Where to Now?

This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Surviving Therapist Abuse site! I started this blog last year because I needed to speak out and  tell my story, and because I wanted to help increase awareness about this often overlooked form of exploitation and abuse and provide resources for those in need.

When I launched the blog I had no idea whether anyone would actually show up and read it. I let go of all my expectations about what might happen and chose to simply dive in. I was extraordinarily gratified when people from around the world began finding their way to the site. And I felt both proud and relieved that almost every comment I received on the blog were from people who appreciated it and were happy to have discovered the site.

For many months after launching the blog I had no problem finding topics to write about. I described much of my own experience with therapist abuse, offered my perspective on a variety of abuse-related issues, and posted a few topical news items. Then I began to run out of steam. I’d written about so many different aspects of my story and I just wasn’t sure where to go next. Since a large part of my purpose in creating the site was to provide resources, I decided to simply let the site stand and do its thing.

But the truth is I miss writing. And I’d like to be giving my readers something to chew on every so often.

So I’d like to put it to those of you who read the blog: Where to now? What would you like to see here? Are there topics you’d particularly like to see covered? Questions you’d like to have answered?

I have a couple of ideas, but I’d really love to hear yours. Post a comment or send me an email via the contact form. Speak your mind.

And to all of you who’ve landed on my pages, Thank You! You have helped make this site a success and I am eternally grateful!

~Kristi

7/26/10 Update
I’ve just published a new post called Discussion: How Can We Address the Problem of Professional Abuse & Misconduct? I’d love to get a discussion going, so please come, speak your mind and offer your ideas.

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12 Comments

  1. You could talk about similarities between different types of abusers – i.e. professional/client sexual abuse and other types of abuse. You can also talk about how there is no such thing as equality in any abusive relationship, and about how victims of abuse tend to be be groomed into other sexually manipulative relationships.

  2. Where to now ?
    Good question Ms. Krisit. But I think for an answer, and actually be able to leave this place we’re at in our lives for some place new, we must first gain understanding of the reality the world is not just all about us.
    It’s not just all about having our souls violated by respected upper level professional members of our society.
    It’s not even all about our shame, guilt, depression, dissociative disorders, or even our sometimes suicidal thoughts.
    Instead I believe, the world should be all about those behind us waiting in line for sexual exploitation by the very same predatory professional perpetrators who molested us.

    I was publicly raped as a result of being in counseling with new age sexually liberated (burnt out hippie) social worker during the winter and spring of 1973 / 74 who used rape therapy, professionally known as sexual surrogacy, to treat social phobias and anxiety caused by girls, that all originated from childhood molestation. Cutting edge CBT desensitization / exposure therapy at it’s best.

    And people wonder why I’m so cynical about EMDR or hypnosis.

    But the thing that probably perplexes me the most now in all these years past, is how many other young boys and girls (clients) suffered similar consequences, all because I chose selfishly to try go back, fit in my high school class, and simply let it pass without negative commotion and uncomfortable rejection, and just simply move on with my life, however much I had to isolate and compensate to accomplish that.

    The cast of characters are still around today, treating adults and children alike as specialized sex therapist in family and children clinics, and have even grown to organize an international professional organization, all in the name of good therapy, and of all things………. covered by most major medical plans.

    What would be different today had I not chosen all those years ago, to think the world is all just about my future, but instead taken that unpopular, socially unacceptable, and even dangerous path that declares rape is not therapeutic, and sexual exploitation of a minor not modern Freudian science ??

    But, where to now is the question ??

    I’ll try to end where I started by saying a shift in focus away from our despair, fears and anxieties is necessary, and instead use that same energy and internet band width to focus keenly on what these people are doing today.
    Our voices using the unpopular verbs and nouns that describe their rape of us to a faceless and callous world might individually get us attention, but the attention instead needs to be focused on a runaway industry that permits people like the ones who raped us, in it in the first place. That same mega $$ industry that has gathered far too much power and operates with absolutely no outside oversight still today.

    I’ll let the case of the Ft Hood psychopathic psychiatrist speak for itself.

