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Increasing Confidence After Bad Therapist

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Increasing Confidence After Bad Therapist

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For 2yrs. I worked very diligently with a therapist to address post traumatic stress disorder issues, severe anxiety, and an eating disorder (anorexia)(all the result of childhood sexual abuse, an alcoholic and untreated mentally ill mother, and controlling/abusive and then absent father). During the first yr. the therapist provided positive support and guidance. However, during the second year the therapist routinely nodded off during sessions, forgot important life and family details, joked about sensitive topics, and criticized my choices (such my decision to have more family support to help prevent unhealthy isolation and lack of eating. The therapist wanted me to avoid my family, even those member who support me and care about me, as a way to “maintain boundaries”). After several months of clearly stating what the therapist was doing that was causing upset, asking specifically for more positive encouragement and respect, and trying to discuss the problems between us (but with no resolve because the therapist wouldn’t acknowledge or discuss anything “It (the upset) is no big deal”)I finally had to stop our work. In our last session I told the therapist all of the reasons why things weren’t working but the therapist stated that I was the one “misinterpreting things” and “running away” from therapy.

Now I’m devastated. I KNOW I’ve worked hard to address and change unhealthy choices, ask for help, process very tough emotions, and despite all the pain from my history, I’ve maintained an open mind and hopeful spirit towards healing and building happiness in my life. However, this therapist said many things that hurt me, reduced my self-confidence, and has caused a lot of self-doubt. Any further communication or interaction with this counselor wouldn’t be helpful (I definitely tried that route). I’m wondering how do I stop feeling like a complete failure, rebuild my self-confidence, and move forward?

Increasing Confidence After Bad Therapist

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Increasing Confidence After Bad Therapist. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.