When it comes to an unhealthy or abusive dynamic in a therapeutic environment, it’s all too easy for the patient to put the blame squarely on their own shoulders, when in reality that is certainly not the case. However, because of the vulnerability that needs to be present in a therapy session, coupled with the feelings of guilt and shame that go hand in hand with being a survivor, finding a reason for what happens usually results in self-blame and shame.
This topic of an unhealthy or abusive relationship in therapy is not something you probably hear about every day, and unless you’ve experienced it personally or know someone who has, you may not even know it’s actually a thing. My guest on the podcast today, Analie Shepherd, has experienced this type of abuse first hand, has written a book detailing her experiences and healing and speaks at conferences and with therapists on this topic.
Analie joined the podcast previously back in 2017, where she first shared some of her experiences and gave us some insight into the world of healing from an abusive therapy experience. Today we continue that discussion as Analie shares a recap of her story and discusses more in-depth some of the more pertinent aspects of what abusive in therapy actually is, how to recognize it, and what healing looks like.
From her website, MendingtheShatteredMirror.com – During the last four years, I have fulfilled one of my life dreams! I am a published author! For many years, friends have encouraged me to write the story of my life. Recently, I went through a traumatic experience, and have struggled to reclaim my life. This struggle became the motivation to finally write my story.
Mending the Shattered Mirror chronicles the life-shattering abuse I suffered in psychotherapy, but also tells the life-affirming story of my search for healing and wholeness. Within the pages of this book, I have included my remarkable life journey–the sometimes tragic, sometimes triumphant, story of me!
During our chat on healing from abuse in therapy, we cover:
- Analie shares a recap of her story on how and why she first sought the help of a therapist.
- How the abuse in therapy began and continued for 4 years. In addition, why she stayed in the environment for so long before finally being able to leave and begin healing.
- How to recognize the signs of a potentially unhealthy or outright abusive relationship with a therapist; they aren’t as recognizable as you might think.
- Why it’s not a bad thing for a client to long for a deeper relationship with their therapist, and the importance of the therapist being able to maintain the boundaries of a professional relationship.
- Are there dangers in showing any type of affection, even innocently, between a patient and their therapist?
- Working through the shame and self-blame that comes with realizing you were a victim of abuse in therapy.
- Things you can do to address concerns with your therapist or other helping professional.
You can purchase Analie’s book, Mending the Shattered Mirror, A Story of Recovery from Abusive Therapy, on Amazon. Be sure and also follow her on Twitter: @AnalieShepherd
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All conversation and information exchanged during participation on Beyond Your Past Radio and BeyondYourPastRadio.com is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on the podcast or posted on the above-mentioned website are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.