Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Trust and therapy
Tuesday July 31, 2007

hey, Alice,

I stumbled upon your work and had a question for you. You speak of being able to know, from physical sensations, who to trust as a therapist. My problem is that I did not pay attention to this with a recent therapist, subverted my intuition, was hurt and now remain very paranoid with not just therapists but anyone to whom I would share my feelings, so I really don't know who to trust anymore. With time, I am gaining some of it back, but, honestly, there was a minister who I initially went to many years ago who I did trust and I think rightly so but who ended up being uneducated or overwhelmed and dropping me and this has been nearly impossible for me to get over. She was the mother I never had and turned her back on the power of our relationship for whatever reason (I tried discussing it with her). A lot of depression and anger. I'm not sure where to start. There are a lot of bad therapists out there and I feel too fragile, honestly, but at the same time I feel without help I will lose it.

I also refuse to call any crisis personnel because I am overly familiar with the mental health system where I live and I would invariably be sent to a hospital where I would invariably be given drugs and perhaps more traumatized. I went off anti-depressants about 6 months ago and have never been so depressed, but I also am aware that each time you go off and on it is harder and harder to ever come off (withdrawal becomes more difficult and this I can testify to) and I'm only 28 and good God why do we do this to people?

Anyway, what are some good markers of a trustworthy therapist? What are some markers of an untrustworthy one? I have one now who seems alright, though I got the urge to run, did, and then came back. Any other suggestions on what I can do to get through until I find a good therapist, which, I'll tell you, I think is next to impossible and at times get queasy about paying someone to care about me...

thanks- A.

AM: Please read my FAQ list on the page "articles."

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