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Is this therapist abuse?

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Because I want to remain very anonymous due to my presence around the internet, I am hesitant to share details about my personal story which is also very present on the web. Thus I am sharing the following in hopes that I can get various 'objective' sponses to help my perspective.

I recently had an incident occur.

I had been a client with a therapist for over two years. The therapist is very good at their profession and expertise. I had graduated (for lack of a better word) from therapy almost a year ago, but still remained in close contact with the therapist. (I think, in reality, I hadn't really graduated.) [delayed edit note: I was a client for over a year, not two years.]

We remained in contact for a few reasons.

One: I am involved with some lay-activism in which the therapist specializes.

Two: I continued with a small phone support group, as a member,of which the therapist oversaw. (My therapist was long distance and we had our appointments via phone and Skype.)

Three: I had difficulty breaking the therapeutic bond. We discussed this openly. I hired the therapist for life coaching. In my head that meant I was still graduated; and the life coaching was different.

Four: I still needed help from time to time when *stuff* would come up.

A couple months back I volunteered to help with an online activism project which the therapist was building. I and another person, who was never a client of the therapist, were on the team.

The therapist and I had become friends. We had discussed in depth regarding dual relationships. I was fine with being friends. To me, therapists are people first. So we were friends and were now working on a project together; yet, I was still weaning from the therapeutic relationship. The therapist was aware of this. I thought there would be no better place to work through some of my remaining issues than on the activism project.

As part of our friendship, the therapist shared with me some deep issues the therapist is still challenged with in their life.

During the project work, the therapist and the other team member had a disagreement that turned into an array of emails back and forth. The team member insinuated some serious things regarding the therapist and the therapist addressed some of those head on. Exchanges got quite heated at times.

The therapist and I privately discussed these exchanges. That was fine with me. I agreed with much of what the therapist stated was happening with the other team member. I listened with compassion, as I had at other times with the therapist-turned-friend.

At some point in the email exchanges between the disagreeing member and the therapist, the therapist started another email thread stating that the disagreeing member had a good idea. When I read it and another email exchange between the the therapist and the member, I thought the dynamics were changing and that the therapist was putting a certain vote back on the table for discussion. I was glad to read (what I thought) was some calming down to the entire situation.

Apparently I read the therapist's emails wrong. The therapist came back with a very long email addressing both myself and the opposing member. I was taken aback by some of the statements in the email, insinuations I simply didn't know I had made. I certainly didn't mean to come across as the therapist had stated. In the long email, the therapist requested a response within 24 hours.

I called the therapist-turned-friend before reading the email in-depth. I couldn't get them on the phone and I didn't leave a message at that time. I later responded to the email - once I had had time to read it. Part of my response was that I was confused and didn't understand. Part of my response I became angry regarding insinuations which I had no idea I had participated in, at least that I was aware of.

I was quite baffled and stated so in my response.

Once I replied to that email, I called the therapist and left a voice mail that I had read and responded to the email and that I hoped the therapist and I could talk via Skype or via phone soon.

I also wrote a private email to the therapist (all the other emails were being shared between the three of us...though they became difficult for me to follow) to further clarify.

Why am I posting all this here?

I am simply looking for anyone's response to what they think when they read the following email exchanges. I am quite devastated by what has happened, and am having difficulty functioning. Constantly 2nd guessing myself. Feeling I am unintelligent, that I can't be trusted on any level. It may sound menial, but it isn't.

The therapist knows in-depth the deep struggles I've had with self-blame, shame, and self distrust. I had come a long way in all those areas.

I also realize that the entire context of the situation isn't in the picture in these few (long) posts. To post and read it all would be exhausting for anyone.

So I'm just wondering what impressions are to the following email exchanges. (I will post the emails (leaving out names) in response posts.) Is it abuse?

I have an appointment this Friday with a local psychologist that I trust. I am going to show him other emails and get his input and hopefully his help to help myself put me back together.

I apologize for a first post being so long. I googled to find a place that appeared safe and that I could post regarding the question of therapist (or in this case former therapist) abuse.

Thanks for any responses. And if there are no forthcoming responses, I understand that as well.

Hanging in there while hanging around....:confused:

Edited by hangingaround
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Begin email exchanges. This one is from me to therapist.


Hi [therapist],

I'm leaning toward resigning [from the project]. But not for the reasons you state in your email.

