Clients Need To Be Aware Of Therapist Abuse

What kind of trust factor do you think a client should have if they ever need to get counseling again, after finding out their LSW, LMFT, with a masters in clinical psychology, book author, lecturer, winner of social worker awards, and a long host of other accomplishments turns out to be a con artist? Using an individual's circumstances to make big cash is deplorable. This happened to my grandson who was the client. A little boy who experienced multiple abuses in his early life and we hired this therapist because of her credentials. To make a long story short, people need to check on those they hire to help them, not to become a victim of exploitation of trust and manipulation to make a fast buck and prolong therapy for the LMFT's own personal gain. Thank you.

Ben's Answer:

I agree with you. You should always check the credentials of a therapist you are planning to see. You can always look up their licensing board on the internet, put in their name, and find out if their license is current and if they have any negative history. I'm curious though, what made this therapist a "con artist" (did she actually not have those credentials, or write a book, or win awards?)

Just having a valid license to practice psychotherapy definitely does not mean that a therapist is good at what they do, or is necessarily the best therapist for you. It's always best, once you get the basic facts about a therapist, to make your own judgment based on your impressions and intuition about them. Recommendations from friends and others who have seen that therapist are also very useful.

An irresponsible therapist can do a lot of harm. The therapist-client relationship is a sacred one, and involves a lot of trust and vulnerability, so it is not hard for a therapist to take advantage of that power. Always choose wisely.

Best wishes,
Ben Schwarcz

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May 14, 2013
I also was abused by a number of therapists
by: Julie Greene

This has also happened to me. I have had 20 therapists, so of course I have had my share of abusive ones. Some were very bad. The ones I'd suggest to watch out for the most are the ones with boundary problems. One red flag to watch out for is if you find yourself thinking the therapist is God, like if they are The One and Only that can cure you. The tell-tale sign is that you can never please this therapist, and the therapist has you wrapped around his/her finger, always very controlling. I've had therapists regularly fall asleep in sessions, too, and I've had to wake them up. There were the ones that threatened me and the ones that accused me of doing all kinds of things, just to be like puppeteers. Some therapists have such bad boundary problems, it was like I was their therapist, and I knew more about them than they knew about me. I am currently in the process of filing paperwork on a recent one who was so bad that everyone tells 'vme he needs to be reported. And I went to one that did not even have any degree to be practicing therapy, and had been practicing illegally for 20 years. Thankfully, I found out quickly. I plan to report her somehow, not sure how I'll do that or if there's anything I can do. I have a master's degree in creative writing and am an activist in the field of eating disorders but am not a therapist and don't ever want to be one!

Feb 12, 2010
Therapist abuse can be devastating
by: Kristi

Yes, it is vitally important to check out a therapist's credentials and to pay attention to any red flags you notice. Consumers need education regarding therapist abuse and exploitation -- it happens much more often than anyone realizes and the effects can be devastating. I hope soon more people will be speaking about this openly. We definitely need to increase awareness.

For more information, please check out my blog and the resources I have posted there.

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