    It may be frightening to think those same people have authority to diagnose us as mentally unstable, and then be called upon for professional testimony against us.

    But fear is part of the power that got us raped.

    We need to be publicly asking questions to our insurance carriers about how things like sex therapy is considered when billed for, or the American Psychological Association about their position on the use of therapeutic “Professional Sex Surrogates”, while considering where these people practice in relation to our sons and daughters who might be in therapy behind closed doors in one of their counseling practices or clinics.

    Good question Ms. Kristi…….. Where to now ??
    I know if I saw annual outside performance review of practitioners, at all levels, including an annual third party psychiatric evaluation, making it part of their licensure, I’d rest a lot easier and maybe even quit wondering what if I had taken that unpopular road of negative attention and public rejection and instead cried rape back when it happened, instead of being gas-lighted into believing I was the sick one because after all they’re the professionals.

    I know where I’ve been. I know where we’re at today, and I know where we should be to be to be safe;
    and it’s not all about just me.

    Thanks for the opportunity Kristi !
    Tom S. in Tn.

    • I think this is interesting. I have submitted a complaint that is currently being investigated by the licensing board. The idea of a civil suit for damages is a bit interesting/enticing/scary to me. I wonder how other victims feel about it.

      Ellie

      • Hi Ellie,

        Congratulations on taking action! Just doing that one thing requires a lot of courage.
        Having gone through both licensing and civil complaints, I’d be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have. Feel free to reply or send me a confidential email through the Contact page.
        If you’re even remotely considering pursuing additional action (a civil or criminal suit), I recommend discussing your case with an attorney. The order of your actions (licensing complaint, civil suit, etc.) can have a substantial impact on the potential outcome. On my Legal page you’ll find some links to legal articles and to attorneys who specialize in those types of abuse cases.

        All the best,
        Kristi

        • Kristi,
          I talked to the investigator assigned to my complaint and am having a new wave of anxiety and depression. I am very worried that he’s going to get away with this. I’m concerned that it’s going to be a “he said/she said”, and, not that I’m not believed, but if the board doesn’t think it’s “winnable” I’m afraid they’ll not pursue it. It took everything I had in me to file that complaint. It will devastate me if the complaint isn’t heard, or if no action is taken. It would be as if I’m being victimized again.
          Take care,
          Ellie

          • Hi Ellie,

            I’m sorry for what you’re going through. In my own experience with the state Board, the investigator was very impartial and not necessarily on anyone’s side, so it doesn’t surprise me that talking to your own investigator produced a lot of anxiety. I think I had more anxiety regarding my licensing complaint than my civil suit, and had some of the same fears as you. The Board, however, should pursue the case regardless, especially if you have any evidence of misconduct.

            If you are at all considering a civil suit, I would encourage you to contact an attorney ASAP. Once a licensing complaint is settled, it may be harder to get damages/compensation from a civil suit. The order of action is very important. (You could also consider filing a criminal complaint.) I personally was advised to consult with an attorney regardless of what actions I was considering, and I was glad I did. If you contact one of the attorneys on my Legal page, I’m sure they’d be happy to discuss your case and your options with you.

            Good luck and hang in there!
            Kristi

  3. You could research and report on which states have a law against sexual relationships being enacted by mental health care “professionals” upon their marks (the reality of what their patients, or clients, are to them), and which states are so devoid of good sense and responsible professionals and professional organizations that they have no such law. I’d love to know which state APAs have the strength, professionalism, and integrity to advocate in favor of such a law. In some states, such action is a fifth degree felony; in others, it may be defined (if you’re lucky) as malpractice.

  4. I would like to see pre-mature termination and abandonment a crime, it’s no diffrent than abuse. They fool you, they pretend to care, they tell you to trust them with your life..then dump you for no reason. I would Like them to be heald accountable for hurting and damaging there clients or they have to give it 3 chances with another professional to determin if termination is the right thing to do. It’s terrible that these people you pay good money to see can turn your life around in a minute…very sad.

