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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5084
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My Therapist humiliated & hurt me with a comment he made to

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My Therapist humiliated & hurt me with a comment he made to me and then a question he asked me. I pretended like it didn't bother me and avoided the topic and changed the subject. That was 10 months ago. I just recently got the courage to confront him with it two weeks ago in session and he had a knee jerk reaction and said he doesn't remember saying it and why would he say it and he cannot believe he would say it. I have been stressed out in and out of therapy ever since he said it 10 months ago. It caused me to avoid him this whole time in a big part of my life and struggles. I told him I wrote it down in my journal, so he asked me to bring it in. The following week I did. He still had a knee jerk reaction and says he doesn't remember saying it and again asking me why he would say that. He did say he was sorry, but I feel worse that he does not believe he said it. This is a pattern of authority figures in my life and makes me feel crazy. Tapped in to DEEP wounds as I was abused in every way in childhood & neglected & my adulthood before marriage and with a 17 yr marriage I just separated from, thanks to this therapist. This caused me to dissociate into a baby and I was stuck for 3 hours as a baby, crying and wanting to die. I don't know if I should explore this more with him or not? He just said everybody"s a sinner. He is not even religious. I just said he is human, meaning everyone makes mistakes. He has forgotten other stuff he has said to me as well. Two other hurtful instances, he reminds me of my father. Should I forgive and forget or explore? THANKS!! Should I stop seeing him. I have seen him for a year now and hate to start over. I figure it is good conflict resolution practice. Why run?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I am so sorry that you are going through this with your therapist, I can imagine how this distresses you

DoctorZ :

First off I commend you for being very assertive and telling your therapist how he hurt you by what he said, I know that must have been very hard for you.

DoctorZ :

So I would like to ask you, you mentioned that you have been with this therapist for a year and you would not like to start over, but it sounds like for the last 10 months of that year you have avoided discussing certain situations and struggles like you mentioned, so what do you think you would lose by "starting over" with a new therapist as you said?

DoctorZ :

I also think your therapist should not be so dismissive of this incident either because this has definitely effected you deeply and also created a transference where your therapist reminds you of your father. While I think you both can work on this if you would like continue the therapeutic relationship, but he cannot be dismissive of the incident and his "knee jerk reactions" and explore how this made you feel to help you understand this and develop proper coping mechanisms as well, so that you do not dissociate

DoctorZ :

I would definitely not just forgive and forget as you said, instead explore this further as this can be an important learning moment for both of you (yes therapists do learn a lot from their patients). And this can help build a stronger therapeutic bond between you and your therapist.

DoctorZ :

Another thing I would explore is your assertiveness too. While I praise you for being assertive and telling him that he upset you and it caused you a great deal of stress, I would explore what prompted you to mention it to your therapist 10 months later? Did therapy help you gain the strength to do that, was it the stress and negative feelings building up that you had to get it off your chest, or a mixture of both? Like I said these are good opportunities to learn and promote change for the future. In addition, you both can explore on how to be assertive sooner and express yourself right away when someone hurts you.

DoctorZ :

I think your therapist that there is a possibility that he said what he said, even if he does not remember it, and then explore how it effected you from there. I believe this can be very cathartic for you and bring resolution to this incident for you.

DoctorZ :

In my opinion, I would not end your relationship with your therapist just yet. If he is willing to explore this for you and help bring you resolution to this incident, then I would stick with him as I mentioned earlier this can make the therapeutic bond stronger for both of you. Now if he still dismissive and rushes you to move on from this incident, then I believe it would be in your best interest to find another therapist

DoctorZ :

I also want to provide these links to you as well

DoctorZ :

These can help give you insight on if you should end the therapeutic relationship or not and if you do choose to there are some suggestions on how to do so.

