Unskilled New Age\Holistic Healers
Date: October 06, 2002 02:07AM
What may seem like generosity, kindness, empathy and caring could very well be manipulative, exploitative and dangerous.
1. Criticizing mainstream medicine, psychotherapy and western culture as not getting it, missing the real causes of disease, yet never really exploring diet, excercise, relationships, medical history, psychological history, family history, etc.
2. Changing therapy methods without discussion with the client with the excuse that the case is a difficult one and he or she is trying everything to help.
3. Allowing patients to call, anytime for any reason and not charge for time on calls. This nurtures dependence and further loosens boundaries.
4. Hugging and kissing after sessions. It may not seem like a sexual advance but rather, reassurance and caring. It is inappropriate, unprofessional and redefines the relationship as familiar and friendly.
5. Dismissal of important issues that don't fit their agenda. My ND sounded like he was arguing in my best interests when he stated "it isn't about" whatever idea I had brought up. As it turns out, my issues would not have fit into his interest in MDMA therapy for post traumatic stress disorder. A skilled therapist never dismisses a client's concerns. In retrospect, what I brought up at my second visit was the MAJOR life issue that he and I NEVER talked about.
6. Ignoring serious symptoms by stating they are trapped emotions emerging. Telling the client they are tough and strong when in fact they are suffering.
7. Diagnosing or assessing symptoms when not trained to do so. For instance, shaking, dizziness and collapsing from fasting or anorexia is not a panic attack. Inability to urinate is not trapped emotions, fear, rigidity or anxiety. Asthma is not grief.
8. Ignoring suicide attempts, talk of morbid ideas, instead talking about their beliefs on death and the afterlife. Not notifying appropriate mental health practitioners, family or guardian, or referring out to a skilled practitioner.
9. Introducing personal information as a way of being empathetic and coercive. ND described his childhood abandonment and how this led to his control issues. He wanted me to let go of my control issues and go to Landmark Forum.
10. Losing patience when client does not make progress.
11. Forgetting the original complaint as a result of being caught up in practitioner's agenda.
12. Telling client their condition is learned, a story, just thoughts, a way of avoiding responsibility.
13. Isolating or leading a client away from family and friends suggesting they are better off, it's courageous to do so, or simply observing the client's isolation and not questioning it.
14. Stating there isn't much else that can be done that hasn't been done already, in an effort to get client to give in to therapy, which leads to further dependence on practitioner.
15. Dismissing client's questions and research as control issues.
16. Making it seem like the client did not try hard enough when it is apparent that no progress has been made.
17. Not wrapping up therapy and discharging appropriately.
A skilled therapist will be able to work with the transference that arises typically in therapy. Transference can be effectively used as a healing tool. There are many kinds of transference, not just romantic.
An ethical therapist will not enter into an intimate, social or business relationship with their client. A covert manipulator likely will use information culled from client sessions to their advantage. This is a serious breech of trust and it is the client who suffers.
He or she will not waste a client's time promoting their political and religious beliefs or talking excessively about personal issues.
An ethical therapist is reliable, does not travel so as to provide consistent visits, is on time, can be reached in emergencies and instructs clients on what to do in their absence.
An ethical therapist never blames the patient for their own pain, nor for not "getting it." There are victims. Landmark doesn't think so and neither did my ND. A person cannot see their own denial. A skilled therapist will ask questions that help clients see for themselves what is causing depression, anxiety, and perhaps aches and pains, but they will work with the appropriately trained health practitioners. Insight does not mean cure. More work must follow.
When confronted with his inconsistencies and lies, my ND shouted that I was a sick person and needed help. He accused me of slander and harassment when I tried to ask questions. He later threatened to bill me for >40 hours (his claim) of phone calls @$80\hour when I sent the final bill for work I had done for him. He has refused to discuss any of my concerns regarding the care I received, avoided phone calls, and then left the country.