Our society is constructed so that it often blames the victim, and the victim, in turn, blames themselves. If you experienced therapy abuse, you may wonder what the long-term effects will be on your health and life. The impact of therapy abuse often leaves victims struggling with a contaminated identity, shame, shock, destroyed self-esteem, and even worse, self-blame.
Hiring a therapy abuse attorney to fight back in court and help recover some of your pride is just one step to reclaiming your life as a victim. You might be unsure if your therapist crossed the line. There are different types of therapy abuse. Abuse from your therapist can range from a breach of confidentiality to sexual assault. A range of abusive behaviors can be considered a breach of trust.
Long-Term Impact of Therapy Abuse
Careful screening of medical providers is necessary to protect your personal safety. This screening process is not something you can expect the government to do for you, though. In fact, according to the National Library of Medicine, only three US states have statutes that protect patients from therapists with a history of abuse.
If you are a victim, therapy abuse can have long-term implications. When trust in a provider is broken, the ability to reach out for help is stifled with fear. Some common difficulties that patients often experience after abuse warrant a need for more therapy.
Common Ways Abuse Impacts Patient Health
- Feelings of Depression
- Suicide Ideation
- Low Self-Esteem
- Difficulty Trusting Others
- Self-Harming Behaviors
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Group or Individual, Therapy Abuse Can Occur in Either Setting
Whether you attended group or individual counseling, both settings have the potential for abuse. Individual therapy settings are generally first thought of as potential abuse situations because of the intimate nature of the one-to-one environment. However, it’s been proven that group therapists can be narcissistic and abusive to members. Some group therapists have tried to antagonize other group members to contribute to the abuse.
Transference is a common psychological effect of therapy. It creates a sense of dependency. Abusive situations can arise when boundaries deteriorate or become blurred. Perhaps the therapist begins to end sessions with a hug. You don’t initially see this as intrusive. Over the subsequent few sessions, light flirting is initiated. The progression can seem innocent and slow. The therapist can imply you want it to occur or that you started it.
The truth is that you are there as a patient. Your therapist is clear about what the boundaries are and has violated them. Regardless of how the manipulation is played out, it is never your fault.
Ways Therapy Can Turn Abusive
- Removing physical boundaries
- Violating personal space or touching
- Breaching confidentiality
- Manipulation or emotional abuse
- Verbal assault
- Failure to treat to create dependency
- Sexual assault
Most notably, therapists can convince patients that sexual relations are a part of their treatment plan. They may even make patients believe they are in a real relationship. The therapist does this to manipulate the patient’s psyche, to get them to continue to return again and again for more abuse.
In cases of group therapy, therapists can put patients on the spot. Pressure them in a very public manner, in front of the group. The action indicates to other group members permission to torment the patient or even participate in continuing the abuse either during or outside the group setting.
There Is a Way Out
If you feel you are being pressured, abused, disrespected, or made to feel uncomfortable in any way, reach out to your primary care provider to refer you to a new therapist. Let them know about your experience.
Where Can I Find a Responsive Therapy Abuse Law Firm?
When looking to fight back in a therapist abuse case, you should look for a law firm that is responsive to your needs. Jenner Law understands that you are a victim. The fact that you reach out to put your trust in us means a great deal, and we will do everything we can to show you that we respect you and deserve it. We hope to be a part of your path to recovery.
As your attorney, we at Jenner Law will show you dignity. We will be cautious and respectful in handling sensitive issues but relentless and aggressive in ensuring that an abusive therapist is held accountable. Our goal is to protect you. Give us a call and allow us to help you find your way back to trusting others and expecting you will get respect in return.