Customer: .
DoctorZ :

I see that you replied, but only the punctuation mark the period showed up

Customer: Lost my response, ugg! I wasn't emotionally capable of confronting him last year, unfortunately. I have come a long way. He has been beneficial, so I look at the positive in what can I learn. This is after processing the pain. I appreciate your thoughtful insight!!
DoctorZ :

No worries, I understand how those technical issues can happen. I think if he has been beneficial for you, I think you both can explore this and help learn from it as well. So I would bring it up and ask him to take the time to explore this incident with you to help you resolve it and move past it.

DoctorZ :

If he has been so beneficial for you, then most likely he will understand and help you through this process.

DoctorZ :

Do you have any questions or concerns about what I wrote by the way?

Customer:

I think what you said is spot on!! I appreciate your insight again. I am also concerned about what he thinks of me because I think I triggered a wound in him.

DoctorZ :

Well that is called countertransference that he will have to deal with too, another reason why I think exploring this would be good for both of you and your therapeutic bond

Customer:

Originally I was talking about my abortion that really bothered me and how when in church an older man was making announcements and he said these girls who say they are Christians and then have abortions, well it made me feel judged and my therapist said he didn't like church people, so I freaked inside because I am a church person, so I said I don't like them either, which was partially true, I love them, I hate/dislike their behavior, then the big thing was

DoctorZ :

I see that you are still typing, so I will wait till you finish your response

Customer:

I had ended therapy with a female therapist because she triggered me and hurt me and I never really felt connected to her anyway. I had no choice but to see her with my circumstance. Well I had told my current therapist about this because he asked why I ended the relationship. I had brought in a book that was a favorite book of mine and he was interested in some Dr's that were sighted in it, that is why I brought it in because he had been interested in another book that had them in it. Well, I had an impulse to give it to him. I said, "you can have the book if you would like because I bought it for you" he looked at the cover and then I got the "Well, you can take this religious book back and get your money back" then he said, 'why would you do this to me? " I got hurt by my female therapist because we were talking and she liked the language I was using and asked for the resource, so I told her about the book. She asked to borrow the book and then weeks later gave it back and said she didn't read it. I assumed because of the sub title which said, "Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You" He asked me if I felt rejected and I said no, he said we could talk about it and I said no, I was fine, and changed the subject. I was too shocked or scared I guess. I needed his help and it made me feel like I did a bad thing and he didn't like religion. My faith is what has kept me alive all these years, so it is my life. I disagree with him and do not think Jesus is religious. Religious people had Jesus crucified. Jesus came to set the world free. He is an authority figure to me and I didn't feel like I could talk about or disagree with him.

Customer:

transferred feelings from my dad on him, no talking back, blah blah blah

DoctorZ :

I think your therapist was very judgmental in his attitude over your personal beliefs. While he does not have to believe in Jesus he should still show respect for those that do believe in Jesus. I can understand why you felt the way you did, but you did not do anything wrong and believing in God has helped save millions of people like yourself, so trust me you did not do anything wrong

Customer:

I was testing him on his beliefs without asking him. Being indirect to find out what he thought about Jesus.

DoctorZ :

Is it important to you that your therapist believe in Jesus? Or is it rather okay if your therapist does not believe in Jesus, but respects your decision to believe in Jesus?

Customer:

Well, thank you!!! I appreciate your insight again. I then stressed out that I would say something that would interfere with him and Jesus/God and i would never want to hurt anybody by saying things that would hurt them. I believe everyone has the right to believe what they would like without being judged. I understand why people do not like Christians, most don't act like they are Christians. Christians have hurt me more than unbelievers and I'd rather be around unbelievers for the most part because you do not expect them to behave like you believe because they don't believe what you do. When I am around Christians I expect a certain behavior, which is wrong, but none the less a desire or hope that they behave like they say they believe.

Customer:

It is just nice to know where the therapist stands spiritually because that is a part of the whole person and I have been avoiding him and hiding that part of me. I have also experienced religious abuse and I desire to recover from it.

Customer:

I also have parts that do not know God as I am DID, so it's confusing to have most of me believe and some of me not, and then I would think he would think that why would I have all these struggles if there is a God. Just because you have a tiny bit of faith to believe in Jesus doesn't mean you trust him fully or even at all. I was severely abused by my dad and I transferred feelings onto God from that experience.

