Harm in Therapy
If you have found my website because you have had a previous harmful therapeutic relationship, or because you are experiencing difficulties in your current therapy, I hope this page can provide you with the information you are looking for. I currently have a new website in development, in which I will be offering free resources and information for clients who have experienced difficulties and/or harm in therapy, and I will be updating this page with a link when that goes online. If you are interested in contacting me for therapy, please see below for more information on how I work with clients who have had harmful experiences of therapy.
If you are a practitioner wanting to learn more about harm in therapy - in addition to my upcoming website and book, I offer workshops, tailored training and one-off consultations to practitioners - please contact me for more details. You can also find an hour-long presentation on Harm in Threapy, recorded for National Counsellors' Day 2021 here.
Therapy with me after a harmful experience
Harmful experiences of therapy vary widely, and as such, therapy after harm looks different for everybody. Sometimes a harmful experience will be a one-off event which has left you hurt or angry, and you might need a place where your experience will be heard and understood, not pathologised or dismissed; other times, a person might approach me for therapy after many years of difficulties in one or more therapeutic relationships, or confusion and despair about a current or recent experience of therapy. Perhaps you don't even know whether your previous therapy was harmful or not.
Whatever your reasons for approaching me for therapy, I will endeavour to understand your experience, co-create with you an environment where we can explore the impact of your experiences, and what they mean to you, at your own pace. I will not ask you for details you do not want to give me, and I will only express a professional opinion on your previous therapy if you ask me to. The space is yours, and your experiences are at the centre of it.
It may be that your previous experience of therapy leaves you apprehensive - this is completely understandable. I invite discussion about all aspects of our work together, including boundaries, how you are experiencing me, and any particular needs you might have. This is an ongoing conversation that is welcome at any point in our work together.
Sometimes clients prefer to have designated 'review' sessions, where we dedicate the time to paying attention to how therapy is working for you, and what we need to focus on or change, other times, clients prefer to have these discussions 'as and when'. Either form of review is fine with me, and together we can pay attention to what works for you as we go along.
It may be that you find a return to therapy too difficult or overwhelming. Sometimes, after a harmful experience, therapy in itself is a 'trigger' which revisits the pain or trauma in a way that is unmanageable. Whatever your experience, I aim to provide a space where you can verbalise what is happening for you and we can find the best way forward together.
I provide a free, 30 minute appointment where we can meet, get a sense for what it feels like to be in conversation together, and get an early sense of what a return to therapy might feel like for you. If you would like to book such a meeting with me, either face-to-face or online, please get in touch.