Inexperienced Violations-Therapist From Hell

by D.T

RE Clinical Psychologist, Teacher at Faculty of Medicine University of New South Wales, name deleted, Bondi Junction, Sydney ,Australia & her inexperienced incompetent team: Breaches of Conduct.

I have just tried 7 months of a 12 month skills-based treatment program, and then it was decided by them (without consulting me)that it wasn’t as effective as targeting certain areas as expected. First round, you learn the coping skills modules; then you repeat what you learned again the same for another 6 months to reinforce & start using the skills just learned.

I was fighting with the team therapists & esp. with my very inexperienced panic-merchant, one-on-one therapist in the program too.

Sometimes it’s often the case that the therapists have more issues than the client.

In this instance there was a gross inability to foresee or be mindful of implications & the impact of acting improperly. This fracture of careless, cruel distrust in the early days of the program left some lingering violated wounds.

Ironically I was told I was in good hands with an "excellent therapist". Anyone can give great generalized therapy but can falter and really mess up and put their clumsy worst food forward when the cases get more extreme. There were some communications cues and basic interacting skills that are taught in psychology 101 & are in the Psychological Society Code of Conduct & Ethics.

I think it is a miscarriage of justice or false advertising to claim that one is a specialist in areas where they do not practice what they preach, but do the opposite and arrogantly, defensively further induce pain & animosity.

Often cold & distant & patronizing, the therapist would not remember details or be able to make her own decisions and join the dots of evident information sensitively. They could not make a simple judgment call without calling in the troops or getting them to protect & fight her battles for her.

There was such a strong inability to separate fact from feeling & consult with client first. Yet the therapist would attempt to encourage being vulnerable & take risks to disclose more. It almost made me wonder if this therapist had been dropped on their head as a baby, or may be autistic to not be able to make basic cognitive links within their passive-aggressive self.

They had rules & decisions that I was never consulted with, and often came back to me starting sentences with "we have decided". They would spring upon me double standard disciplinary action for the littlest things but take no part in owning their 50% contribution to their counter knee–jerk reactions. All the while, preaching the mindful & accepting, non-judgmental-Zen philosophy. The therapists would too late see that their counter reactions would set of the flight & fight responses in clients.

By the end of it, I felt there where a whole lot of unethical breaches of code
to my rights & privacy & respectful care. The breaches I felt were: lack of consent in decisions making which recreated trauma& sense of being abused ‘again. There was inadequate care to ensure confidentiality, protecting trust or privacy. The brutal violation felt when sharing irrelevant & personal information with other people without pre-warning & sufficient preparation. I felt over-reaction on their part whenever an intense emotion or urge was shared. Especially, when the whole program is all about feelings, thoughts & urges.

I felt set up by the program team accepting someone more ‘challenging or treatment resistant’ than the mainstream clients that they took on. Basically being inflexible & acting out of their competent skill range. This is a program for those with severe emotional & behavioral issues. When one is poked at with such rigidity, it is expected that all sorts of exposures would naturally be triggered or come to the fore.

She/They would constantly invalidated, re-enforce that my being different or more vocal "equaled" them having "never encountered such problems or client as yourself". Then at the end, they just wished me well, said it wasn’t working and that was that –have a nice life.

Had it just been me seeing a one-on-one treatment therapist, there would’ve been so much LESS drama & unwarranted overreaction. I had been seeing someone for 10 years separate from the program & never in all my years had I come across so much breach of personal intrusion & poor interpersonal skills of therapist transference. But inside a program run by health dept. & hierarchy, then there is a lot more accountability & legal liabilities to adhere to. It borders on being treated like a criminal with their voice being taken away.

The environment is so full of white western one-minded school of thought, punitive, harsh scrutiny. In this supposed therapeutic setting, it was very hard to foster any real trust connection in order for the treatment to contain & hold a person’s erratic recovery.
Many graduates of the treatment program never completely recovered but merely reduced their troublesome behaviors & emotional targets.

This kind of horrible invasive experience with the therapeutic system only fostered resentment, dis-empowerment & disappointment. And so once again, this kind of damaging mismanagement of outcome re-enforces that people like us fall thru the cracks & become forgotten. There is never quite a "suitable" program or place to "place" us for others to cope with & nicely fit those DSM psych diagnosis manual criteria.

When a client has more severe cases of non-mainstream symptoms or issues outside the one-size - fits all ticked boxes- therapists have not a clue what to do and behave inappropriately.

Maybe the fact that this therapist went thru 2 marriage break ups where unbeknownst to her, both guys were leading a double life- shows the inadequate level of being able to pick up obvious astute skills.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to horror stories.

If you would like to receive the Couples Guide Newsletter containing articles on relationships, please sign up below.

Visit  The Relationship Forum  to get and give advice on your relationship issues.

If you're struggling with your relationship, this is the place to talk about it!
Our counselors will answer your questions.
And you, our readers, can offer advice from your experience.

Eugene Kayser, MA, MFT's profile on the Gottman Referral Network