Posted by coral on November 11, 2000, at 12:22:21
In reply to Therapist lack of ethics or just incompetence?, posted by Peter S on November 1, 2000, at 23:16:14
Please forgive me if this post seems insensitive to you.
Unquestionably, a trusting relationship between you and your therapist is crucial to recovery. If that relationship does not exist, and the difficulties are not due to the inherent process of therapy, find another therapist immediately. It seems most considerate and responsible for you to let the therapist know your concerns.
Now, to the potentially insensitive part... the fact is you didn't commit suicide, so the therapist was right on that point. (This is NOT to minimize suicidal risks.) On the other hand, had your therapist considered you to be at risk for suicide, he would have been required to take immediate steps, which probably would've included involuntary hospitalization.
As far as his never having been depressed, for me personally, that would not be a detriment if I felt trust and competence with him. I wouldn't expect an endocrinologist to have diabetes to effectively treat diabetes.
During therapy, I told my therapist that I was having suicidal thoughts and he said that he'd expect that, given the relapse of my depression. I've also told him that I'd given thought to killing my sister. Therapy requires a significant amount of judgment on the therapist's part and a significant amount of mutual trust between the client and therapist. In my case, he made a judgment that I would neither commit suicide nor kill my sister, and he was right. I trust him and feel free to say whatever's on my mind to him. If I felt that by indicating suicidal thoughts, I'd wind up involuntarily committed, I'd never open my mouth in therapy. My point is that if your therapist isn't helping you and you're certain that you're not resisting hearing difficult things in your therapy, fire him. Without trust, the therapy is doomed. I fired my first therapist after three sessions without a backward glance, so please don't hear me to be saying that therapists are gods and always right.