Therapist Abuse Resources

Thanks to one of our readers for this great list of resources! She found them very helpful in her own process and wanted to share them with the community. Some of these you may have already found on the site, but it’s wonderful to have them in one place. (All content below is reader-submitted.)

1. TELL – An organization that offers all sorts of help. Papers, info, referrals, and you can email them. TELL: Therapy Exploitation Link Line

2. A great blog with all types of support, stories, info, and resources. (But if you are reading this, then you already know that!) : Surviving Therapist Abuse – Resources and Support for Healing

3. A research paper on those who go through therapy abuse, on the International Cultic Studies Association website in International Cultic Studies Association’s e-Library Member Resources. Compares it to Stockholm syndrome. Appears that the site may now want you to join in order to read it.

4. A helpful site by Kenneth Pope with lots of info on dual relationships, ethics, malpractice, boards, etc. Dual Relationships, Multiple Relationships, & Boundaries

5. Online ethics course designed for therapists. All about therapy abuse. Free: 10 CEUs – OnlineCEUCredit

6. Blog from someone who experienced harmful therapy/exploitation:

7. Legal info on this type of a abuse written by a law firm:
Winer, McKenna & Burritt, LLP | Oakland, California – Therapist Abuse and Therapist Malpractice Cases

8. Cult Education – The Rick Ross Institute:
For the clergy and therapy abuse forum: Clergy and Therapy Abuse Forum

9. Helpful article, points out some main red flags: Psychotherapy: What Can Go Wrong from Learning from Bad Therapy with Madeline Aimes.

10. A personal experience and helpful suggestions/readings on the Body Image Betrayal and Related Issues website. (Some links are broken.) BIBRI: Therapy Abuse

11. Blog; less about therapy abuse, more about narcissists, manipulation, empaths, boundaries: JerkBusters – Manipulation

12. A blog/personal story of therapist exploitation:
Waking Sleeping Dogs – When Good Therapy Turns Bad: Part One

13. An interview with a therapist who experienced therapist abuse:
Yahoo! Voices : How to Avoid Getting Abused in Psychotherapy

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Do you have any resources you’d like to share? Leave a comment below or use the Contact form to send an email.

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  1. Heather Sinclair and Lynettes Law
    Heather is a victim of therapist abuse that has taken the stand to help fight this epidemic. She has suffered a lot through her life from the abuse but has learned to stand up and fight for what is right for herself and others. I am very proud to know Heather and support her in her fight against therapist abuse. I’m not sure that I would be able to do the things that Heather has done and come forward to tell my story. I encourage Heather all the time to keep moving forward and working on her efforts. With every blow she gets, she comes back stronger and tougher to fight this battle.

    Heather has had a tough road while fighting this battle. Some of the curves in that road are/ were the fight for her children, a divorce, and some medical problems. She never sways off her path for long and she is right back in there fighting for all the victims of therapy abuse.

    Heather keep up the good work as I do see a small light at the end of the tunnel and it will be glowing one of these days due to all the hard work and effort you have put into it.

    Heather Lynette Sinclair is the founder of the Lynette’s Law for Maryland movement for therapist abuse awareness. She has worked as a freelance paralegal, a small business owner, and has spent time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. She has also devoted time to the Cool Kids Campaign in Baltimore. In addition to her work with Lynette’s Law, Heather is in the process of planning a non-profit organization known as the Maryland Coalition Against Professional Abuse (MCAPA). An autobiography chronicling Heather’s abusive childhood, being homeless at 16, and the horrific events that motivated her to speak out against therapist abuse is in the works. Additionally, Heather’s traumatic events that led to this movement are inspiring a psychological thriller novel titled “The Therapist” to be released by author Mike Ricksecker in 2014.

    • Hi Margaret,
      Thanks for your comment! I have published a few posts regarding Lynette’s Law and I so admire Heather’s courageous efforts.

      I encourage readers to support Heather’s efforts by visiting the site and “Liking” the Facebook page.

