Most helping professionals are conscientious people
with good intentions
- and some damage the people that pay them for help.
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 still wants me to purchase more
Consequences don't care about good intentions, credentials or philosophies.
Therapy, Counseling & Coaching are Conversations
Coaches and counselors and therapists are professional conversationalists -
and may be educators, medical doctors, HR professionals or spiritual guides.
Some of them may,
often with good intentions, damage their clients.
- Have you been hurt by a therapist, coach or
- Have you abused the trust of people who asked
you for help?
- Do you feel that you depend on a therapist,
coach or counselor?
- Have you failed to change yourself - and now consider yourself
Examples of Client Abuse
If you seek help, you may feel overwhelmed by negative
emotions or in shock following a relationship crisis. perhaps you
may even feel like a lost child, exceptionally vulnerable to
criticism and abuse.
We usually ask people about their prior coaching or counseling, and we find
that abuse often occurs during counseling, coaching and therapy
sessions. The following situations appear to be fairly common - helping
- Claim that you are overreacting
- Talk mostly about their own problems
- Endlessly elaborate their philosophies
- Withhold important information from you
- Exaggerate or misdiagnose your problems
- Repeatedly re-schedule your appointments
- Label your communication as bad or wrong
- Refuse to answer your reasonable questions
- Be preoccupied or daydream during your sessions
Refuse to consider your perceptions
or point of view
My massage therapist was gorgeous
- and his gentleness triggered
something deep inside me. I practically raped him.
But I never went
back - the shame was too high. He should have
- Blackmail you with private information
- Use your sessions to promote themselves
- Extend your sessions without benefit to you
- Claim that you cause them to act inappropriately
- Arrange to meet you for non-therapeutic purposes
- Refuse to discuss topics which you want to discuss
- Express mood changes and / or emotional outbursts
- Talk endlessly about the therapist's beliefs and opinions
- Tell you that you do not deserve love, care or support
- Invite you to participate in emotional or physical intimacy
This client acted so docile and I
found myself getting angry with
her. A couple of times I shouted at her
to grow up!
Then I realized that I had fully stepped into
her abusive father's
role. That's when I contacted you for help.
- Act pompous, condescending or officious
- Give you covert post-hypnotic suggestions
- Try to persuade you to join a religion or cult
- Later deny or justify suggestions of intimacy
- Ask you for advice about personal problems
- Advise you to change your sexual orientation
- Continually defer solutions to the next session
- Threaten to end your sessions unless you comply
- Prescribe experimental drugs without warning you
- Cause you to distrust other helping professionals
The last may be worst.
Mentor damage can delay you from seeking other help.
Part 2 of Therapist-Client
Abuse & Codependence
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Martyn Carruthers 2003-2017 All rights reserved.