I'm leaning toward resigning because I value your friendship too much. And I hope that hasn't been marred. The board or any project is not worth that to me.

I was taken aback by your email ..... by the things that you appeared to be implying that I think of you...like that I don't respect you...and whatever else was in there. I don't think that way toward you at all. And I wasn't thinking that way toward the project either. I thought you knew me better than that. And maybe you do. Maybe [other team member] and I discussing stuff (simply as discussion) was taken wrong..at least from my angle. Maybe it was too soon to be discussing stuff. I don't know... :-/

After re-reading the email thread that I think may have prompted your Sunday afternoon email; I still don't see where you got the impression that things were emotionally charged...and that there was chaos. Actually, I was trying to be helpful to you by the discussion [team member] and I were having. I was thinking out loud and part of that reasoning (which I didn't express in the my dialog with [team member]) was to try to help take burden off of you in running the forum. I was actually trying to see if there was something we could do to help lighten the load. The discussion was also sent to you for your feed back as well.

As stated in my response on the email, I was under the impression that the vote was open for further discussion and further discussion was mentioned also in trying to mend things that had taken place. I thought that is what I was doing.

As far as mixing business with friendship, I can keep the two separate. However, this project is not a typical business/friendship relationship. Correct me if I'm wrong. But I think of it as more of a mix of the two, with an understanding of the personal challenges that (at least) I face in regard to this project. For that reason, I may not be the one for to do this. I'm not business minded. I am more relationship minded. It is integral to any work I do.

Hoping we can talk on the phone or via Skype sometime this week.

I'll let you know my decision sometime Monday afternoon about resigning or not.

Heavy hearted,


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Therapist's email response to my email.


With this many reservations, go for it. Resign.

I cannot believe you read some of the things [team member] said to me. Cult leader? Autocractic? I really can't. Even in her supposed repentant few emails, she is carefully insinuating everything that happened was my fault. And that she knows you would never do that.

This is sick. And I want no part of it.

If it helps in any way, I largely said "either of you" in some vain attempt not to single [team member] out. You'll notice the only comment actually directed at you was the one about placating.

I am not being pulled back into this sort of emotional maelstrom again.

I do understand people's problems. Hello? Remember my profession?

At some time, I need YOU to stop asking if I'm in it for the money, telling me I'm bullheaded, suggesting if I'm irritated or angry that there's something wrong with that, making everything I say or do some sort of test of whether I'm perfect or not.

I'm not.

I'm no one's guru. I'm no one's father. I am no one's savior. I am no one's expert. I'm just a guy. Fairly bright. Somewhat creative. Good experience.

But just a fucking human.

And if some gal kicks me in the balls for four days, she has no right to expect special treatment. When a personality disorder acts out, the proper response is to demand they act in accordance with societal norms. Placating, by trying to soothe her bruised ego and work out compromises ALWAYS leads for such a person to demand even more. In effect, placating her trains her that if she acts out, she gets what she wants.

If [team member] has emotional problems, I gave her ample time to back down. There is simply no question of someone destroying everything, lashing out at everyone because she has problems and can't accept that I can't agree with her unless she gives me some kind of argument backed up by something other than her grandiose ego. She's an adult. Whatever has happened to her, I have no obligation to accept her abuse.

From my side, you are placating her. She is an emotional monster. Whether she means to or not is beside the point. She is passively aggressive. She is manipulative. She thinks in black or white terms. She attempts to split by sucking up to one, demeaning the other, and then playing hurt.

It really is better you just go ahead and resign. Wow was this all a mistake.

But I've made them before. I'll think about what went wrong here, rest a bit, and then start again. It's happened numerous times before. Although not this particular sort of attack.

This charade is over. I want to sincerely thank you for all your work. I really looked forward to working together. I really wish things would have worked out differently. If ever I can be of help in anything you do in life, don't hesitate to ask.

By all means, let's keep in touch. But I need you to give me a fair amount of time. This is going to take awhile to get over.

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My response to therapist.


Thanks for the response [therapist].

I'm sorry you feel the way you do and have interpreted my actions as you stated. Placating [team member] was not in my thought processes; I thought in your last two emails you had opened the table for a new vote and for discussion. I can't say enough times that they read to me like you had put stuff back on the table to vote for and to discuss. Therefore, I don't know why you considered the discussion I was having with [team member] as placating. I was trying to help.

No need to explain the previous two emails before the last one. Because it's draining..for you and for me.