DoctorZ :

I am sorry that Christians have behaved liked that to you. I believe there are judgmental people across many religions and those that do not believe in religion as well. I think in therapy, even if the therapist does not believe in Christianity, he should still have a non-judgmental approach to you and help you with that religious abuse you have been experiencing because he is there to help you. I would bring up the religious abuse and why this incident with him made you refrain from talking about your religious abuse. This can help your therapist better understand why this incident 10 months ago was so hurtful for you.

DoctorZ :

That must be frustrating at times to have "alters" not know God because of your Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Your therapist should not be there to judge why you believe in God, again he should be there to help you through this and if you believe in God and that belief helps you then he should encourage it.

Customer:

thank you! me too, now that I understand why they act that way it isn't as hurtful, but many people struggle with trust and doubt and unbelief, we are human and I have this over whelming feeling that I am responsible for everyone due to my past abuse and dysfunctional home life, so even though the 43 yr old knows in her head she is not, I have younger parts that do and it is frustrating!!

DoctorZ :

I have worked with individuals diagnosed with DID before, most of my patients feel that journaling and art therapy helps with alters because it can help communicate with your alters, especially the younger and immature ones, more easily. So I am not sure if you have tried that, but I recommend it.

Customer:

Nice to talk to you. I could be misunderstood, but I do not believe he believes in DID, he says that it is an idea

Customer:

well the ideas in the book are my reality

DoctorZ :

DID is still pretty controversial and some believe it does not exist or is a part of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or a delusional disorder. But I believe that true DID does exist

Customer:

it is very frustrating to have alters that do not know God, every time I try an explain things he comes up with another explanation to not have it be DID, so my parts do not feel safe to come out

Customer:

i do journal and do a little drawing, i mainly write poems

DoctorZ :

Oh wow, I can imagine that is frustrating. If this therapist will not acknowledge your diagnosis then it it possible that you may want to switch therapists that do treat DID.

Customer:

he does believe in parts, but everyone has parts, and i agree, mine are just not a part of the whole

DoctorZ :

Poems are good, that is a creative outlet for your alters

Customer:

very frustrating, I understand why some people do not believe, it is nice to hear you do, I think he is just interested in PTSD, I am a veteran and he is with the VA clinic, is is young as well, but I also believe I have complex ptsd and he doesn't seem to believe in labels/diagnoses because I mentioned that my daughter was adhd after being tested and he was concerned if i was going to medicate her, he thinks it is just a part of growing up

Customer:

he thinks ptsd is ideas as well

DoctorZ :

Well he is obviously a very opinionated therapist. And yes DID symptoms are sometimes linked to PTSD and these two disorders can co-occur. PTSD is not really an "idea" it is a response to a traumatic event or events, and the symptoms are a result of your response to this.

Customer:

I dont understand how ideas are in a diagnostic manuel and being treated and DID is being treated by religious and non religious Dr.s/counselors

Customer:

I wonder if he is searching for answers to himself, I do not know, he doesn't seem very interested or passionate about what he does. If he is a trauma survivor then him may be in denial. I did not discover my sexual abuse until I was 39. He is 34

DoctorZ :

It is possible that he may not be passionate about what he does. It is also possible that you and him are not a good therapeutic fit too, as that does happen in therapy sometimes.

Customer:

i also think that i remind him of someone, he has said some pretty shocking stuff and I have mentioned another thing to him and he said, I said that? He asks me to do something and then forgets he asked me, he says he will check on stuff and then never follows thru, I wonder if he isn't DID at times, he closes his eyes with a pause, wonder if he switches, and then he is different at different times

DoctorZ :

Most likely he does not have DID and the more likely scenario is that he is not paying attention during therapy and not following through because he is not as committed to your treatment as he should be

Customer:

i think he judged me from the start because I came in saying I was DID and had already been working with other people across the country when I had to stop due to moving cross country

DoctorZ :

It is possible that he pre-judged you. Some therapists do this, but they should not

Customer:

i was feeling like he doesn't take me seriously and wanted to say that

DoctorZ :

You should say that to him. Therapy is a safe and non-judgmental environment, you can say what you want.

