132 Comments to
10 Secrets Your Therapist Won’t Tell You

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  1. i have feelt like my theripist dosnt care about me and i just read this artical saying that most of them dont but i have been suffering from depression and she said she has to care about me cuse she sighned a paper saying she would i was so upset and i still am what am i to do??

  2. my therepist after treating me for several months for depression and a suicide attempt. As well as low self esteem.After making remarkable progress I asked her what her oppinion of my character was thus far.She replied”I think that you have a Good Heart ,Are Intellegent,You posses a marvelous sennce of humor,However you are mean and aggressive. Session over! I left her office stunned at her last remarks and bleeding emotionally. I don’t know if its even worth confronting her how awful I felt and confused as to how she came to that conclusion or just move on.

  3. Like many people these days (I believe) I have found the mental healthcare system to be compromised by bureaucracy and ineptitude and also a kind of corporate attitude that makes trusting in treatment very difficult.

    1. I suppose I am lucky to have MassHealth but it makes mental health providers run for the hills. Seems like anyone with quality references and adequate experience won’t deal with Mass Health, they obviously make it too difficult for them to get their $$$.

    2. When I call mental health providers that do take my coverage they tell me they have a wait list that is solely base on a database of patients that already use their primary health services. Shortage of mental health professionals? Why is that?

    3. Until last week I had a full time retail job (that means working over the normal business hours of health professionals and irregular days off). So who was out there who could see me after 7 pm? Nobody. Means working class people can’t get treatment.

    4. Now that I do have time to see a therapist (took me 4 weeks to find a place taking patients) I’ll get to see a counselor but wait up to 4 weeks before getting an appointment with a Psychiatrist who can prescribe meds. If I hear one more time “I think we can’t really expect you to see progress till you get meds” I’m gonna scream at the top of my lungs. Which might get me hospitalized and thus immediately medicated (that’s your only choice folks).

    5. Of course the quickest way of getting treatment would be to get hospitalized, which I’ve already experienced. In this case the treatment is highly impersonal, and I found the professional staff to be condescending. All the treatment is distress tolerance, no therapy, just the same endless series of handouts being read aloud in a circle.

    I’m gonna give these mental health people another chance, since I’ve already spent close to a month trying to get services. But damn if this time I’m gonna make sure they know that I AM THE CLIENT, and hold them accountable for all their practices.

  4. I went to a therapist one time in order to get into the Peace Corps. She gave me a diagnosis of Depression in order to get paid by my insurance company. The problem is that now I have a “history of depression” on my health insurance and it is affecting my ability to get new insurance. I also do not want a fake diagnosis, especially not one with such negative connotations associated with it, following me for the rest of my life. Is there anything I can do?

  5. The vitriolic combativeness from some professionals on this thread only supports the argument that just because a therapist has credentials, doesn’t mean he has act together. No one can be more psychologically nasty than a threatened therapist, and consumers are wise to approach them discernment and skepticism. Scare the public from putting themselves in some of these children’s hands? Absolutely! Therapy would be much healthier if clients and professionals approached it with fewer delusions.

  6. Regarding “advice” or lack therof in the profession….

    In all of my years in and out of therapy (actually, more out lately) the greatest lesson that I have learned is that the best of the lot don’t actually give advice but rather, push the problem right back into your lap while gently prodding/teaching you to hear your own inner voice so that you can solve the problem yourself.

  7. This is great. It’s so true. Number one really hit me because I’ve been in this profession as a social worker for about 2 years and I still doubt myself which is hard for me to deal with. Any advice? I want to help clients badly but at the same time I wonder sometimes if there is anything I can do.

  8. my friends always come from advise from me but hoe can i reject them.i can sometime read their mind and know their suffering nervours breakdown such as sexual feeling, emotional and pysical

  9. If you have bpd and were unilaterally terminated by your therapist, can they still be of help to you if you were to re-enter therapy with them at a later time?

  10. Excellent post – well done.
    My children have been in therapy for years, and all the things that have been listed are right on.
    What I would add is something that I learned from my husband, who used to be a psychotherapist and got out of the field because he wasn’t able to help enough people.