I haven't thought you were in it for the money. I think I only brought that up once in regard to [another possible project]...and that, yes, you would get some business from that. Personally I have no problem with that. But you told me that wasn't the case and I believe you.

I didn't tell you you were bullheaded. It was a joke and included all three of us. I stated it when I did because I thought the tone had changed. Again due to your two emails. And then I apologized.

I did state you sounded irritated and angry. I didn't say there is anything wrong with that....other than I didn't understand where the final email came from (based on the two previous emails). And yes, by the end of that final email, I was angry and hurt too. And I have a long fuse in that area....as far as anger.

Your anger was justified, absolutely...with the stuff with [team member]. But AGAIN, with the two emails previous to the final one...it sounded to me like the tone had changed. I WAS WRONG....obviously. I regret I read them wrong. Sorry.

As far as I know I have lashed out at no one. I have addressed the things stated at me, toward me. I did not address the two of you in regard to the stuff going on between ya'll. As I stated in one of my emails, I am not an arbitrator. Nor did I volunteer to be an arbitrator. I volunteered to be a creative director and a moderator on the forum.

O.K. ... that you didn't want to single [team member] out. But you included me in your responses. So I thought you were referring to me in all your addresses. If I recall, you stated both and ya'll enough times in the context that I felt like you were addressing me. It confused me. I apologize that I misread and misunderstood.

I don't think the things of you that you stated in the final email or the things you stated in this email....in regard to addressing me as to what you need ME to stop doing. I didn't realize I was doing those things.

I don't play games. And I haven't been playing charades. I'm not into that shit in relationships. I've been as up front as honest as I know how. Apparently, that isn't good enough. And I'm taken aback that you apparently think I am/have been playing a charade.

I'll resign.

As far as keeping in touch, I'll probably let you make that move. I understand the time needed.

I'm hesitant to say anymore due to being taken wrongly or read into.

I much prefer these type conversations one on one via phone or in person.

I feel like I'm walking on glass right now.



BTW: If what I was doing was placating [team member] (which again wasn't in my thought processes)...I'm sorry. Apparently I'm ignorant regarding that and how to maneuver these kind of sticky situations. Another reason I'm probably not good as an admin for a board.

PS: I'm here for you as well....if ever I can be an ear or a help in a category where I am able. And thank you for all you have done for me and for all you do to help others.

Also... my apologies and praise are not false. Just so you know. I don't play charades, at least anymore than other humans.

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Therapist response to me.


Thank you both for your work.

At this time, I do not wish contact from either of you.

I wish you all luck in your future endeavors, and will naturally only speak supportively of you both because you have the strength and courage to work in this field.

What you choose to speak about me is of course your choice.

You remain members of the forum, if you wish to participate. Say anything you like, I have never censored anyone and have no intention of starting now.

Together, we simply didn't form a good team.

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The text in the email addressed both myself and the other team member; however, the email was only sent to me...that I could see. Because of the slew of other emails in which sometimes all parties didn't get emails that were intended for all parties...I thought I'd mention that to the therapist.

So I emailed with the following.



It looks that you sent this email only to me but your text is addressing both [team member] and I. Maybe you sent it to [team member] on a personal email.

That is the only reason I am not abiding by your request to not correspond with you; ie: to let you know that perhaps [team member] didn't receive this email.

I'll miss our correspondences.

Still confused and regretful,


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The therapist then sent me the following as a separate email.


You are not respecting my boundaries. You are reading way into things that I have written, much like [team member]. You are drawing conclusions without even asking. I would NEVER sit back and watch someone kick your head in for 4 days and not step in and say something. Not because you are a friend, but because she was being abusive. You are allowing [team member] to frame this as my problem, with no stated understanding that her behavior was WAY beyond the pale, even within the confines of therapy—-which of course this is not. You have never shown any understanding of the toll that [team member]'s conversation has had on me—-even though I have sat there over the video and explained it to you.

I did not and do not ask you to take sides. But compassion doesn't go one way. It's fine to show compassion for [team member]. I'm really having trouble understanding where you have even TRIED to understand what effect this has had on me.

In just a few days, an apparent severe borderline destroyed everything we had worked for—-including our relationship.

Since you can't respect my boundaries, any email from any address will simply be sent back to you. I will never see it. I have blocked you on Skype. I will block you on the 800#.

Right now, I can't imagine wanting to talk or correspond with you in any fashion whatsoever for a good long while.

