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#428109 - 03/15/13 04:58 AM What should my T have done instead?
Jacob S Offline

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 699
Loc: where the shadows lie
I'm asking this in forum because I'd like to get a range of answers, including from some of the supporters who may be in mental health or medical fields.

1996-1997: When I was in high school I went to see a therapist who I'll call Dr. V. I saw him for about a year and then went off to college. We didn't talk about my CSA directly (I wasn't aware of it consciously) but we did talk about self-control issues. He helped me a lot during that year.

1997-1998:I went off to college out of state and basically had a meltdown. I spent one year there before bailing and coming home.

1998-1999:I took a year off and worked.

1999-2000: Ithen started going to a local college. During that year, I specifically asked for Dr. V and started seeing him again for issues relating to dissociation.

This second time around, things were very weird. He seemed reluctant to be there and seemed uncomfortable to hear about my issues. After being very unhelpful for a couple of months, I just cancelled my appointments. I felt hurt and confused.

Around 2003, I happened to run across an old diary of my father. Lets not get into the ethics of it, the point is I read it. I learned from it that my mother had started seeing Dr. V. in 1997 after I left for college. She, being nuts, quickly misinterpreted his professional interest for romantic attraction and began stalking him, culminating in her coming to his house and telling him that they should run away together. When he asked her to leave, she parked her car across the seat and sat there for almost a full 24 hours before he called the police. They issued a restraining order. My father's diary didn't say this, but knowing my mother its also possible that she made violent threats regarding Dr. V. or his family or herself.

This happened between my first set of sessions with him and my second set. I think this explains why he was so weird around me the second time. I think he honestly tried to be professional and distant about it and just failed.

But as I didn't know the issues between him and my mother at the time, I came away hurt and it has definitely affected my ability to open up to therapists. I find myself angry at him, but I'm not sure he had any options. Since I specifically asked to see him, he may have felt that refusing to see me would be hurtful to me. But if he was unable to be unaffected by my presence, I wish he would have made it clear to me it wasn't my fault. I can see that he was stuck in a hard position.

I guess I am wondering what you guys thing. Was there anything else Dr. V. should have done instead? Am I being too hard on him? Am I being too easy on him? Lets not get into my mothers role in all this, its just one episode of many in reasons why I hate her. Tonight I am thinking about Dr. V.
Nothing there. It subsumed me. Black hole in time and space.

And yet.

It seemed like what I was made for.

to be used.

most natural thing in the world.

#428122 - 03/15/13 10:43 AM Re: What should my T have done instead? [Re: Jacob S]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3864
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey Jacob,
oh boy you have some interesting family frown
I guess it has been complex situation for Dr. V back than but somehow I can't dismiss the thought that he has been involved more than one expert should be with your mother. Reason for that my thought is based simply on way how he rejected you, he didn't do nothing directly, he didn't talk with you and he pretened like everything is alright although he was not as supportive as he should. He could simply find some excuse for not being in position to work with you and recommend you some other expert. As you described how all happened that raised some questions in me.
In any case he shouldn't leave you with bitter taste wondering what is wrong and it was very unprofessional to do anything with you after he had such episode with your mother.
We are not speaking here about your mother/family, but rather about relationship therapist-client.
We all are looking for some trust, honesty and support with our Ts, for some things that we have lack in our lives and families and we have full right to ask to be seen, heard, acknowledged and fully accepted as equal and mature persons. Maybe I'm wrong but somehow I miss that stance from D. V in your second try with him.

My story

#428139 - 03/15/13 02:12 PM Re: What should my T have done instead? [Re: Jacob S]
Candu Offline

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
I wish he would have made it clear to me it wasn't my fault.

I'm not in the mental health or medical field. But in my opinion he should have made it clear to you that it was not about you. That he couldn't deal with it. It sounds like he thought he could manage but couldn't. He made a mistake and should have known better. But don't forget that therapists are human. And we all make mistakes.

#428216 - 03/16/13 01:29 PM Re: What should my T have done instead? [Re: Jacob S]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
My first thought was that Dr. V was uncomfortable with you because he was not comfortable/knowledgeable about csa issues. When you described the actions of your mother, he really couldn't tell you about his relationship with her, or even that he knew her (unless she brought you to appointments or he had some involvement with her on a non-professional level).

He probably should have just said to you that he couldn't see you because of time constraint, lack of experience with your issues, or simply say, "I can't see you but I cannot tell you why for confidentiality reasons". That might sound mysterious to you but he could have referred you to a colleague with experience in your issues.
Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#428218 - 03/16/13 02:33 PM Re: What should my T have done instead? [Re: Jacob S]
newground Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/11/11
Posts: 1153
Loc: michigan
Jacob man,
I am sorry that you were left feeling like it was your fault. fact is that Ts do make mistakes. my first experience did not work out so well and I am just getting around to trying again. my first therapist left out sick. he was out for months and never gave me any indication of if he was alive or dead. there was no contact person if I needed help or any way to know what i should do it was VERY frustrating. and when he finally came back... (gone from early June to late September)I went back to him very cautiously and sure enough he went out sick again and was gone from late November till February and when I finally got up courage to just let it go and find another T as soon as I had one appointment... he called me back which left me feeling bad about being angry at him, though after wrestling down that anger the second time I refuse to go back or even return his call at this point. I think therapy may be a great help for us man but when it goes wrong it can really hurt. I hope you situation works out good man, it was NOT your fault. It would not have been wrong for him to just say I cant see you because of privacy issues, or as was suggested that he was not comfortable working with your issues. I asked new T that outright and never got an answer, I wonder why they are so hesitant to just say Im not comfortable...or whatever
Either I will find a way, or I will make one.
Philip Sidney

#428279 - 03/17/13 05:00 AM Re: What should my T have done instead? [Re: newground]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
I was first in counseling when I was 15. It was from cumulative effects of csa leading to my being mute (couldn't talk). Also my family situation was really tough. I suppose that in 1955 they didn't really know what to say to kids who have experienced lots of csa. She tried to be affirmative, encouraging, help me relax about life and start getting some enjoyment out of life. Finally they decided to call in my parents. My father and mother had major mental health issues. My mother probably had DIDNOS compounded with depression, narcissistic personality disorder, OCD, and who knows what else. The counseling was in a rickety old building with creaky wooden floors. One time when T was interviewing mother, I crept silently up to the door to see what they were saying. All I heard was the exchange:

T. Why don't you love your son?
M. Oh....I do.

I thought: 'Really???' and retreated silently.

A few months later they (parents) started taking me places just to be fun. They bought ice cream cones. We took trips to the mountains (Colorado). They let me drive the car ( crazy ). The actually handed me their credit card and told me to take a shopping trip and buy whatever I wanted. To show you how inhibited I was, I bought only one shirt.

So, what should the T have done then? She should have used some kind of interactive therapy to relieve the my burden from all the abuse. I know in younger children they can use play therapy. As a boy I was somewhat like Dibs, in the book: Dibs In Search of Self.

I think some Ts use gestalt therapy: The patient sits in a chair facing another chair. They could put a dummy in the empty chair. That would have been a good representation of my family life anyway. Then the patient tells the dummy what's on their mind: Anger, hurt, ....whatever.


#428321 - 03/17/13 10:53 PM Re: What should my T have done instead? [Re: pufferfish]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: puffer

So, what should the T have done then? She should have used some kind of interactive therapy to relieve the my burden from all the abuse. I know in younger children they can use play therapy. As a boy I was somewhat like Dibs, in the book: Dibs In Search of Self.

I found some links on Gestalt therapy:

I think EMDR might be useable in a kid:



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