting them. Just because you’re smart & totally able to type your own shit up? Doesn’t mean that your life won’t be BETTER with an amazing secretary. It will be. But you’re also smart, and can type your own shit up. You don’t need to be desperate. Ever. Even when you are.
 

Justmehere

Moderator
I love the idea of hiring them like staff for a trial period. I "fired" the therapist I started this thread with quickly. Wrong fit.

Interviewing a new one who actually seems helpful. She has boundaries, she only does 8-12 week courses of therapy, goal focused, a veteran who is straight up no nonsense and taught me a bunch of stuff about how ADHD was showing up for me in the moment that I didn't know - she changed how we did the first session mid session so that it was easier. She's super cool with my boundaries. First one out of over 100 interviewed...

She got sick and canceled a session and got all.., the way therapists do... so wondering if I will be ok... I told her I havenworked with a therapist for 2 years and I'm doing ok. I'll consult with you again when you feel better.

I need a letter from a mental health provider for a program, this one knows that, and so that puts a pressure on me to get back into it, but we are exploring a way to get the letter from someone who does assessments instead of on-going therapy so then it's not a weird pressure.

More than ever, I think my phase of my life involves people to move forward... but maybe not therapists much.

I am concerned how much my walls are up with most people. It's been a year of holding people at a distance in so many ways... something I can work on with or without therapy.
 
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TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
i saw a therapist quite some time ago that was terrible. She would laugh when I cried, laughing at my crying, all of a sudden held sessions in a hotel hallway until I asked for a private room from hotel staff, busy boundaries, tried to change my name to seven despite my objections, all because she said tears running down my face reminded her of that character from Stranger Things that had black tears running down her face before she did something bad... then there was the billing fraud and general shit therapy techniques. Such has intentionally pushing boundaries to teach me to say no. Which only scared the crap out of me and I would get to the point of bot only saying no but near scream no and leave suicidal. If I told her I was in that bad of a place she would only tell me to go deal with it, and in those words. She claimed to be a trauma expert but her boss and clinic ended up going bankrupt and her supervisor loaning his license for illegally selling pot and ketamine to patients for drug "assisted" therapy sessions and unspecified acts of "endangering safety."

I went to her in a vulnerable place, gave up a lot to see her, and somehow stuck it out way too long past many red flags but did finally quit. I'm proud of that decision.

Thing is, any therapist I see now... I'm angry at them at the get go.

I saw a therapist with the strict boundary of no trauma work, only DBT skills applying to specific goals... she's fine enough, ordinary, no red flags... but just the possibility she'll ask about trauma or childhood has me on edge, angry, defensive, struggling with a lot of symptoms... Which I think are not about this therapist now but the past one.

I think this difficult therapist experience stuck with me and I need to figure out how to shake it off. I think it's affecting other relationships as well, on a really bad way. I need to figure out how to move on past it.

Thoughts or suggestions?
I know this kind of T story too well....still working thru shit with the last lousy therapist. I burned everything my old T did, (wrote my issues on paper, read them aloud, embellished on the situation as I felt I needed and tossed it away in a fire pit and watched each one burn).....that was the beginning of the process.
 
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