My Therapist Winced when I Told Him…….

The unknown path

the road is mysterious

Unless you are new to this blog, you have realized by now that my life has not always been happy joyous and free. I prayed to die for many years. I tried hard to change my life, to change my heart and to just “get over it”. I didn’t know what the heck was wrong with me, but I knew something was. I did everything that I was told might work, and I can honestly say that I was sincere in my desire to live without the baggage of my past dragging me down forever. I just never felt happy or good for very long.

I did make some progress over the years through some of the people that I met and the places that I went for help. Some books gave me hope; some seminars lifted my spirits for a while. I am not discounting any of the methods that I tried; it is just that none of them were the total answer. The improvement never felt finished. I still had this emptiness, this hole in me that would not fill. I had this restlessness and desire for something better, to find and know myself, to find my purpose in life. I longed to be free of the depression that came unexpectedly and yet regularly into my life. I just wanted to be okay instead of lost, broken, exhausted and disconnected.

I found fresh hope one day when sitting across from a new therapist talking about the hopelessness that was me; In my intake session I told him that I had the best life, the most wonderful husband, 3 great kids and was living my dream on a big farm/ranch riding my horse, but for some reason I had no reason to live. I thought that my family would be better off without me. I was tired, frustrated and heading for my third serious depression in 5 years. The last two depressions had lasted for almost 2 years each. I was terrified of antidepressants since I’d had a terrible withdrawal experience the last time I had taken them. The only stone left unturned that I knew of was that I had not followed through on the therapy for the dissociated identity disorder that I had been diagnosed with when I was in my mid twenties. I had decided to make one last attempt at dealing with that.

I caught just a glimmer of something different in the methods this therapist was using. He didn’t just listen to me, he reacted to me. He winced when I asked if it “was normal for a mother to put her tongue in her 9 year old daughter’s mouth?” He assured me that this was not “normal” and it was in that moment that I knew this therapy would be different. Not because of what he said though, because he winced. Other therapists had never reacted to that question. It was what I later realized was my “test question” and I was not going to tell absolutely everything if I wasn’t going to get an idea if this stuff was just run of the mill no big deal stuff or if something really wrong had happened to me. I had been raised to believe after all, that my life and my upbringing was better than most.

That glimmer of hope is what kept me going week after week, dumping some of the most difficult stories, and being validated by my therapist who was sometimes moved to tears. He showed his disgust for the things that happened to me. He assured me that it was not my fault, but more importantly than that, he showed me why I thought it was my fault, and then he helped me to see why it was not my fault. This was the beginning of my emerging from broken and into to a life of wholeness and splendid mental health beyond anything I had ever hoped for.

Living life to the fullest,

Darlene Ouimet

The Emerging from Broken book is ready for download! If you find that the subject matter I am writing about resonates with you, get this book today! This 197 page, downloadable, printable, live linked e-book will put you on the fast track to healing.  Get yours here through the upper right side bar or click this link~ Emerging from Broken The Beginning of Hope for Emotional Healing


Categories : Mother Daughter



[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Darlene Ouimet, Amanda Schuvie. Amanda Schuvie said: RT @DarleneOuimet My therapist winced when I told him…. ~ New blog post #SAAM #recovery […]



Thank you for being so brave to put yourself out there in order to help others. I am not a survivor of child sexual abuse but I know far too many people that are. I am glad that you are healing, and thank you for having this blog and helping other people to heal as well.


I can so relate to what you have written here. It wasn’t until 2007 when a childhood friend of mine found me on myspace that I found someone who validated my feelings. Up until then I wasn’t able to really convey most of my deepest shame and grief and some of it that I did share with therapist they always seem to analyze me as if I was a test subject. By the time my childhood friend, whom I had not seen nor spoke to in 19 years, walked back into my life I was so desperate within myself that I poured myself out and not one time did this friend judge me nor belittle me. Instead she cried for me when i couldn’t even cry for myself. She not only cried for me but prayed for me.

