In this essay I will present my experience in a therapy of about six months, which occurred in the middle of 2014. In order to provide useful background to the reader, I will give a brief history of psychological issues I have dealt with in my adult life, and also some significant events that occurred to me before the start of the recent therapy.
If you Google the word “gaslighting,” here is what comes out as its definition: manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. Unfortunately, gaslighting (or in other words, crazymaking), is not an uncommon occurrence in therapy.
There are three major causes of client harm in psychotherapy: Therapist unethical, unprofessional or outright abusive behavior; Therapist’s incompetence; Systemic flaws of the psychotherapy profession as a whole. The cause of harm is usually a combination of all of the above factors. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
The notion that psychotherapy can harm may be novel to the lay public and the professionals alike, or so it seems due to the lack of a broad public discussion of this issue. Nevertheless, people do get harmed in psychotherapy, and those instances are not as uncommon as we would like to think.