When the therapists behave unethically


Only last month, I had two new clients reporting exceptional moral violations from their previous therapists. In one case, a male therapist repeatedly narrated narrative advances toward a woman who came to him to overcome the trauma of her ongoing divorce process. This therapist repeatedly told the client details of his personal life, which had nothing to do with his treatment, and which honestly surprised both the content and the way in which he presented the information. The client eventually stopped the counseling relationship, which the therapist was reluctant to cut off.

On the other hand, a gynecologist repeatedly avoided attempts to discuss the trauma presented by the client, sent the client a request for social media friends and called for a weekend getaway without a therapeutic agenda. This therapist abruptly abandoned the client for no specific reason and no offer to address another counselor.

In both cases, customers felt responsible for the well-being of their healers. Both experienced violation of the relationship as abandonment. Remember that these people were seeking counseling for their own trauma and pain and were vulnerable and trusted by the professionals they chose as their therapists. Instead of these therapists were seen as being at risk, severely ill-treated and injured again.

My work with these people includes not only support in alleviating the initial discomfort but also creating a strong therapeutic bond when both clients are ambivalent and defensive to expose themselves vulnerably to another counselor.

This exasperates me, as it certainly makes you angry. What can you do if you experience something you feel about your relationship with your counselor?

First, trust your instincts. Trust the way you feel both during the session and especially afterwards when you have time to identify and identify your emotional response to a conversation. Sometimes during a session you are likely to feel overwhelmed and overwhelmed, so your reactions may not be clear to you until later. This can be a fine nuisance that you can not seem to put on your finger, or a more specific discomfort for a particular comment or behavior from your therapist. You may feel misunderstood. You may feel "dirty" or flirt. You may feel confused after asking questions that did not answer you with satisfaction.

If you feel that your therapist behaves immorally, the first thing you need to consider is to highlight it at the session. Express your concern. Ask to clarify something that does not make sense to you or does not feel right. If you do not feel confident in your answer, end the relationship.

Also, remember that you have carefully selected your therapist. Therefore, you expected professional experience and moral behavior, so you might have a cognitive bias in favor of the therapist. This can lead you to doubt about yourself and the validity of your reactions rather than questioning the healer's behavior or therapy.

Specialist healers can help you make your life, which is why you first seek advice. Most therapists are sensitive professionals who hold your interests and work conscientiously on your behalf. But every day, for any personal reason, therapists move away from the rule to moral violations that harm their clients.

If you feel that your therapist behaves immorally, the first thing you need to consider is to highlight it at the session. Express your concern. Ask to clarify something that does not make sense to you or does not feel right. If you do not feel confident in your answer, end the relationship.

All licensed therapists are governed by the laws of the state which grant them the exercise license. You can file a complaint of a moral breach with the licensing committee. Sometimes, you may feel like adding more pain to your experience, which you prefer to put behind and move on. I understand this reluctance. But consider investigating the state council and the therapist's professional association (you can identify it in letters after the name of the therapist-LMHC or LMFT, for example) to find out the specific steps involved in lodging a complaint. Then you can decide if you will go ahead. It depends entirely on you. But keep in mind that if a therapist behaved immorally with you, it is likely that this happens to others. Yours may not be the first complaint of a violation of ethics.

One last word: Do not let a bad counseling experience prevent you from finding a qualified therapist. Search catalogs (such as GoodTherapy) for your specific geographical area and your particular concerns. Select a therapist for contact, then ask for a short phone conversation. Once you have chosen a new therapist, please share your experience at the session so that you can get the relief you need from the weight of your previous counseling session, which you can continue to transfer.

Editor's note: In order to protect the privacy of all concerned, I changed the details of the client and the therapist, but I remain true to the nature of the described moral violations.




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