  2. This website was created by a survivor of therapist abuse. It seeks to be a clearinghouse of information to comfort survivors of mental health provider abuse, educate mental health providers on how to be safe and competent for their clients, educate the public of the epidemic of provider abuse worldwide, and provide educational resources on various mental health issues and therapy treatments available to help.

  3. 9 years later and I am only now surfing online for support specifically for this issue. My life has been one loss after another since then. I need to find a way to heal 100% and take my life back.

    • There are resources that I have accumulated over the years and hope to post my suggestions to Kristi in the future .
      I have done one thing more recently that has been helpful in re-claiming peace in my days .
      I have applied a bit of a cognitive strategy in which I choose a window of time during the day or choose a day during the week which I will permit myself to grieve , journal , email a trusted person , soak in my feelings and allow the anger to bubble up, and find ways to blow off the steam . I have found if I can contain and compartmentalize my experiences related to the abuse, my days are not consumed by the unfairness and pain of the victimization .
      There are many survivors who are ahead of other survivors on their path to recovery .
      Continue to reach out and God bless !

      • B.- this is an excellent strategy I found I have done in my life. I call it my “don’t freak out over freaking-out” strategy! LOL- well, that’s what I call it to myself. If I find myself ruminating over the past or a scenario that pops into my head, I tell myself I have this and this to get done today. I see you’re having an important/thought feeling. Let’s schedule a time to deal with it on such and such a time and day! Yes, very helpful indeed! Thank you for sharing a great strategy for dealing with intrusive thoughts and feelings!