That was the beginning of me realizing that there was something about me worth living for. Much like you, I have spent the majority of my life wishing I could die. And to be honest even though I have made some progress I still have to force myself each and everyday to get up and to do something…

Right when I was making great progress I had an event that happened that wounded me even deeper. A person whom I grew to love and thought of as a second mother decided I was to much of a burden. She didn’t just distance herself from me but absolutely ignored me all together. I keep asking myself how can a person love you and then one day decide you are nothing but a burden to them. I have blamed myself for several months now, I have grieved till I can’t grieve anymore. I eventually had to stand up to her and hated the fact that I had to.

Like you I realized I had to go deal with one more area of my life so I am back in therapy now. I don’t know in what direction I am going right now I just hope that it is in the direction of emerging from broken and being a whole person. I have learned a lot and I have realized the importance of proper boundaries. And another good thing is now I don’t fear rejection like I use to what I realized is that I was rejecting myself before anyone else could. Now I don’t reject me I accept me whereas if others choose to accept me or reject me though it may hurt still yet I don’t let the fear of such pain rule me to the point that I deny myself from being who I am.

Thank you for this blog it does give me hope that my day is coming that I will be able to totally break free and be the person I am to be!

Christina Enevoldsen
May 4th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I just loved this part, “…being validated by my therapist who was sometimes moved to tears. He showed his disgust for the things that happened to me.”

It IS so validating to get some type of reaction. I remember telling my husband some of the things that my dad did and my husband got very angry. At first, I felt uncomfortable. I still wanted to protect my dad. But it also felt good that my husband wasn’t afraid or threatened by my dad like I was. I recognized that his anger was the normal response. I wished that I could feel it, but my husband’s anger gave me permission to be angry, which I needed to do to heal. It wasn’t too long after that and I was angry, too. His display of emotion helped to validate my experience in a way that nothing else could have done.


That’s inspiring! I’m so glad you came across the right person to work with. I’m still struggling to find that right person. The one that doesn’t just treat you like your “run of the mill”.
I’ve been working on overcoming my abuse of childhood. It’s a rough road that’s for sure. I’ve been working with some helpful people though and there’s hope there. One really big hurdle is accepting that my parents have faults and may not always have been acting in my best interest. Even now I’m tempted to agree with them in their attitude about the fact that my brother(9 years old than I)molested and raped me is something that happened long ago and there’s no need to bring it up now. According to them “there are things that we just don’t talk about”. And I know that’s it’s archaic and crazy to believe as they do but, I’m still tempted to agree with them. They must be right, they’re my parents, right? Craziness for sure.


Thank God for that therapist. I had some good ones and one that wasn’t so good. The last one that I saw had no clue. She wanted me to start all over with my work. I left her office and never went back and never called to explain why. I felt like I knew more about what I needed to do than she did and it wasn’t to go back to the beginning so she could catch up.


Hi Ashley,
Welcome and thank you for your comments! I have a passion for delivering the message that complete healing and wholeness AND full life is possible. I am so glad that you stopped by and hope you visit often.

As always you contribute so much of yourself. Your comments touched me deeply. I had therapist who just sat and nodded at my story; some of them wanted to comfort me.. but that is another post. I totally hear you about being analyzed. That is not the kind of therapy that worked for me either. It was so good to hear that you found someone who heard you, cried for you and prayed for you.
I am sorry to hear that someone you loved rejected you like that, but I think our readers might relate, as I seem to hear similar stories from women.
I am glad to hear that you are trying therapy again ~ and I am sure that you will emerge! Everyone deserves full life, equal value, and wholeness, and sometimes it just takes a bit of digging to set us free.

Hugs, Darlene


That is where I am.right now. There is such a emptiness and lonliness and no attachment to people or things. I have no emotions. As a child I took a vow to not cry because I was punished. It showed a sign of weakness and if you were weak you were punished. And over 48 years later it is still there.


