by therapy01 on Oct. 24, 2011 in Marriage & Family Therapy

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to handle
abuse by a therapist while in treatment. Does any
one know of any books written or published. There
seems to be more protection in someways for the
abusing therapist then for the client. This seems
to be somewhat of a taboo subject still. Looking for
info to educate clients and their supportive people
about this abuse and how to handle it. Many therapist
seem to have concerns about working with someone who
has survived this kind of abuse. Where does this leave
the client and their family after such a tragic experience.

Reply   14   1   report abuse

7 Answers

Level 2
Joined: Jan 2012
Jan. 14, 2012

I am not sure what type of abuse you mean, but if it was sexual in California all license providers are required to give a brochure called "Professional Therapy Never Includes Sex."  It is available at www.bbs.ca.gov/pdf/publications/proftherapy.pdf.  Hope that helps.  I realize it is not a big book but at least it is a start.  My heart goes out to victims of such behavior.  If you meant a different type of abuse, I am sorry not to have a resource.

4   0   report abuse
Level 2
Joined: Jan 2012
Jan. 22, 2012

what kind of abuse are you referring to? Control, manipulative.... or I think it would be helpful if we knew.

3   0   report abuse
Level 2
Joined: Apr 2013
Apr. 10, 2013

The kind of abuse I am asking about started out as manipulative along with control. A client can not stay balanced or aware of abuse in therapy occurring when push, pull manipulation occurs. Especially when they come from any trama similar that they are working on. This certain abuse in therapy ended up involving sexual abuse as well. Thank you for your assistance regarding posting above.

0   2   report abuse
Level 2
Joined: Apr 2013
Apr. 10, 2013

Laws are often not in place enough to hold a therapist accountable. Malpractice doesn't cover a blatant abuse like this. A client can be told if they go to trial a jury will be told to look at
the clients role and accountability. If the sexual abuse occurred more then once because the client returned the client feels violated again by the legal system now. A therapist who creates dependence totally on them and then has sex with a client over years also makes statues of limitations occur. If a therapist also lets their license lapse during this time creates a new obstacle for a client.

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Level 2
Joined: Jan 2015
Jan. 09, 2015

First: Find another therapist. In addition to your initial issues you now need to address the issues regarding the abuse. Second: Cut all communication with abuser for all concerned. Third: Report the abuse to the abuse to the supervisor, the licensing agency, and in the case of physical or sexual abuse the police and social services must be notified. Particularly in the case of a child or vulnerable person. Never cover up or hide abuse.

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Level 1
Joined: Mar 2016
Mar. 01, 2016

It seems to me that what people are referring to when they exclude sexual or physical abuse, "emotional abuse", "Psychological Abuse", "Gas Lighting", similar to the way Charles Boyer abuses Ingrid Bergman in the film "Gaslight", using many types of control tactics, confusing, false reality testing, attributing the abuse itself, to the pt's disturbed imagination and paranoia.

2   0   report abuse
Level 1
Joined: Sep 2016
Sep. 21, 2016

Sometimes the abuse appears to be simple mind games. These games lead to more serious games and those who aren't great at speaking up for themselves get mind screwed. Those who have been hurt tremendously often hurt clietns. Better to know ahead that things can go south   than to go into therapy thinking you will surely get better. I saw a therapist who needed to practice heal thyself first. Started off not quite right  and got progressively worse. Good old fashioned self disclosure and much lying. Found out that  he told me many fabrications. Most of which had nothing to do with my therapy or therapy in general. Also, contact  TELL if you need someone to guide you.

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