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.
Many times I’ve been contacted by people, who were currently in therapy and wanted to know if their therapists were doing the work competently and/or ethically. Such questions arose out of concerns about the specific actions or non-actions made by the therapists that didn’t seem consistent with what people believed the normal therapy process should entail.
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.