    “There are therapists and there are ‘healers’ Most of us are therapists, in the business for the money more than anything else. We don’t really have the experience nor interpersonal skills to really be of help to all that many people. As to diagnosis, we are ‘guessing’ most of the time.

  11. I don’t get the hemming and hawing about the release of record. I don’t know any other professional field where this would be problematic. There shouldn’t be things in records that therapists have not told clients. Therapists are allowed to keep separate psychotherapy notes that clients cannot access if they want to, but the record is what is passed between clinicians and can have legal/economic implications. How about send a client your notes after each session so that there are no surprises, or just write it together if it is just a very short summary.

    If you are nervous about the “why” someone is asking for their record, then they may rightly sense that you are keeping something important from them and that your relationship together does not allow for more open communication.

  12. “Despite the rights of patients to be able to view and have a copy of their own medical records and data, most mental health professionals still resist attempts for a patient to view their own mental health chart.”

    Calling BS on this. HIPPA rights to see your records do NOT extent to psychotherapy notes. It is a psychiatrist/therapists JOB to try to manipulate your mind in the right direction, and this can be compromised if you’re aware of what he’s doing.

  13. Thought provoking article. I practice in the UK and it was interesting to reflect on the differences in routine practice. In my experience, in the UK points 1 to 6 are openly communicated to clients within the first few sessions. I find that it helps to form realistic expectations of therapy, to be informed of what it involves and to form a collaborative relationship. Points 7-10 are not relevant within a national health system, where health care (including mental health) is provided free for all.

  14. Psychologists, Psychiatrists, MFC’s, LSW,well, they’ll all human. I have had violent crime victim therapy, rape victim therapy, been unlawfully committed so someone could take my extra role-in LA, CA my doctor told me “believing” I had an extra gig was Delusional, my actress land lord and co worker raided my apartment during my confinement. I was told to break up with a wealthy guy because it appeared, ” I was too destructive and read too much, and he was “rushing things” and she said I was a gold digger and needed to stick to my class. I was guided by a MFC to place my child for adoption because, as he said, the fact that I was raped would absolutely possibly contribute to creating a child who was a psychopathic killer and trying to be a mom was a fatal risk. I was consulted to drop out of college even though I was doing well at school. I was concerned about my weight as it increased when I got my medication and was screamed at and sent home by my psychologist, he Screamed, ” I don’t care about your weight”. As my son, far away in his adopted home approached college, I was worried and concerned he get the bet opportunity. When I told my Psychiatrist I worried about my son, who was adopted, he said, “forget it, it was a long time ago” I worked ata psych out patient clinic. I saw a homophobic nurse elbow a gay client in the face and later tried to get said patient to take a large handful of Depakote.

  15. Things My Therapist Told Me:

    1. I am a really nice guy, but I have to talk about myself a lot.
    2. I am a super guy, but I have to throw in sexual content from time to time.
    3. I have to talk poorly about my wife.
    4. I am a warm & fuzzy person.
    5. I really like money. Even more than talking
    about sex.
    6. “I used to like pretty girls.”
    7. “My wife might not think I’m a good provider.”
    8. “My friend has a $1000 a month car payment.”
    I will stop now. I can tell you that all of this happened. The best part is the dummy who is writing this paid to here this $%@& !!!!!

    • Maybe therapy is not what you need. I empathize with your wasted experience at the hands of your therapist. I suffered one who wasted my time & decided I did not need to pay good money for someone to feign interest in my problems.

  16. I spent 7 years and tens of thousands of dollars on 5 different therapists of varying types to try and fix some sexual dysfunction (psychological not physical)problems I was having in my marriage. The sex Therapists were the worst and the one psychiatrist I went to was better than the others in his approach but none were able to help me. And it’s absolutely true, only one of the therapists actually threw in the towel after 14 months and said he wasn’t sure what the problem was caused by and suggested I try someone else. All the rest kept leading me on for months or years. It was nothing but a big money grab. That was 12 years ago and my marriage is still sexless after all these years.

    • Interesting. I concede that not all problems can be solved by psychotherapy. The patient has also to be willing to experiment and attempt some changes in their personal life. I would have questioned the therapists concerned and asked for both strategy recommendations and regular progress reports. Therapy did not help? I would have expected certain tangible results in shorter time-scales or stopped the therapy much earlier than stated.

