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Jonfon
Emu Egg
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Joined: 26 Jun 2021
Gender: Male
Posts: 8
Location: London

27 Jun 2021, 5:40 am

About 6 years ago I was told by a therapist I probably have aspergers. We finished the 12 allotted sessions and he suggested I find someone more suited. I went to 3 more who all claimed to know about aspergers but none of them did. One of them was actually helpful and was happy to end things when we got as far as his knowledge could take me. The other two reacted really aggressively, which is worrying because I, like a lot of people with aspergers, don't have the skills to handle confrontation. One of them was particularly bad. Before we began I sent him this mail:

Quote:

I have been to your website and it says nothing about aspergers/ autism spectrum. I contacted you because the counselling directory said this is one of your specialties. I have had 2 councillors in the past who listed this as something they dealt with but it turned out not to be the case. It all turned out to be a waste of time. Before we start can you please confirm if you have specific knowledge and experience with this?


To which he replied

Quote:
Sorry I am about to put up a new live website.
I have listed on Bacp & counselling directory that I have experience in working with client who identify with the autistic spectrum.
Please let me knew if you have any other questions.


I first began to realise there was something wrong when he told me I needed to observe how other people act in social situations and I would then learn it myself. He also said he didn't think I was listening to what he was saying. A person appearing to not be listening to people is another tell tale sign of autism which he didn't know.

OVer the next sessions his "help" proved he knew nothing about the condition and I said I was ending the contract. He very aggressively coerced me into coming to the next session. Nothing improved but he insisted I come to the following session. Unable to take the confrontation I agreed, then texted him and said I would not be coming.

He replied that I'd committed to it and he would be charging me whether I came or not. I went along and tested him by asking if he even knew what the "triad of impairments" were. He guessed a bunch of things and I said none of them where even close and I was going to be reporting him to the BACP, at which point he backed off and didn't charge for that final session. The whole palava cost me hundreds of pounds.

I didn't end up reporting him because I was in a bad way mentally and didn't think I could handle it. What do people think should be done about therapists who operate this way? Should they be named and shamed? I understand they are trying to make a living but is this acceptable when the consequence could be as serious as suicide?



Mona Pereth
Veteran
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Joined: 11 Sep 2018
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,147
Location: New York City (Queens)

29 Jun 2021, 9:58 am

Jonfon wrote:
I didn't end up reporting him because I was in a bad way mentally and didn't think I could handle it. What do people think should be done about therapists who operate this way? Should they be named and shamed? I understand they are trying to make a living but is this acceptable when the consequence could be as serious as suicide?

The incident was six years ago. The therapist might have actually learned quite a bit about autism since then, for all you know.

IMO incidents like this need to be dealt with promptly, if at all. And reporting them to official bodies is better than public "naming and shaming." (You should also check to make sure you aren't violating any U.K. laws by doing the latter.)


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CinderashAutomaton
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Woodpecker

User avatar

Joined: 11 Jun 2021
Age: 36
Gender: Male
Posts: 59
Location: Canada

29 Jun 2021, 12:57 pm

I would say that as soon as a therapist starts acting so unprofessional, especially in a manner that could be dangerous to high-risk patients/clients, stop communicating with them immediately and report them. It's not your duty to stick around and see just how bad it can get, nor is it your duty to fix their behavior or your relationship with them. It's their job to help you, for which they're getting paid a lot of money, and if they're going so far as to actually be harming you, you owe them absolutely nothing. Seeking help can be very difficult, sometimes even impossible for some. You should protect your ability to seek help by avoiding tainting the behavior with bad past experiences.

Honestly, that last therapist sounds predatory. Fraudulent claims (insisting they can help you despite your initial criteria) and bullying vulnerable people they're supposed to be helping to continue paying them? wtf. That's at least a loss of license IMO. Maybe even a lawsuit.

Named and shamed....is a dicey thing. Brigading and lynching is wrong, but warning others off of scams is a valuable societal service. I'm not sure what the legal-appropriate way of approaching it is, but definitely report it to the appropriate oversight authority if/when you can.


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Thank you deeply for sharing your experiences. I don't feel so alone anymore.