Your Stories

If you would like to share your own story of therapist abuse or professional misconduct and be witnessed by the community, you can:

  • Post it as a comment on this page
  • Submit a longer story for publication by contacting me through the Contact page and arranging to email it to me

Please DO NOT include the real names of the therapists or other parties involved. We want to avoid any potential legal issues that may arise from using people’s real names. Any comments in violation of this may be removed by the moderator.

 

You can read the following survivor stories by clicking the links.

Kelly’s Story – “Silent No More”

Maria’s Story – “From Charmed to Harmed: The Aftermath of Sexual Exploitation”

Michelle’s Story of Healing – “Reclaiming My Life”

Vincent’s Story

Thank you for having the courage to share your stories!

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218 Comments

  1. Hi there,
    I was sexually abused by my therapist 2 years ago. I did all the right things. I complained about him to the proper authorities and went through the excrutiating complaint process. In the end they dismissed the complaint because he denied everything and there was not evidence to support my allegations against him. Thats it. That was the end of it. Nothing else. He got to move on while I’ve been living with the hell of what he did to me. I’ve tried very hard to move on and get over it but I can’t. So I’ve decided I’m going to kill myself. I’m going to leave a suicide note explaining that he his the sole reason for why I’ve chosen this path. That this is the only way I can ensure he pays for what he did for the rest of his life. No one cares. So I will make them care.

    • What occurred to you is so wrong. Your former therapist violated boundaries that never should have been crossed and in doing so violated you, your trust, and the princples of his/ her profession. So you are living with excrutiating pain and it sounds like you have lost hope . I have been there and I am so angered when I hear of the pain that a therapist has caa person who has i he/she has to live with that. Was you complaint to a Medical Board ? A professional association?
      I have experienced a similar experience and was abused by a psychiatrist / psychoanalyst for five years . It has taken me years of therapy to recover but I too felt that I could not survive through all the isolation I experienced . This type of betrayal is horrible and the therapist who abused you is a very sick person and sought to have his/ her needs met through you . What was of greatest help to me was the site TELL ( therapist exploitation link line) and formed a relationship with a responder whose support saved me .. There are articles and links that could be useful .
      Many well meaning subsequent therapists do not understand all that a victim of therapist abuse suffers . Google “betrayal trauma” there you might find deeper understanding of what you are going through .
      Do not allow this fraud to steal your hope away from you .
      Seek help from other survivors as our hearts are with you .
      God bless you .

      Houston , Texas

  2. llse,
    I care. I really do care. And I know others on this site also care about you. What he did is deplorable and the board was wrong in dismissing your case. I am so sorry this happened to you. Have you considered filing a civil suit against him? What about writing negative reviews of his practice? I know thesd are sooo small considering what he did to you. These were just a few that I just came up with. I know you are in a lot of pain but there are other options to make him pay. You are right, this isn’t something that one can “get over” or “move on” from. He has caused a lot of destruction in your life and a lot of chaos. And there is probably a lot of mistrust. Please reach out to a friend, pastor, or the suicide hotline. We do care.

  3. Ilse, I care too. My abuser got away with it as well so I know some of what you are going through. I promise you it will get easier but you have to hang in there until it does. The system doesn’t work, but that’s no reflection on you – you did everything right. You spoke up and did your part. He has to live with the lies he told. Given the choice I would rather be us – telling the truth and sticking up for ourselves, than be him who has hurt someone and now has to live with the lies he told about it. I know it seems like no one cares, but people on here care, and there are others out there who will care.

  4. Ilse, I care too. I also did not get justice. It is very disheartening to go through the cruelties of the system after the cruelty of the abuse. Please do reach out to someone as Kelly mentioned. The National Suicide Hotlines are: 1-800-SUICIDE / 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-TALK / 1-800-273-8255.

  5. I hope its okay if I just post a wordpress page to my story. It has nothing else on it but the story. All names and locations are censored. My story spans 10 years and I believe it shows a entire hospital system of abusers and a chronic problem in a entire city. I may not be a perfect person but mental illness should not be a reason to lose all your rights and be treated like a animal.