Customer:

he just says, that not the way I do things

Customer:

he reminds me of my older brother as well, creepy

DoctorZ :

Well he may not do things that are benefiting you then, but that decision is up to you. I would explore the religious comment more and see how he responds and then decide if you wan to stay in therapy with him.

Customer:

that sounds good, I just have not known what to do, but he has been challengeing for me as my soon to be ex husband, father and brother, so I figured it would be safe to work it out with him

DoctorZ :

Well then try working it out with him, take it one step at a time so not to overwhelm yourself

DoctorZ :

I would explain to him the religious abuse and then explain why you were more sensitive to his comment and then explore it from there, that would be the first step

Customer:

i like a challenge, now that i am stronger, thanks to him, I think I can finally have the conversations that I have wanted to have

DoctorZ :

That is great to hear, I think your future therapy sessions with him will be very productive

Customer:

ok, that is what I will do, I think they will too, I see him friday, it will be nerve racking because my alter emailed him at 2:00 am tuesday and it was not from me, he never responded but it was my tough girl and she said some shocking things, i had to let her do it because she was driving me crazy and i couldnt sleep, then my stronger self came out and asked him to consider asking me if anyone wanted to talk? I think he feels stupid to talk to me that way. i tried to explain its not like sybil, my parts protect Lisa and they pretend to be me, but if you know me then me then you will know in a subtle way it's not me

DoctorZ :

I think during your therapy session you explain to him about your alters and the email and hopefully he should understand

Customer:

i hope so, or he will think it is BPD, i just want to be believed

Customer:

no one wants to live like this

Customer:

why would anyone make this stuff up

Customer:

i thought i may be the one to share in case he runs into someone similar to me in the future, i like to help people and in fact plan on going back to school and getting my credentials so I can help people like me

DoctorZ :

You have had benefits with this therapist, so just keep talking about your alters and what has been troubling you and hopefully you will continue to get benefits from him because you are right no one would make this stuff up, especially DID

Customer:

i cannot find anyone in my area or I may have left him

DoctorZ :

Would you like me to look for someone in your area that may treat DID?

Customer:

i wonder if he is afraid of me. Brooke (13) had a crush on him for a while until we found out he was married and I told her she had to stop crushing on him, i told him all about it, but he may think I want to stalk him or something, Brooke, Molly (5) and Suzy (8) did integrate, so just talking has helped some, I lost 65 lbs so far and feel good

Customer:

YES!

Customer:

I would love to find someone who treats it

DoctorZ :

What is your zip code?

Customer:

I just went to CO to a advanced DID training with a survivor of SRA/DID, and she has developed a 10 month approach that I trained and got certified in; however, I cannot treat myself, LOL, just wanted and needed the validation. My "searcher" never stops looking for THE person to help us.

Customer:

37804

DoctorZ :

Okay give me a couple minutes to look for therapists in your area

Customer:

thanks!

Customer:

you rock DoctorZ

DoctorZ :

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX still looking so hold on for a little longer

Customer:

k

DoctorZ :

Okay these ones do say that they treat DID

Customer:

I'm sure it must be terribly frustrating to hear about a situation that was 10 months prior, as a therapist; however, he does not take notes and he gives very little comments to my records

Customer:

thanks

Customer:

i was treated poorly my entire life so I guess it was all familiar coming from him too, but not anymore, thanks to him and God

Customer:

you DoctorZ are a blessing and my chat angel, may God richly bless you!

DoctorZ :

I am just happy to help and I hope one of these therapist will provide you with the treatment you need.

Customer:

I am glad to here that, I hope one of them will work out as well. You have been MOST helpful :o).

DoctorZ :

Anytime, I am glad that I was able to help. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Customer:

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!You did provide me with excellent service! I will keep you in mind in the future!

Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5084
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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