Although most helping professionals are conscientious people
with good intentions,
research the consequences of a therapy or training
before you begin.
Good intentions and credentials do not prevent unpleasant consequences.
Client Abuse in Therapy, Coaching & Counseling
Therapy, coaching and counseling are conversations, also part of education,
medicine, human resources, mental health and spiritual guidance. Yet people
who provide coaching, counseling, social work, new age techniques, hypnosis, therapy,
NLP or spiritual guidance can - with good intentions - hurt their clients.
- Have you felt hurt by a therapist, coach or
- Have you ever hurt people who came to
you for help?
- Have you ever felt that you depended on a helping professional?
We often help people deal with
therapist damage and client abuse,
and resolving such issues became a key part of our coaching, counseling and training.
I am more than willing
to get your couple coaching, but my partner had a
bad experience with a counselor a few years ago and
won't participate. Chicago
Therapist damage may result from immaturity,
incompetence, inexperience or inappropriate
interventions, all of which can worsen distress and/or
create dependence. Such damage can sabotage a person's
perception of all helping professionals. People who
feel abused may not trust any other
counselor, therapist or mentor.
My wife and I are clinical psychologists ...
our son has muscular dystrophy. We attended a workshop by a famous family
therapist. He told us, before an audience, that my wife and I were
"sucking the life from our son's body". We were devastated. Now we
understand how therapists can abuse people with such careless
comments ... you helped us resolve this schema,
and now we can move on.
People who feel cheated often experience strong emotions (e.g. shame, anger & self-hatred).
Yet abused clients blame themselves, and, it is often difficult to
identify a relevant professional body and even harder to follow their complaint
procedures. The police may not be helpful - few conversations are crimes.
Solutions for Abused Students & Clients
The consequences of client abuse are similar to
the consequences of other trauma. You may show symptoms associated with other
major relationship problems. You may experience anxiety, depression,
panic attacks, self-hatred, substance abuse or eating disorders.
And you may distrust or avoid other potential mentors.
- Some coaches
avoid resolving their own problems
- Some counselors
prefer dependent, compliant clients
- Some therapists
specialize in their own unresolved issues
Inappropriate conduct is not uncommon
during counseling, coaching and therapy. Lonely, dissatisfied, codependent
or immature practitioners damage their own lives as well as their clients -
usually with good intentions.
My wife and I visited a (female)
therapist. The therapist said that my wife was
of our problems and she advised my wife to be
more independent ... the therapist
told me that she thought that she and I were
very compatible ... and we started an
Judge Results, not Credentials
People seeking help with life challenges may assume
that the best helping professionals have the best marketing ... or the
best education. (The longer a practitioner was in university - the more
reason to check their experience and maturity.)
Many people delay growing up. Students who feel lost in life may
stay at school and take advanced degrees. When they do leave school, they
may have formidable credentials and little experience or emotional maturity.
Can you afford Free?
I met a free psychiatrist
for an eating disorder for 7 months. She works for __ Mental Health
in Canada, where she treats eating disorders. She was destructive.
Had I known what good therapy was, I would have walked out during
the first visit. My hope is that other people can identify bad
therapy in the first session!
- She talked theory, not practice
- she weighed at least 500 lbs
- She spent at least half of our
time talking about herself
- She wanted me to help build her
- She talked about eating
disorders like a documentary
- She expressed fear of other
approaches to eating disorders
- She was insecure and talked
about her own obsessions
- She made me do things without
Professional Codependence & Incompetence
Trust, respect and commitment are fundamental to healing relationships,
yet a codependent practitioner cannot provide these life skills.
Codependent people more often express their unworthiness through self-denial and
My therapist was charming, witty and good looking.
And married ... and his couch
was good for many things. When I found
out that he also had sex with other clients,
I ended our meetings ...
but I really miss him. California
Codependent people may delay your
recovery to prolong their need to help you ... and
their need to be respected by you ... and to be paid by you.
Our marriage counselor
advised us to take some expensive workshops. We did this
although neither of us enjoyed
them. We discovered that many other participants were
our counselor's clients, and that the trainer paid 50% of our
fees to our counselor.
Does a helping professional offer sympathy? Sympathy encourages
people to act in immature and codependent ways. If you want to be
responsible for your life, you are more likely to benefit from provocation and straight
communication. here are some examples of client
Imbalance of Power
Some therapists may try to be a substitute for a parent. Others may
want to be perceived as your trusted friend.
are features of problematic relationships. Such
practitioners can use transference to ...
- Intimidate or frighten you
- Manipulate or seduce you
- Demand more paid sessions (that are not needed)
My therapist was like the loving father I
never had and I would do anything he said.
When he suggested a weekend together, I agreed
... but later I felt terribly used ...
he still calls me and wants me to purchase more
Contact us for help managing your
emotions and solving relationship problems.
Online Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy
I thought you were just
another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.
Plagiarism is theft. Copyright ©
Martyn Carruthers 2003-2014 All rights reserved.