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Therapist Warnings: The Inexperienced

Updated: Oct 21, 2021

We have two stories that go with this. The first we won't fully name as she is still getting a handle on how being a therapist works. We hope that in time she will improve and did not do anything wrong that would be damaging. It just wouldn't help us. The second was highly unequipped and inexperienced that ended up costing us time, energy, and the government quite a few thousand dollars.

In the first incident, we had met a nice lady who might have been able to help my friend suffering from trauma. Because I had gone through quite a lot of therapy and have tried many methods with some success, we had talked over various topics prior. So he was able to figure a lot of it out on his own with own research he did. I accompanied him into his therapy sessions with this new therapist. She was very soft-spoken and only seemed to have a grasp on dealing with anxiety and depression. Keep in mind, my friend already knew quite a bit about anxiety and depression having dealt with them for almost a decade. This was his first year talking to therapists so he had some life experience on dealing with it. The anxiety and depression were symptoms coming from a larger issue he was trying to figure out. She only addressed the two. We came to a point of "we need to move on", when she would bring in papers and worksheets that could be found from the first page of a google search. At this point, we weren't experts on depression and anxiety but we needed to be taken seriously and be able to talk to a well-versed professional. She was not that. So we looked for someone else who could help.

Do not be afraid to find a different therapist if your current one cannot help you. They will not take it personally and understand that your recovery journey may have to involve many different therapists with different focuses and expertise. You need to focus on your own health and what is best for your recovery.

The next lady, I forget in which order she showed up but shouldn't have been far from the previous story. My then-boyfriend had gotten a referral to an unexpected location (Myron Stratton in Colorado Springs) that we were unfamiliar with. My boyfriend was just trying to find sleep meds since he was averaging about 3hrs of sleep every two days to almost 4hrs of sleep per week, but he had scored pretty high on the depression checklist and the doctor insisted he speak to one of their therapists. He decided 'why not?' and went in to talk. A bit later I was told to come into the office and discuss possibilities of treatment. It was strange to me that the therapist seemed nervous and hovering to the side. For some reason, we were supposed to wait on the side for a psychiatrist to stop by or something so we didn't see the issue and sat in the room for a bit.

That was when we should've booked it. For some reason, she freaked out when my boyfriend said his usual struggle (he had PTSD and was trying to work through trauma) that he had said to all other therapists prior (at least 5 by this point). No one before had responded in such a way or even showed any worry. Probably because if he were that dangerous, he wouldn't be bringing it up after so many years had passed and without an incident with the police. He also never said anything that would warrant such a response (i.e. "I feel like killing myself" or "I feel like killing others"). You know, the usual red flags that warrant immediate attention or are required by law to report.

My boyfriend was agitated while we were waiting and we didn't realize it was because he was picking up on something bad happening. I kept trying to push that feeling away as well but she wasn't acting right and that was worrying. We should've left. Apparently, she called for five cops, 3 EMTs, and a paramedic. We stepped out of the room to be surrounded by them; forcing my boyfriend into the back of an ambulance. They took him to the nearest Emergency Room and wouldn't let me in the ambulance (since he was coded as a danger). What a bunch of BS! I was bawling my eyes out unsure of what was going to happen. I ended up speeding to keep up with the ambulance since I was also terrible at directions and didn't have a phone working with me. Also blinded by tears didn't help me try to read the signs and turns very well. I ended up losing them but quickly managed to find my way to the ER anyway.

Long story short, we sat in the ER for TEN HOURS with nothing to do. Ok not entirely, we got to hear a few recovering from drug withdrawal and it wasn't quiet. My boyfriend had ADHD and having nothing to do was unbearable for him. Since this was a more restricted part of the ER, I had to leave all of my belongings in a locker at the front door. So not even our phones to play games. I think it took about 5 hours before any human contact (to give us 'food'. And then that 'food' sat for another 4 hours until they cleaned it away. After all that time waiting, he finally got to see the doctor close to 10hours into our stay. The doctor saw absolutely saw no issue and was confused as to why he was sent in. He was released immediately.

We wasted so much time, energy, and medical resources for nothing. Just because this therapist wasn't prepared to deal with a client who had severe trauma. We later found out she was just stepping in for someone else who happened to be out that week for vacation.

I just wanted to share some experiences dealing with untrained and inexperienced can be. You have some that are genuinely trying to help but aren't quite there yet. And there are some that go off the deep end because their training didn't prepare them for what was to come or they personally got scared and reacted to what THEY felt rather than read what was actually going on. The first and only therapist we have ever met that gave this extreme response. Between us both, we have encountered over 20 different therapists at different businesses. So though the chance of encountering one like this is pretty low, it can still happen.

I will update the name of who this therapist is as soon as we can find that note again. But she was at the Myron Stratton home clinic when we were there. We have been so pissed off at her and trying to forget her name that we actually did forget! But her name should be known so that if you encounter her, you can take into account what she has done and see if that might happen again. I would assume she wouldn't be too bad if you were only talking about depression and anxiety. Lighter topics as in that IS the problem but not a problem stemming from more complex deeper issues. Always follow your gut, if they give off bad vibes: leave.

Good luck! Feel free to message us about any help finding therapists or what to look out for or what you may notice about yours and if they may be a good fit for you. Or keep a lookout at our future posts talking about some other medical professionals we have encountered.

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