At some point, it might be useful for you to consider what you contributed to this situation. If you can't see that by focusing on my challenges, my need for rest, all my other faults and challenges, while accepting [team member]'s extraordinary behavior and dismissing it as a guy with problems without any concern for what effect it was having on me, you destroyed our friendship. It would be hard to trust you again on any level.

If you can't see that [team member] created this conflict, escalated this conflict, and destroyed our program, I really don't know what to say. Have I ever said I didn't make mistakes? No, of course not. Quite the opposite.

I am totally flabbergasted.

Have a nice life.

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Hello, hangingaround, and welcome to the site. This does sound like a very complicated and painful situation for you. I'm sorry that you've been going through this.

I would like to bring to your attention that board policy prohibits the posting of private communications here. I have no doubt that you are in distress and are seeking advice/ thoughts on your situation and meant no harm, but it was still necessary to remove these posts. In saying that, I hope that you continue to express your concerns and feelings here.

I'm not 100% certain of the laws about therapist-client relationships after therapy, but don't think (not certain) there is any law against forming friendships after therapy has ceased. I tend to think this could be a very touchy and risky type of relationship, though. This is due to the power differential that has already been formed in your therapist-client relationship. I'm not saying that it could never be successfully accomplished, but I imagine it would be very challenging. The question being are you and he reacting now on a even level and in that type of role?

I'm not a professional and really feel that the best advice on your particular situation would come from one of our experts. Hopefully they will chime in here very soon. I think it is great that you will be consulting another therapist about this. I'm sorry that you have been feeling upset and confused. I hope your session with the therapist eases some of your distress.

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Guest GingerSnap

I think that seeing a local therapist is a good idea. I am not sure that the emails would really do a lot for the issue. Forming a friendship with anyone that you were or are involved with professionally is probably going to be difficult at a minimum and add to it by email........Anyway, see the local professional and learn from this as it just appeared to me early on that you could not separate yourself from this therapist and in trying to make it a friendship with this great need going in, it just seemed to spell disaster - it was more like the friendship was there for you to hang onto the therapist?I do believe the therapist had the responsibility and not you to be doing what needed to be done with the relationship.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hello Hangingaround,

Well, I am one of the therapists here who is willing to venture an opinion about this situation:

It is true that, from a legal point of view, enough time passed since your last therapy session with this person for there to be no violations or ethical issues. However, that does not mean it was a good idea.

What I am trying to say is that your ex therapist is the one who should have drawn and kept a firm boundary line even though the therapy was done.

There is another issue:

While I have used Skype with patients it is only when I or they have to be out of town. These are patients who know me and I know them. While doing therapy online is not illegal, it does not mean its a good idea. In fact, I have questions about a number of things your ex therapist did.

It appears to me that he has been quite hostile to you and unfair.

It is good that you are about to see a psychologist. I hope it is in person, live, in the office. I am willing to bet and guess that your feelings are quite hurt.

I hope I have answered your question but ask more if you need to. Also, remember, this is only my opinion, albeit professional opinion, but, still, my opinion.

One more thing: My advice is to respect your ex therapist not wanting to be contacted.


Edited by ASchwartz
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I think that seeing a local therapist is a good idea. I am not sure that the emails would really do a lot for the issue. Forming a friendship with anyone that you were or are involved with professionally is probably going to be difficult at a minimum and add to it by email........Anyway, see the local professional and learn from this as it just appeared to me early on that you could not separate yourself from this therapist and in trying to make it a friendship with this great need going in, it just seemed to spell disaster - it was more like the friendship was there for you to hang onto the therapist?I do believe the therapist had the responsibility and not you to be doing what needed to be done with the relationship.

Thanks Gingersnap.

Yes, unfortunately I think you assessment is probably correct. That the friendship was there to hang onto the therapist. I thought I was beyond that, and that I could maneuver through that aspect and grow in terms of relating to 'authority' figures...of which (for me) had been another deep issue I had (and still deal with of course). And the therapist and I openly discussed this territory. I think..maybe...the dual relationship was an experiment for the therapist and for me. We should have ended it sooner, or never started at all. :D

Part of the difficulty is that this therapist specializes in trauma from emotional and psychological abuse.

So, when the accusations and all-or-nothing statements made toward me by the same therapist run through my head I hear the therapist's voice, see the therapist's face.

