Welcome to the Surviving Therapist Abuse website!

History of the Website

This website and blog were created by Kristi Coombs in July 2009, during a period of recovery and healing following her five-year experience with therapist abuse. Finding a general lack of support and understanding regarding therapist abuse, she started the blog in hopes that other survivors would feel less alone and have access to some much-needed resources.

The Intention for the Website

The intention for this site is twofold: First, to bring awareness and attention to the issue of therapist abuse, exploitation, and professional sexual misconduct by providing a survivor’s perspective; second, to offer resources for those who may need help or support. Although the writing primarily addresses issues relating to abuse by therapists and mental health professionals, the content sometimes covers issues of abuse by other professionals and authority figures as well.

Where to Begin

If you are new to the blog, you may want to start at the beginning. You can link to the first post here or start with A Survivor’s Story, then work your way forward. If you’d like to read more about Kristi’s experience, click the link About Kristi’s Experience under the Category pages in the right sidebar menu.

Suggestions and Comments are Welcome!

If you have any suggestions for resources you’d like to see on this blog or topics you’d like to see addressed, please leave a comment or use the Contact form to send a private email.

Regarding comments, please review our Comments Policy for participation guidelines.

Supporting the Website / Affiliate Disclosures

If you appreciate the information and resources available on the site and would like to support the site’s continuation and growth, consider making a donation. Click the orange Donate link at the top right-hand corner to be taken to a secure PayPal webpage where you can make payment by checking account or credit card. Contributions are greatly appreciated and help cover web-hosting fees and maintenance costs of the site. While we thank you for your support, please note that your donation is not tax-deductible.

The site is an affiliate of Amazon.com’s Associates program, and the Books & Media pages serve as portals to Amazon.com. If you link to Amazon via the webpages and then proceed to make a purchase, we will receive a small commission on the sale. There are a few different category pages, so we encourage you to check them all out for interesting reading material, CDs and DVDs.


Thanks so much for visiting!


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  1. I am interested in receiving a reading packet geared toward professionals assisting clients who have been sexually abused within a previous therapist relationship. I have a therapy client who is just beginning the process of healing, many years after the abuse. She has suppressed it for many years and now wants to advocate for herself and heal. Will refer her to your site, and I want to learn more about how I can assist and support her as her current therapist. So glad you are there to help!! Thank you.

    • Hi Monica,

      I’m glad you’re finding this site to be a good resource. Check out my links and Resources page for other sites and additional information.

      I like the idea of a reading packet for subsequent therapists and professionals who are treating the abuse victims. What would you like to see included in something like that? I know there are at least a couple of good books on the subject that you could check out. I’d love to hear your ideas!


  2. Kristi,

    Thank you for creating this simple, beautiful resource. I had an abusive therapist from age 15-18, because the abuse was verbal and psychological and thus less hard to document, I didn’t feel justified in reporting it. Since I have friends who have been the victims of rape and domestic violence, it feels petty sharing the experience with anyone.

    However therapy has left me unable to form committed relationships with the opposite sex and even my same-sex peers. I’ve spent most of my 20s in one-night stands, not because the other party was disinterested in long-term commitment, but because I’m afraid of intimacy. Despite immensely understanding partners, sex is often inexplicably painful for me.

    As crazy as it might seem, reading the “checklist” on your website brought sanity to my life. I was ticking those boxes alright, all the little things I thought were petty which accumulated over time.

    How he told me about his divorce, raising three boys, and the new girlfriend, who had irritating hobbies he put up with. He told me about visiting a patient in the hospital and how she was speaking in a foreign accent and it was annoying to him. These little vignettes (simply dozens), were completely irrelevant to the points I was raising in therapy. He complimented my appearance with an intense gaze, multiple times, which I ignored because I felt special that I was the good patient. I constantly remember entering therapy anxious that I was taking up his time, being irritating or boring him. Having never mentioned my father, who has always been a positive force in my life, he nonetheless attacked him for being less caring. Three months after I left his therapy I attempted suicide in my dorm room, while that is proof of nothing, I knew afterwards I did not want to return to therapy with him.

    I’ve realized many years ago that I associate attention from good, honest men with the intentions of my therapist. But I didn’t feel justified in giving that cause a name, most of all because I deplore self-victimizing. Realizing though that it wasn’t a freak event, but *therapist abuse*, and that I can take steps to recover and move on from that experience has been illuminating for me.

    I wanted to write this screed because I hope there are other men and women with my similar exposure to abuse, whom are perhaps afraid to acknowledge it for what it is, and need to move on and grow.



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