  4. Kristi –

    I am a survivor of therapist abuse and have worked daily in seeking peace in various ways including extensive psychotherapy with a respected psychoanalyst which has been supported by an excellent psychotherapist who has helped me ride through those very difficult times when I’m out the door due to felt threats of trust . As all survivors , we did not receive psychotherapy during those years of abuse . Instead of support to understand our issues and get in with our lives , we have been seduced into a place of hell, that for many of us took years to get back to an assemblance of life before we walked into the perpetrators trap. I still struggle, and as I have been told, and lived to be in agreement with this very wise survivor herself , the scar never goes completely away . It’s been seven years since my abrupt cessation of my five -year relationship with this monster.
    I have been blessed with the resources to support my recovery. I had to continue and fight as I had four children under the age of 12 at the time I have read every article I have been able to find on the internet and have read countless books on the subject . I found Thomas Gutheils and Popes research to be enlightening . Glen Gabbards work on the pitfalls for psychotherapists helped me in my need to put a face on my abuser. Mine is no doubt a sociopath riddles with narcissistic traits . I’ve spoken to Gary Schonener for direction in my legal choices when I felt unsure about the said ” expert” attorney who rides in the coat tails of his practice with a highly dedicated attorney Linda Jorgensen JD who consults with the victim re legal issues as well can consult with an attorney the survivor elects to hire . She is associated with TELL .
    I was blessed by the support of my TELL responder, who was also abused by a psychoanalyst. I had the resources to be able to present countless emails . Phone records , gifts given, and recordings that I ingeniously made the last time I met with my abuser.
    Dr Gutheil supported my claims and acknowledged the great harm that he caused me. My trauma has been acknowledged by an expert on therapist abuse . That was important to me . Not surprisingly The Texas Medical Board posted D Brener’s name on its website but his attorney managed to have my abuser’s actions written so that his boundary violations were painted in a benign light. It’s no surprise considering my former therapists ability to cajole and ingratiate others with his gift for lying .
    My eventual reporting to the Psychoanalytic Institute here in Houston, resulted in the Board of Trustees rejecting the Ethics Committees ruling and recommendations associated with his countless boundary violations and unethical behavior .
    Unfortunately my complaints were not validated by these two regulating bodies that are to be in place to protect the public . This is not uncommon with such organizations of which the abusers have association .
    It’s a shame . There is an appeal in being handled by an influential member and training and supervising analyst – zMy abuser is a training and supervising analyst as well he has been for years.
    The phenomena of generational tainting of psychotherapist via the training / supervising analysts is documented but the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies has chosen to discount those articles .
    I believe that it’s essential to have sites such as yours and I am so sorry that there are not support groups in every major city for survivors to attend . Perhaps this will be available one day.
    In addition to dealing with my abuser through one successful mediation and a prior mediation that failed due to the incompetence and unethical character of the attorney I hired. I cannot go into the details as it is complicated . I can say that the experience with this said ” expert” was traumatizing as well , because it was another fiduciary relationship in which there was major betrayal. Those privy to this ordeal that took years to even get to the first mediation , were shocked and concerned about this attorney’s ethics.
    My concern for emphasizing the need to have recent and credible resources who can vouch for their legal support is great !
    If a survivor who has sought legal help could go back to their most vulnerable point post- abuse , it could be the desperate need for understanding of the horrors of experiencing the aftermath of abuse . There is great vulnerability to the seduction of false empathy and ” knowledge ” of the experiences suffered. We all need the shared support and understanding after such a traumatic event .
    This attorney I have written to you about (SS) failed to follow through with his agreement and in my opinion showed up for the out-of-state mediation (at my cost) with the plan to leave at the end of the day , a flight back to Boston . Easy money . His modus-operandi in my opinion.
    He was unable to settle after an entire days mediation. The mediation failed because Mr SS was not prepared foe the day that had been put off by him for at least 2 years. . He did not have the numbers of my costs of the psychotherapy done by the abusive psychoanalyst , the cost of therapists and the hospitalization due to the PTSD I suffered from , and other related costs.
    He and his side-kick attorney failed to increase the measely amount the psychiatrists insurance company had “on the table ” at the start of the full day mediation. This was a result of their disinterest and laziness . SS was the hired attorney and the other was necessary so that Ss could take the case in Texas. The management of that arrangement was handled sloppily and judged to be illegal . This is the result of his disinterest and lazy approach .
    My case was symbolic , not just an attempt to get some of the money I had paid the rogue psychotherapist . It was the only public validation I received . This was not a result of the charades I endured with SS , but of the subsequent hard work of an ethical attorney .
    Thankfully after a 3- year battle with, in my opinion, a shamefully unethical attorney who poses to be a concerned ” counselor” , this extended fight to get the deserved funds he failed to gain for me is near to the end. The second mediation was performed by an ethical attorney who focused on the pertinent information and did an incredible amount of work . So Mr SS has chosen to ignore his clause of arbitration and has caused further grief on my part. He has lost his standing as an attorney in my state locally and he will more than likely not receive a penny of the amount I received .
    In my opinion SS is lazy and a fraud.
    It deeply concerns me that you did not acknowledge my earlier message that spoke of SS character and his unproven record . I urge to go to his website . Anything that he has his name on was done with the accompaniment of Linda Jorgensen JD. Notice that Mr SS has very few accomplishments since that time . His website is so sickening and preys heavily on women who are desperately seeking help.
    The last time I looked at your site , SS was featured by his article as an expert lawyer.
    Please please reconsider posting anything related to him in your site . Your readers look at authors of articles and would no doubt be susceptible to his misleading presentation of his character and abilities. I understand he has failed others from a source I cannot reveal.
    It is difficult to find an attorney interested in taking this type of case but it’s important for survivors to be careful and do their research . For instance , readers should ignore claims of being a three star AvvO award winner when combing the web in search of legal help. The attorneys pay for these ratings ! These , as well as many other starred recognition titles are or CV’s presented on websites mean nothing but that the attorneys cannot rely on word-of – mouth by an ethical peer. The bulk of the attorneys work cited is from the 1970’s . This is not recent or reflective of robust work in my opinion.
    Of all the heartache we experience during and after the abuse , there is no need to present such a patronizing, greedy and lazy attorney such as he.
    Thank you

    • Hi B,
      I hear and acknowledge your concerns about this attorney. And I am very sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with him. While I am reluctant to remove resources from the site, especially when there are so few to begin with, I will take this into consideration.

      If anyone else reading this has had an experience with this attorney, positive or negative, would you please let me know?


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