    I have been through what I would define as literal psychological torture and in the end it resulted in me attempting suicide and blaming myself for my own sexual assault. They completely messed up my head and even turned my own parents against for me for awhile. I lashed out at the hospitals recently in a complaint and gave them even more ammunition to hurt me. I figured I would at least tell my story.

    I have no idea how this is going to end or how far they will go to ruin my life even more. At a minimum I expect to lose my social security benefits due to my complaint but I will never be ashamed for speaking up. Its been 10 years and I as well as others have been treated horribly. I would define my experience with psychology as felony crime at a large scale.

    People need to protect themselves and their loved ones from abusers. Psychology is not always what it is advertised to be. If they don’t back off, my life will end. Hopefully other people get better luck than I have.

    https://healthcareabuse.wordpress.com/

    I apologize for some of the formating. It didn’t translate perfectly to the website.

  6. I am grateful for Kristi sharing her story and resources with us. I wanted to share my story with you.

    I persevered through recovery, reporting and lawsuit, and found them to be therapeutic. The most healing of all has been working creatively. Author and survivor Rachel Thompson was kind enough to publish my story, which you can read, here: http://rachelintheoc.com/2014/04/scarapist-guest-jeanne-marie-spicuzza-part-one/, and part two that follows. You may see some elements of your own experience and journey in it. I also made a motion picture based on my experience, titled “The Scarapist.” It is my hope that others will find solace and resolution in it.

    Thank you, Kristi, and thanks to all of you. We made it, and are making it, through. Stay hopeful, and be well.

  7. I am currently 48. When I was 14-16, I was sent to a psychologist for depression and suicidal ideology. A few sessions in, the doctor suggested I do yard work at his private residence as a way to make money and gain independence, which he felt would help my problem. For almost 2 years, he was sexually molesting me and paying me for my services. My parents were unaware. At 17, my parents found a letter from him to me that removed any doubt. However, we had moved and so had he. We didn’t do anything about it, expect I was kicked out of the house. Fast forward to a couple months ago, I did a search and found him in the same town I work and live in. He owns a couple practices and works independently. I filed a complaint with Board and contacted a lawyer, but there is nothing I can do based on the statute of limitations. Once I realized he was going to slip through my fingers, I called his office and left a message with my phone number asking for a copy of my file. He texted me that night to say that files from the 80s are long gone, but we started a huge text conversation that has been going on the last couple months. He has admitted to everything, and even more than I was aware of, including his feeling and his fantasies. I am not sure where to go with all this. I led him on in texts to draw forth his admission, and it worked. Now what, if anything?

    • Steven,
      I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to you. Thanks for sharing on the Your Stories page.

      Generally, it is advised that people do No Contact with the perpetrator, since being in touch with them keeps them engaged and basically feeding off of you. In this case, you were able to get an admission of guilt, which may be what you need. If you feel like you now have the information you were looking for, I personally would suggest ending the contact. Do that in whatever way feels right to you, without feeling like you have to take care of this person’s needs. (You don’t!) And you don’t owe him any kind of explanation or anything else. You can be done.

      If you feel that you want to continue, then you may want to ask yourself why and what it is you’re hoping to get from him — and that may be something to address in your therapy or in whatever healing practice you have. My opinion is that if you continue to be in touch with him, that will continue to engage you with him and with what happened, and that is not likely to be either helpful or healthy. Again, this is my opinion based on my own experience. You will need to decide what is right for you and then do it in the timing that is right for you.

      Wishing for you all the best!
      Kristi

      • Kristi:

        There were a couple reasons for contacting him. First, my parents didn’t keep the initial letter from all those years ago, so it was a matter of proof. I have something solid now. The other reason was I wanted to see if he would admit or deny what happened. I also wanted to know if he felt he did anything wrong. He has not said outright that he admits he was wrong. Actually the way he boasts about past sexual encounters between he and I, he would do it all over again.