  5. I’m very inspired to find this blog going. Keeping an ongoing, informed discussion about the wide range of abuses is so important to uncovering the horrors and ranges of misconduct. My recent experience was a very telling and eye-opening experience that has given me opportunity to grow, and at the same time to be courageous in exposing the issues. Abuse comes in the form of control and manipulation by unlicensed people who call themselves therapists. My experience was that. I became aware of the therapist’s addiction to relationships and her addictive patterns over time. She came close to physically attacking in addition to verbal attacks. still searching options to expose the abuse.

  6. What to do when your currently unable to consider any new treatment options. Fear,trust issues, finances. I feel afraid to leave the house all over again. The symptoms I was being treated for PTSD, agoraphobia, suicidal thoughts etc. come flowing through. Be strong you can do this I keep telling myself but I’m still so afraid of him and his status and or pull. I get so down trying to fight off these bad feelings as well as a reoccuring hair pulling I have from anxiety as well. I didn’t know it was possible to have all this at once but I want desperately to overcome it now. I feel sick and violated that everything about me is known to him and his family and I still want to know Why? I want to know if it was just me or was I the only one that it’s now known? Is it normal to want to scream all the time and or break something? I demand someone hear me is how I’m feeling. I’ve lashed out and have myself in a corner crying then angry. How to get through this with the internet only. I’m trying to be proud of myself for saying something and making the call but disappointed that I still cry and I’m afraid to be alone. How can you be afraid of a phone number? Be strong, you can’t break down to the lawyer or can I? I’m needing to admit for as strong as I would like to be I’m scared and weak right now. Iam where I am and where I need to be at the moment. I don’t know how I would be feeling if I didn’t have a place to express all these emotions. I don’t want to end up hospitalized over this so please forgive me for making frequent visits here to write. I’m taking it personal that I must be so flawed this could happen to me but wait a minute, HE knew everything about me so this was never a fair situation. I went for help and layed it all out on the table. If you don’t tell me ALL and I mean all of your personal biz even your finances then I cannot help you. I wanted to trust and believe in someone “finally” and that’s what hurts so much. I know I’m not exactly staying on topic nor posting in the right areas. I apologize for that. I’m trying to figure something out….. I think the holidays are making me feel much more pain I guess. I still see his bizarre grin and controling self telling me what I must do. I look back and see a small child that was frightened and intimidated so just don’t make things worse is how it felt most of the time. There were countless clients/patients so why me? Why not me? Was anyone else getting a call at 11pm or feeling like they just couldn’t keep up with all the calls? It was exhausting and stressful. I had a stressful relationship with my therapist that was affecting me overcoming what I needed to deal with. But at the same time I was now so dependant upon him I don’t know exactly when the first sign came. Too many crazy things that over time started to feel “oh well ” that’s just what I have to deal with. Maybe if I could quit asking so many questions that I will never know the answer to maybe that would be a start. I have so much to learn in this lifetime and I feel although we never stop learning and growing for some reason I’m feeling the most pain of my life from childhood til 40. I’m exhausted. I’m ready to start a happier chapter.

    • Hi Autumn,
      I understand you’re having a really hard time right now. I know it can be especially tough around the holidays.
      I’m wondering if you’ve spent much time on the TELL website? http://www.therapyabuse.org
      TELL also has responders who you could talk to about what’s going on. I suggest you email them (info@therapyabuse.org). They won’t necessarily respond immediately, but someone should get back to you soon. Also, many communities do have low-fee therapy clinics, so you might want to check into that. There are also 24-hour hotlines you can call. I have some listed on the righthand side of the site, towards the bottom of the page.

      Some people also find practices like mindfulness meditation helpful in calming the mind and all those thoughts. Or reading something that takes you out of your head. The most important thing is to do something that breaks those thought loops. Once you’re in those distressful thought patterns, you can’t think your way out—you have to do something completely different, activate a different part of your brain and change your focus. Try putting on some music, the TV, exercising, singing, holding a pet (or stuffed animal)… anything that will get you out of your head.

      You are making it through, there’s no doubt about that. And feel free to make as many comments as you like, if it helps you.
      Thinking about you and wishing you peace!

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