Then I think about what I would bring up in a therapy session regarding the situation...how to handle it, how to regulate my responses, how to apply CBT techniques, etc. And that therapeutic discussion (in my head) is also in the same voice of the therapist who dealt the blows. It's like the therapist has the proper answers to that which the same therapist threw at me that sent me reeling.

It's quit confusing.

btw: The therapist is the one who cut off communication. I wasn't stalking in any manner. I contacted them to try to understand more where I had messed up in the circumstances, to try to at least (perhaps) give more of my point of view. Though I was feeling like I was walking on glass.

The therapist did not return my two phone calls and answered only by an email and then cut off communication stating they wanted no contact with me. Snap. In their final communication they blamed me for "destroying our friendship" and stated that it would be "hard to trust" me "again on any level." Those are two of my main issues...self-blame and trust. Thus part of the reason for my devastation.

I also found the following on the web last night, before posting here on this discussion board.


In fact, the article prompted me to post, as I am having almost all the effects mentioned in the article under "THE EFFECTS OF EMOTIONAL ABUSE FROM THERAPEUTIC SETTINGS" toward the bottom of the article. It helped me feel that my internal emotional responses are not overboard, but rather typical in such a situation. That said, I have a hard time defining the abuse regarding this therapist because I wasn't 'in therapy' at the time.

Thank you again for the feedback offered here.

It does help with my perspective to not blame myself.

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Hi Allan,

Thanks for your input. I was composing my long response to Gingersnap apparently when you were posting.

Yes, the appointment I have is local and face to face. Also, I had seen this psychologist that I am going to previously. Our therapeutic relationship was always good. I began counsel with the other therapist because of their 'specialty.'

And yes, I am and have respected the 'no contact' request by the said therapist.

I am thankful to have the local psychologist to help me through this.

And now I cry. It is...like a bad dream. :-(

Thanks again...and wishing I didn't feel I have to stay so very anonymous and could share more of my story.

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Guest SomethingOrOther

Hi hanging,

first of all, I’m not an expert and I relate to your story, because of my own experiences, which were quite different, but I recognise some of the same confusion, and I might be biased and therefore too readily willing to point my virtual guns at therapists, but I don’t think so.

Well, actually the first thing I wanted to say was that there is something good to be had from deleting the email exchange, because direct phrasing is very easily googleable, so if one of the parties got the admittedly far-fetched idea you might put it up online, they’d be here in no time at all. It’s easier to stay anonymous without the emails. Also, it’s good that you’ll see that local psychologist and show him your dialogue, as he can give you a better and more professional opinion on the situation.

I think there’s actually rules for therapist relationships that still apply a fair time after the therapy has ended, but I don’t know the details of that, and I think it’s important to note that not everything that is legal, is also appropriate, acceptable and harmless.

I do think that this half-therapist friendship wasn’t very healthy for you, alone for the obvious confusion and insecurities it causes you now and because you say yourself that you still needed help and couldn’t break the therapeutic bond and you wanted to work through remaining issues and you even told them enough about that. I’ve once tried to change my perception of someone I knew as a counsellor, though he actually wasn’t mine, to him being a friend, and that was not at all easy. Bordering on the impossible for me. Unfortunately I’m sometimes ambitious.

„Therapists are people first“. That’s actually a thought I recognise, because I’m an idealist and I’d never brutally force someone into a role they don’t want to play. (Ever.:D) They all have rights. They are all human. They have free will. And they damn well have job-related responsibilities too, once they agreed to do the job, if you ask me. One of them being that they can not just choose if they want to be a therapist or a friend for you depending on the weather. That’s obvious as long as it’s still in therapy, but I’d think it’s also the therapists responsibility to be aware of the problems it could cause a client, after therapy. And I find it slightly ridiculous to blame you, when it seems like a problem with the therapist-past occurs in the later friendship. So, I know I tend to be too fierce on judgements in that area, but trying to be deliberately careful I’d say your therapist was at least a bit thoughtless in that regard.

Also establishing a friendship on that basis was inappropriate, in my opinion. I can’t tell you if it was illegal. But to cut a long complicated way of putting things short: Even if it was legal, that doesn’t mean that you are the one who’s getting things wrong or that you can’t trust your feelings or that you caused that escalation into having contact forbidden in any way. I know it can be difficult to tell left from right, when it’s an EXPERT saying or implying that it’s your or anyones fault that they lose their temper.