        I have so much wrapped up in these text conversations that I wonder if anything can be done with them. I had no idea where he was until only a couple months ago. Prior to that, I believed he was out of the country.

        Thanks
        Steven

  8. Hi everyone!

    First of all, thanks so much to the creators of this site, Kirsti, and maybe others? It’s an incredible help to have someone on your side, fighting this battle for all of us. I have read the stories posted under “Your stories” and some more, and I’m so sorry. These maniacs should be made to understand and make it up to us somehow.

    For some of you, it seems to get better with time. I have decided that it wil for me too, I just don’t know how yet. I have been sexually insulted by my therapist who I stopped seeing last year. It went on for half a year, and it pertains to more patients. I have evidence for that. I therefore thought I would be belived when I made a complaint to the institution he’s working at. But one should never be certain of anything it seems. The boss-man and boss-lady ridiculed me and threated me like I was both crazy, stupid and what not. It almost destroyed me. Or not really, I can’t be destroyd, I’ve experienced to much to be that disappointed or shocked. I know that I will not kill myself. Evil people are not worth my life, and it will only hurt the ones who actually love me (this is also a comment to you, Ilse: Seriously, don’t go there. Nobody and nothing is worth it. You are an important being, deserving of good and only good. And I know that somebody loves you, and if not, it’s even more important that you fight to get a good life. You can do it!)

    I had to be hospitalized though. But I’m so glad I complained. The fact that the complaint is there increases the likelihood for him ever doing something like this again (right?). There are, however, more things I could complain about, that may lead to my being heard. Worst case scenario, it may lead him to loose his license. My thoughts are; is it necessary? He is a human being, and with this behavior stopped is it not ok that ‘nothing’ happened to him? He is clearly not all that sane, but do I have the right to destroy his life just because he harmed me (unintentionally he claims). I know I will heal, and get a good life. Doesn’t he deserve that too?

    I’m feeling better after I complained. But there are still some lingering effects from this experienceI. I feel disgusted by so many things because of this. Just being around people who try to look attactive, or reading a magasin with pretty girls can make me sick. It makes me think about how he objectified his patients struggling with psychosis, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, not to mention childhood sexual abuse. I don’t feel attractive and I don’t want to be either. My chances of getting into a relationship are diminished, as just the thought of anyone thinking I’m attractive or touching me, brings disgust. And it actually seems laughable and absurd to me. My trust in others, especially men, is less than when i started therapy. This was one of the main thing I hoped would improve there.

    It’s also hard to live with the fact that he didn’t try to understand how difficult this was for me. It again showed me how little he cared for me. He refused to talk about it, and I’m most certain he loved the misery I presented to him when trying to get some answers and sympathy out of him. As I read in some of your stories, he too just seemed anoyed and mad at me for reacting as I did. Even though he doesn’t know the half of it. I felt broken, crazy, evil, immoral, and that I had ruined the fantastic thearpeutic relationship we could have had. Then therapy could have continued to help me, and I could be completely healed. (Halleluja!)

    But still, how can I harm him? It’s not easy for me. I feel like protecting everyone, even him. I don’t think I could live with myself if I ruined his career and (possibly, but not likely) his familiy life.

    I’m not done with this, by far. If any of you have any thoughts on this, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Regards,
    Andrea

    • Hi Andrea,

      I just wrote this in reply to someone else and I’m going to repeat it here, because this is really important to get.

      IT IS NEVER WRONG TO ASK SOMEONE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR BEHAVIOR. After all, if a child behaved badly and someone got hurt, you would discipline the child, correct? So why not an adult who has caused suffering? Should he not be responsible for his behavior? What he did is not your fault. The actions and choices were his. If it hurts his practice or his family, that’s because of him, not you.

