Therapists, Take Responsibility for Your Patients

As a follow-up to my essay regarding the revocation of driver’s licenses of multiples, I think it’s time for psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and research psychologists to step up to the plate and take action to ensure that the public remain safe from the potential actions of the unstable patients they create.

I for one, do not want to be driving 75 mph (legal where I live) and unknowingly be surrounded by multiples driving trucks, cars, and other vehicles. Nor do I want to go to a hospital and be treated by a nurse or doctor who claims to have other personalities. I also don’t want to worry about children being cared for by a teacher who may have a serious lapse in judgment that puts a child at risk.

Where are the psychotherapists and psychiatrists who make this diagnosis and then leave patients, families & the general public to deal with the aftermath? Don’t professional health care providers have an ethical responsibility to warn the public? Do we have to remain at risk, be injured, and eventually sue a psychotherapist for negligence or death before it becomes mandatory that multiples be treated properly – as any other mentally incapacitated person?

Society, for example, doesn’t allow severely mentally impaired individuals to operate heavy machinery, we don’t allow them to conduct surgery, and we don’t generally place them in a position of power & trust. An individual claiming to have multiple personalities is no different. Claiming to be co-conscious of other alters, being cooperative or having pacts with other personalities in order to function doesn’t cut it.

Multiples claim that taking such actions would force them back into the closet & do nothing to help them heal and recover from their severe abuse. Perhaps that is a good idea because it would put distance between patients and therapists who are doing more harm than good when they contribute to the general decompensation of their clients.

Let’s get these patients the help they need & protect the public in the meantime.

Why is “do no harm” a subjective concept that can be molded to fit the needs of a caretaker rather than the patient & public?

originally published 12/07/10

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Therapists, Take Responsibility for Your Patients by Jeanette Bartha is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.mentalhealthmatters2.wordpress.com.
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40 Comments

  1. Thanks Jeanette!

    Yes, fame and fortune weren’t even a thought. Hiding under a rock was.

    And what you and others have been through is horrid (understatement).

    Another reason I’m glad I went forward is because someone else (totally unrelated with my ex-therapist) found my story and it empowered them to file a complaint against some trauma they experienced at the hands of their ex-therapist. It’s another heart-wrenching story. That therapist is now under investigation.

    That person and I communicated this week and I sent them the link to the “Mad in America” site.
    http://www.madinamerica.com/about-us/
    Hopefully as awareness grows, changes will happen in the mental health industry…and it is an industry.

    On a more personal note…I stated previously that my ex-therapist changed his physical appearance. I finally got bold enough this past April (2012) to post his before and after photos on my blog.

    Those photos are at the end of the post in the link below. I state on that entry regarding the photos:

    “4/25/12 Added note. Re-reading this piece, the “thick dark hair” description brought to mind how [ex-therapist] literally changed his appearance. Below are photographs of [ex-therapist] available via the web. The left photo is the [ex-therapist] I met in 2008 and what he looked like through 2010. The right photo appeared online sometime around February/March, 2011. I have no problem with people changing and getting make-overs, but [ex-therapist’s] timing in his make-over is another indication (to me) of his deception. [The state] had opened my complaint in December, 2010.”

    http://tossandripple.blogspot.com/2012/04/imposters-in-masks.html

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    • Thank you Carol! This is a terrific link as far as I can see from a quick glance.

      Mad in America http://www.madinamerica.com/about-us/

      From their site

      The site is designed to serve as a resource and a community for those interested in rethinking psychiatric care in the United States and abroad. We want to provide readers with news, stories of recovery, access to source documents, and the informed writings of bloggers that will further this enterprise.

      The bloggers on this site include people with lived experience, peer specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, program managers, social activists, attorneys, and journalists. While their opinions naturally vary, they share a belief that our current system of psychiatric care needs to be vastly improved, and, many would argue, transformed.

      We welcome feedback and op-ed submissions from our readers.

      –Robert Whitaker

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  2. Thanks Jessica (and Jeanette)!

    The state took my complaint seriously. A hearing should be scheduled in the upcoming months, hopefully not too much longer.

    Things went from bad to worst with my ex-therapist, mainly because I decided to go public (beginning in March, 2011) with my story due to my ex-therpist’s then public solicitation of money and people for a non-profit he started (which since has folded.)

    After I went forward with much of my story through the summer of 2011, my ex-therapist (in the end of August, 2011) went online publishing lie after lie about myself (and others). The biggest lie was that I had propositioned him for sex (which I never did).

    When I had weighed the possible repercussions of going public with my retraction of my past public endorsement of my ex-therpaist and with my story, I never ever imagined he would make up the lies he did about me. I since have learned he lies a lot; it too is a pattern for him.

    Anyway, within weeks after his public smearing of myself and a few others, he skipped state with no forwarding address. The state finally found an address for him (through the postal service) and has attempted over and over to communicate with him, but he has never responded. He has remade himself, even taking on a stage name. (He had already had a complete physical appearance make-over shortly before opening his now-defunct non-profit.)

    I questioned myself so much for going forward. Yet, I had to be able to live with myself. Staying silent wasn’t healthy for me.

    Then in December, 2011, another ex-client contacted me. They too had experienced the same thing I had. For that alone, I’m glad I came forward.

    I’m not glad it has turned out like it did. My initial hope was that my ex-therapist would acknowledge his boundary violations, have to take an ethics course, get some help. I never knew so much lay under the surface. I still shake my head in almost disbelief.

    Thanks again!
    ~Carol

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    • Hi Carol, Thank you for the update. I too was spared from getting involved in the organization to which you refer. As you know, I was asked to be on the advisory board and accepted just before you went public. Thank you for letting me know that danger was in front of me. The public had no way of knowing about this man, his past, or what else was going on in his office regarding funds he was accruing.

      Your bravery in reporting this therapist will continue as you have spared a lot of people from what became a disaster.

      Those of us who come forward to report unprofessional behavior & malpractice from mental health care providers do so for various reasons – least of all is to gain fame and fortune. It is unfortunate that most professionals are not stripped of their licenses and often leave the state or their country when the heat gets too intense.

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  3. Jessica

     /  06/11/2012

    Anon, in my school to even become a therapist i have to be evaluated to make sure i don’t have any mental illness. And if you have anything that goes into psychotic or personality disorder issues during the last interview they would remove you from even becoming a therapist. It wasn’t right of her to disclose that information to you and put it on your shoulders. She broke so many boundaries issues there. Even when i was working in peer counseling disclosure was frowned upon and it was known that anyone in it had some type of learning disablity. I hope your new therapist is helpful to you and what she did was completely wrong on her part, she made YOU the therapist doing that and herself the client and i really hope she does get suspended. You should report her to your states licsening association, if you need help with how to find that info out i can direct you.

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    • Yes, Jessica, more mental-health care providers should be reported to state licensing boards. They will probably get no more than a tap on the hand, but the complaint goes on their record – as it should.

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