I furthermore believe that if they seriously expect you to step into a conflict they have with a third person to defend them from vicious, personality-disordered and manipulative attacks, they deserve to be disappointed. (Somehow that’s a point from the emails that stuck, don’t ask me why, probably because it’s in that accusing style that doesn’t register as aggressive straight away.)

Sorry, this is really long for something others have said much better in fewer, less anger-tampered words. It’s apparently the therapists decision not to have contact and I understand that it must be difficult for you and would leave you doubting yourself, because it probably feels like some sort of punishment for something you didn’t do? From what you’ve written I don’t think you are to blame for this development at all. Whatever you decide to do about this friendship, I hope you find the right kind of support with your local psychologist.

I’m sorry if I now confused you more than anything else. (Especially since Allan has come by in the meantime. Oh, whatever, I’m still going to say it. )

PS: now I see you've posted as well, and I'd probably change "thoughtless" for something less polite. I'm sorry. :D

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Thanks SomethingOrOther...

Your post actually causes me to lighten up. And even gave me a chuckle. Chuckles are good. *thumbsup*

I think (from as much as one can survey from a very brief online dialog) that you and I might think similarly in areas of life. I'm not confused at all by what you shared. Sounds like something I might write.

Funny thing. Last night, after I posted the email exchanges (leaving out names of course) here, I went and googled some of the email sentences to see if they'd come up on search engines. Ha! *chuckle* The searches showed nothing at the time, so I thought it might be safe since the words used were broad. All that to say...I agree with you.

I'm so full of self-doubt right now...that even small decisions cause me to pause and fumble-stumble.

Thanks so much for you input and for sharing...and for the bit of humor.

So very human,


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Guest SomethingOrOther

Thank you, hanging.:D

I'm glad my post helped you a bit and I hope the conversation with the psychologist goes well, tomorrow already! Good luck.


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Hello again, hangingaround. You should be free to move about the boards now and post anywhere you'd like. So feel free to jump in and interact. There is also blogging, which can be made private or seen only by friends if you wish.

I'm sorry this has been such a difficult and confusing time for you. ;) I hope your appointment goes well and you begin feeling better about this situation. Best of luck to you.

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Thanks Irma Jean!

I may peruse around later when I have time. :-)

And thank you for the empathy as well. It is confusing and distressing. Knowing myself as I do, it will take some time for me to maneuver through it. :-/

BTW: I googled a couple sentences from the emails and they are searchable and now cached. So the therapist may well find them; the therapist knows I am quite present on the web and utilize it as a source for help and input. But, I don't care at this point if the therapist would find the cached posts. The situation is what it is. To my knowledge I haven't been untruthful and have endeavored to state the facts as I recall and see them. I also posted emails without names and changed something else for anonymity of the parties involved.


As I've pondered more the entire situation, taking in all the context of the previous weeks/months as well, I don't think it was therapist abuse. I don't think this therapist abuses their clients. They didn't abuse me in any way, shape, or form during therapy. They helped me tremendously.

That said, the final circumstance had the same effect as abuse, intentional or unintentional. The effect on my psyche is what it is. I am the only one that can redirect that. That (redirection toward wellness) is solely my responsibility.

At this point, I think the dual relationship experiment was entered without enough definitive outlines. I think this recent incident was a HUGE, HUGE miscommunication disaster (more than one) in all the email communications and people became defensive. [That is one thing I don't like about communications via text...emails, forums, etc., and have learned to endeavor to be sensitive to ... though I fall short too.] There was also some misunderstandings and interpretations (apparently) in some voice and Skype communications.

I am also taking a break from the activism I was involved in. I imagine I'll take it up (in small doses) later. The reason for the activism is because of experiences that were a huge chunk of my life...the majority of my life. So I am rethinking all that as to what is healthy for me at this point and how to approach that aspect of my life.

Apologies for my ramble. I feel I have taken much more than I have given here in these few posts on this forum. This tiny outlet has been an excellent place for me to do some processing and to get a bit of feedback within the tiny bit of context that I shared.

It seems like a great place ya'll have here. Not perfect, I'm sure. :( And that's good! Besides....I have grown to detest 'perfectionism' and hope I never go back to such a mindset. (Yay!)

Thanks again....