      So many of us have had this sense that somehow the therapist’s life is more important than our own, that somehow, by reporting, we are doing something harmful, something not okay. It’s okay for them to hurt us and cause suffering but heaven forbid we should ask for accountability! It’s as if we are in service to them, not the other way around. We were never supposed to be their caretakers or their servants! Our “less-than” status is a completely wrong perception on our part — and probably a major contributor to our vulnerability in the first place. You have every right — legal, ethical, moral, etc. — to ask him to be accountable for his actions, to ask him to take responsibility for his own wrong-doing. Pretend you’re a mother faced with a child who’s misbehaved and is likely to repeat his bad behavior. What would you do? After all, if he did it once and got away with it, and got what he needed from it (because doing it was not in service of the client — it was to fulfill his own need), then why wouldn’t he do it again?

      You are worth him being held accountable. Period.

      Also, yes, it is very hard to grapple with the lack of understanding and remorse. Very hard. If you read more about narcissistic behavior, you will see how common that is and how it’s really not possible to get what you need from someone with that type of personality disorder. And that may help you let go a bit over time.

      I hope you are able to do some healing work with another therapist or a different type of practitioner. When you have been manipulated and abused, it messes with your head and skews your perception, and that needs to be unraveled and undone.

      There are many stories and articles on the site that may be helpful, so I hope you continue reading and exploring.

      All the best to you!

  9. Hi Kristi (sorry for getting your name wrong the first time)

    Thank you for your answer. I know you’re right, and it would maybe help me get some self-respect back if he was held accountable. It helps me that somebody else has this opinion. I will think about what to do.

    I have read some things about narcissism, and he fits the description perfectly. I guess it’s just hard to realize it when you’re bonded to a person this way, and especially considering the responibility he has to help. It helps to see him with those glasses, even though I still feel confused about it all.

    I will continue to read the things posted here. It can be devastating, but it helps with the understanding and the letting go part.

    Thanks again for all of it!

    • The whole bonding/attachment thing is really confusing and confounding. We form those bonds and attachments on a very deep level, and not for rational reasons. It’s a very visceral and/or emotional thing — not an intellectual thing. So we can find ourselves bonded to people who are not good relationship partners and then have a hard time leaving (whatever kind of relationship it is). The rational mind knows it’s not a good fit but that doesn’t override the attachment, which persists regardless of what the head says! I’ve personally dealt with this a lot and it is crazy-making!

      Just know that you’re not alone and that it will get better!

  10. I was 21, my life was really difficult, my father have died five years ago, and my mother was destroyed, and then she lost her father. So my mother wasn’t able to help me. I moved to another city to study and leaving her and my lack of support from anybody make me feel a sort of depression and anxiety. Then I met R a therapist, he started helping me for the half part of his fee. I was student and It was really expensive for me to afford. I started working, but leaving my mother was an incredibly painful step in my life, so he started to do some things like visiting me at home, or inviting me a coffee. I told him that he was a support for me, but those things I didn’t like.

    One day he told me that if I date with a boy, say “L”, he would never help me again. That was the beginning, then he started controlling everything, he told me how to dress, he gave my a bible, he started to tell me that I shouldn’t speak of intimate things with friends or my mother because she was guilty for all my pain, then he told me he loved me, he invite me to a short ride, and I didn’t know what to do. I was feeling alone, I needed his support,. was he starting to treat me as a girlfriend? Things went even worse, I started felling worse and worse… I told him that all my life depended on him.. and finally I tried to kill myself. But I failed. Now many years passed, I have a woman therapist that helped me a lot, but the first time I really take awareness of the tremendous situation was when I fell in love. Before that I couldn’t stay in a relationship for more than a month. Then I met “G”, and after six months everything came to me, all the hidden memories. Now I’m fighting because I love him, but I feel a terrible fear of being in a relationship, I´m always afraid of depending on him, afraid to find that he depends on me… My therapist told me all his problems and finally I was his support. My therapist had certain attitudes, physically, so it was a sexual abuse too. Now I´m 33, being alone was easy in certain ways, I worked and studied a lot, my work was a refugee, but now, love has come, and I’m afraid to trust in my feelings or thoughts that change everyday… but finally I always feel that I love “G” my boyfriend… so I will continue fighting for having a healthy love. “R” is death, I never did anything against him, I was weak… and then when I got better he died. Thanks for this blog, it helped me a lot.

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