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TW: for psych abuse
Yeah, this shit happens. I have been…
And I had been told that “social skills therapy" was the only thing that would help me (including with ongoing bullying and abuse). And most of that therapy ended up being about conforming to gender roles and not doing or saying anything that suggested I was anything but a straight girl. Not even thinking those things. Also a lot of putting up with things that were painful for sensory reasons. And hiding my “weird" movements and interests.
And also getting asked questions, and when my answers were not the answers they liked, the therapist would act like I hadn’t answered at all, but ask me the question again. Until I ether couldn’t talk anymore (which was common), or said what they wanted to hear. Assuming I was lying when I didn’t match the “classic descriptions" they had in their books. And deliberately trying to put me in altered states when I said “no" so that maybe they could get a second answer they liked better.
And telling them about horrible symptoms form psych medication and having my dosage *increased*.
And being told I was sexually messed up and probably abused (when I wasn’t) and being asked questions about private sexual thoughts when I was still a kid.
And having one adult therapist play power games with her eyes (more than just regular eye contact - this hurts worse than that) - once again with a 12 year old kid.
All this happened. And I only have had one therapist-type who didn’t do harm (I actually admire him quite a bit for his respectfulness) but he didn’t really help all that much either.
And so it’s not just a few bad apples. Some of this stuff they actually *teach* in psychology school. Like that the Diagnostic Categories are realer than people’s real experience. And that mentally ill people lie a lot. And that developmentally disable people are just stupid about their own lives. And “Lack of Insight".
And reading other people’s writing about this kind of stuff (and about all the good things in life that wait if you can just get through to the other side) was so helpful and healing.
I haven’t been able to add much to this discussion, because I do find it so triggering. (Though my own experiences with disregarding boundaries as SOP mostly look mild compared to some of the things people have been talking about.)
In general, if you are convinced that you know better than the person that you’re talking to what their own thoughts, feelings, and motivations must really be–and keep insisting that they’re just too sick or don’t have the insight to understand what their REAL thoughts, feelings and motivations are–you need to go away and stop hurting people who are already having a rough enough time. Especially if you think someone has been abused, you do not trample all over every fragile boundary they’ve got while claiming you’re just trying to help.
Also, you do not encourage somebody who already has fucking OCD (that you’ve interpreted as other unflattering things) to analyze and reanalyze and try to edit and replace every thought and feeling they have, if you do not want your clients to turn suicidal pretty damned quickly. Which is a sign of how badly they need more of the same therapy, yeah. :/
But, yes, I have run into some very similar things–and, indeed, if it were just a “few bad apples”, how do we keep getting a majority of the mental health professionals we see behaving in some of these same low-respect ways that keep getting discussed? I have seen one or two over the years who did not act like this, but they were definitely in the minority.