Edited by hangingaround
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Guest SomethingOrOther

That sounds like you are much more un-confused now.. ;)

It's just a pity you detest perfectionism, since I'm quite perfect. I was very taken aback, when I read in a Cbt book that you shouldn't try to be perfect, because nobody could like perfect people. I thought: WHAT? Nobody can like me and you don't even tell me WHY, because it's so obvious? :(:P

On the other hand, my ego isn't always the size of an elephant. :rolleyes:

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That sounds like you are much more un-confused now.. ;)

It's just a pity you detest perfectionism, since I'm quite perfect. I was very taken aback, when I read in a Cbt book that you shouldn't try to be perfect, because nobody could like perfect people. I thought: WHAT? Nobody can like me and you don't even tell me WHY, because it's so obvious? :(:P

On the other hand, my ego isn't always the size of an elephant. :rolleyes:


It dawned on me a year or so ago, that the only thing I was perfect at was imperfection. I do it perfectly everyday!! *smilie*

Speaking of imperfection, I realized that I stated in my opening post my time with the ex-therapist inaccurately. It was over one year not two. I know why I made the error. Geez. I can chalk up another one. *wink*

As far as me being un-confused...that goes back and forth...kind of like a pond or lake...muddy to clear to muddy to clear. All that *stuff* that lies under the surface and the critters (or whatever) that show up and stir the silt. I'm just glad I know how to tread water!! *thumbsup*

PS: Elephants are cool. And egos too, for that matter. I'm all for folks finding and expressing the self...ego and all. w00t!

Edited by hangingaround
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Guest SomethingOrOther

I guess it will be difficult for a while to separate the useful therapist voice in your head from the not so useful private therapist voice you got to know later.

I sometimes hesitated before answering posts, when it seemed difficult, because most things I know technically about "how to answer posts in a hopefully helpful way", I learned from someone who got himself banned for being aggressive.

Doesn't mean what he said about answering posts was wrong, but still leaves a strange aftertaste.

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  • 3 months later...

Hope it is o.k. that I check back in.

In the past weeks, I've started to post here a few times, and then chicken out. *cluck cluck*

After the psychologist review, after a few other people contacting me with their experiences with the therapist, after agonizing for weeks, I filed a formal complaint with the state. That was mailed at the end of September. I've not heard anything other than the state received it and an investigator has it.

Filing that complaint was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I felt like I was a traitor or something. I experienced intense anxiety and depression up until I mailed the complaint. The anxiety ameliorated shortly after I put the complaint packet in the mail; but the depression has continued.

It's embarrassing that the events and all the stuff around the events affects me so deeply. Yet, I have to tell myself that it is understandable.

I am having continued difficulty trusting myself and also trusting others. I really like to believe the best about people.

Anyway, I feel quite lonely at times. I think part of that comes from being unable to participate anymore in the support group (even though it was small) that the therapist facilitated and partly from no longer working on the project we were working on; it did give me purpose.

Even as I type that I hear the critical therapist's voice in my head saying, "Well Carol, YOU should have never filed the complaint. We could have worked things out, but YOU've now messed THAT up too."

Then I recall that he is the one that abruptly (and abusively) cut off contact. I was willing and had wanted to reconcile things. I waited almost two months before mailing the complaint, ample time to allow him to contact me.

I started back on Paxil. I've not needed it in a couple years, but it has helped in the past. I think it might be helping a bit now, at least with the anxiety. I continue with therapy with the psychologist.

I cry today. I've cried many days, actually. Not sure why I cry today.

It may help when I finally hear something from the state. And it may be the state will just throw the complaint packet out. It I don't hear back from the state soon, I'll give them another call.

Thanks for letting me get some thoughts (as convoluted as they may sound) out in the cyber-sphere.

Endeavoring toward wellness,


Edited by hangingaround
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Guest SomethingOrOther

Hi Carol,

I hope you find some good support in your psychologist to get over this difficult time. Maybe you can find some other social activities to engage your mind and make up for not working on the project anymore? That voice in your head is a bit behind on the facts it seems and also you just filed a complaint, you’re not the one who decides what to do about it.

I understand that you feel depressed about this, and I think even after everything is quite clear, there is often still the hope, however unrealistic, that they might change their minds and make everything good again. Now that you’ve filed a complaint that hope must be lost and replaced by the thought that if they contact you know, it’s likely to do with the complaint and not with wanting to contact you as such.

I don’t know how long things like this take, but I think it’s been long enough to call them and at least ask what they think, how long it’s going to take. :(

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