  17. Nice and honest.

  18. The profound uselessness of the entire profession, is summed up by the secret “we are not giving advice ask your friends, if you want advice”. I am in engineering we give advice.

  19. I liked the way you worded the title to grab attention of your readers. While I agreed with most of what you said, I’m not sure I would go so far as to say any licensed and paneled therapist is a good fit. There are bad therapists out there who don’t get good sell-care, don’t seek supervision when they should, and take on more than they can handle at times. In any profession you have people who are more effective than others. Sometimes a therapist has more experience in one niche than another therapist so it is important to consider all of these things when selecting a therapist.

  20. I have gone to a few therapists and I feel that they were counterproductive. I was a teenager and my mom was making me go. The reasons that she wanted me to go were social conflicts. There were a couple of peer groups that I used to go to and there were some irreconcilable differences, and a lot of bullying. In other words, the groups did not work out for me. My mom felt that this was a legit reason to go to counseling. Anytime I would say that I did not want to go to said event or group they would always “demand” that I give a reason, then they would justify whether it was reasonable. In my eyes, they did not give a damn about how I felt. Plus, I felt that it was counterproductive and pointless to talk to strangers who in a reality setting would never be able to back me up or side with me. That is why the first point is true-therapists are not your friend. So how can they really understand my situation when they have never witnessed what I was going through?

    Therapists need to be careful about how they try to diagnose a patient, especially if the client is there because of social conflicts or stress management. To me, those matters do not call for a diagnosis or to get drugged up. One therapist did try that. He had me talk to there staff nurse and she gave a me a sample of I think it was Paxil. All it did was make me have insomnia and irritability. I have to wonder if that is what they were going for. I stopped taking it and told them that it is not worth jeopardizing my daily functions, and that it won’t make me tolerable about a social conflict. That I am sure was unethical and maybe even illegal to just give me a sample of a medication.

    I am sure that there are some legitimate therapists out there, but I have been to some bad ones, and for that reason, I do not take a lot of stock in therepists, period.

  21. i need an answer.my therapist gives me positive stroke,but i can not believe on her,its my problem,i want to believe but i can not.She told me that in psychotherapy there is no false stroke.is it true?

  22. Hey guys, i really hope this is something like a very sarcastic joke. if therapists in america are like this, i think they are a product of your hypercapitalism…we in germany learn to be transparent, direct and honest to our patients…most of these “secrets” a therapist would definitely tell his or her patients…

  23. Im beginning to not trust therapist. I decided about two months ago that i needed to go on a short term disability from work about two months ago because i was going through some serious anxieties. My original plan was to be on leave for about a month and a half. Well toward my desired end of my leave, i went on to tell my therapist that i was ready to go back to work and her response was nothing but apprehension and recommend that i take an additional week, attend group therapies through out the week at the hospital and come back by the end of the week to discuss it further. Well, the end of the week comes, she decides she needs to postpone the appointment for the following tuesday because she has a dental emergency. The next week comes, she postpones the appointment for the next monday because shes going into dental surgery to have her teeth fixed. I am so pissed off. There is alot of things i am missing at my job and if i dont get back yo worl by early next week, i am going to miss some important deadlines which will impact my work schedule for the next 6 months. I will be really pissed if this bird therapist of mine decides to not release me back to work next week because i feel that this bitch is abusing her fucking authority. I had an idea she was a controlling bitch a couple of years ago when i went on leave and told her i was ready to go back after a year and a half because how she tried to orchestrate everything.Its pathetic when you decide to see a therapist for help and they decide to get crafty and controlling over your life just because you have a mental diagnoses. I feel totally fucking powerless right now, meanwhile Im broke as fucking hell struggling to pay my bills on my work disabilty money. I am totally not in the same place mentally as i was at the beginning of this leave. Who does the bitch think she is trying to tell me otherwise. Mental health professionals are scum. They make you think you can trust them, meanwhile your just a fucking puppet and they are the puppetmaster. If this creep therapist does not release me to my job next week, my contract with this woman is over and i am taking my business somewhere else. Its sad, this is about the only amount of power i do have. I wish i could sue this bitch. I certainly will be reporting her ass if she fucks my shit up.

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