Hi, I recently left a session with my therapist and without warning she called the police on me for a welfare check, because she mistakenly thought I was suicidal. After angrily expressing my hurt and betrayal towards her and coming to the conclusion that she misunderstood, I have restarted my sessions with her. However, they are awkward, because I have lost trust in her and am still hurting. How do we attempt to get back the relationship we used to have?Lost Trust in Therapist
Lost Trust in Therapist
Generally speaking, therapists have a legal obligation to report their concerns to the authorities if they believe that a client poses an imminent danger to themselves or to others. Your therapist is mandated to make such a report.
All states require that therapists inform their clients of the stipulations of confidentiality regarding threats to self or to others. The details of these stipulations however, vary from state to state.
The fact that you have returned to therapy suggests that you are open to mending the therapeutic relationship. You should be honest with your therapist, but if trust remains an issue it might be appropriate to switch therapists. The relationship might not be salvageable, but you should certainly try before coming to that conclusion.
I liked to add one more thing, perhaps the most important thing. What your therapist did, by calling for a welfare check, was to show how much she valued your life. She may have been wrong in her judgment but when she was making the decision to call or not call, she had little room for error. Your life, in her estimation, was at risk.
You should not find her guilty of betrayal or hurting you. She may be guilty of poor judgment and you might think, “if she doesn’t know me well enough to know that my words at that session did not indicate suicide, then perhaps she will misunderstand me in other ways.” That may be true. Talk about it with her. If you are not satisfied then it might be time for a change.
Dr. Kristina Randle
Please take care.