“A psychologist I visited briefly, in order to treat my anxiety and depression, began telling me really personal details about other clients and their sessions. And this was not vague stuff, more like, ‘He was hearing voices, and the voices said they wanted him to kill me, the psychologist, and that was extra scary because he is the owner of a local sports team! Isn’t that scary?!’ or, ‘She was addicted to blow and cheating on her husband, who is the owner of our local mall!’
I grew increasingly uncomfortable with these personal anecdotes, and they began to take up larger and larger chunks of our sessions. By the end there, I would have to interrupt her to redirect her back to MY issues. I was paying her to help me address them, after all.
The last straw was when she left the office for over fifteen minutes to go eat lunch, then she charged me for a full session. I confronted her, saying I didn’t want to hear these private and confidential stories anymore, and that I would prefer to stay focused on my issues during our sessions, as I was hoping she could teach me how to work through them. A crazy notion, right? She immediately raised her voice at me. She tried to tell me I was imagining the whole thing and having some sort of delusion, an issue I have never been diagnosed with or struggled with. Then she backpedaled and tried to say that all those stories had been from HER imagination, meant to benefit me. I pointed out the contradiction and expressed that I didn’t want to spend large chunks of our sessions talking about people in her personal life, imaginary or otherwise.
That’s when she cracked up and told me that I wasn’t ‘worthy’ of someone with her talents, and I could never hope to achieve mental health. I walked out and haven’t been back to therapy since. I got into a supportive community, and they helped me heal, WITHOUT gaslighting me or breaking confidentiality!”