Q: I have been searching for a good psychologist for a very long time, and finally found someone who I was able to open up to. When I was younger I was raped by a group of men who belonged to a cult, and several years after that two of them did it again. The events that led up to all of this was very hard for me to share with anyone, and when I finally did share it with my psychologist I felt very attracted to him. After being hospitalized for a suicide attempt, I continued seeing him and we soon started to do things other than therapy. He is 16 years older than me and married. I thought I was mature enough to handle it, but I soon tried to back down, but he didn’t want to and I terminated my sessions with him. I have no idea how I am supposed to feel about all of this. Do I have a right to be angry at him? It was me, after all, who initiated it. I want to see him again just so I can yell at him and make him feel bad, but I am also so ashamed of what happened that I don’t think I could ever see him again.
I really need to talk about everything, but I don’t want to go to yet another therapist, and how can I trust my next therapist knowing that anyone is capable of anything? This is like slamming your finger in the car door, you want to blame someone else, but in the end it is only your own stupidity that did it. How can I put this whole thing past me? How can I forget what we did, and more importantly, what he did knowing full well what my situation was? I don’t want to report him, and I am not going to. Is there any other options?
A: I know you say you don’t want to report him but I strongly encourage you to reconsider your decision. You were not in the wrong, he was. He has an ethical and legal obligation to do no harm and uphold the professional relationship and he broke these. He could do it again if no one ever reports him. I suggest you try again to find another therapist. Many times I have found that clients who have been abused by one gender may feel safer by finding a therapist of the other gender (ie: if a male abused you, try a female therapist). Keep looking until you find someone you can trust who does not violate your boundaries and then make your decision on whether or not to report him. I personally still get angry when I hear stories like this. This is certainly not what our profession is about. We are supposed to help not hurt! Good luck and thanks for writing in.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Jun 2007
Counts, H. (2007). I had a sexual realtionship with my psychologist and it has affected me more than I thought.. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 7, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/06/03/i-had-a-sexual-realtionship-with-my-psychologist-and-it-has-affected-more-than-i-thought/