Thanks so much for posting your comments. I had some of those same feelings too, especially with the stuff I said about my mother. I had kept in in for so long, wanting to believe that the way she was with me was not sick, and was not disgusting and yet knowing that it likely was. I needed to be validated. And it doesn’t have to be a therapist who validates us, as you say, your husband got angry and gave you permission, he led the way. That is so healing. The emotion that I witnessed in my life were not normal displays of emotion, so I was never sure what was right, or acceptable in any area. I really needed someone to tell me or show me where things had gone wrong, without leading me down another abusive path, which seemed to be what had always happened before when I even hinted at my past. When my therapist winced.. I knew that he knew the way.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Stacy,
Keep looking for the right person! I went through a few of the wrong people and was so afraid to quit with them in case they were my last hope. I just want to comment on what you say about “the things we just don’t talk about” . It was that kind of warning in my family that kept me stuck in the muck and darkness of abuse. As long as I believe that I should be quiet, I was stuck in the results of the abuse. What happened a long time ago was effecting my life many years later, and it was invalidating to me to be told that it was my problem if I could not get over it. There was certainly a need for ME to bring it up no matter what they said. One of the reasons I write this stuff is because I want others to know that the silence and the secrets were killing me and it only got worse as I got older. In my process of recovery, I had to deal with the roots, which were the things that happened long ago. In dealing with them, I was able to step into the light and emerge into wholeness and freedom from the prison of abuse.

Thanks so much for sharing with us Stacy.
I hope you will visit and comment often.
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Patricia,
There are a lot of not so great therapists out there! I am so glad that I finally found a good one too. In the future I might share my “therapist horror stories” I have this feeling that MANY would relate!
Blessings, Darlene

Hi Mary,
Thanks for visiting us here. I understand your pain, and I want to tell you that I felt that way once too. There is hope Mary, I still have trouble crying (probably because I was threatened with “you want something to cry about?, and I got it) but crying is another one of those false definitions that I talk about. WHO gets to say that crying is a sign of weakness? I had a struggle to find my healthy emotions and reconnect to myself and then to other people. It is a process, but as with every journey, it begins with the first step.
I hope you visit us often and comment whenever you feel moved to.
Hugs, Darlene


Darlene, every time I join you for part of your journey through your words I’m encouraged, blessed and moved deeply. Your courage is inspiring and you have helped me more than I can say. Bright blessings!


“he showed me why I thought it was my fault, and then he helped me to see why it was not my fault.”

This is exactly how I found my own freedom too, Darlene. And this is what I’ve learned is the foundation that is lacking for those who continue to struggle. You do such a wonderful job of opening the discussion on a difficult subject with grace, wisdom and in such a gentle, kind spirit.

In my own journey – I went all the way back to how I believed I had no right to exist, to even breathe. I had spent a lifetime apologizing for and justifying my very existence. I would hug the wall trying to escape the hands of the men in my world as a young child so it was natural for me to continue to hide, to not exist.

Yet once I was able to connect this to the first memory of my father telling me how when I would cry as an infant, he and ma “would throw me in the backseat of the car and go for a drive until I cried myself to sleep”…from infant on, I had cowered and been shamed because I had no value of my own, I was an imposition, I was “less than”, there was no justification or purpose for my life outside of to be used and tossed aside by others.

Coming to this understanding set me free to finally begin to put responsibility back on the perpetrators in my life and allowed me to begin to create the sense of self that had never been allowed to develop.


How do you find healthy emotions and reconnect with your self. Mine wasn’t do you want something to cry about. I came a very abuse home done in the name of Christ and the church and she was my adoptive mother.


Very inspiring article for client and therapist. Sitting opposite a ‘blank screen’ can be experienced as abusive in itself. Great that you found the right therapist.


This blog is about all the ways that I found the truth and reconnected with myself. I wish I could put it in a nutshell for you, but I can’t. There were so many ways that I found my healing and truth. The first step is that you actually know that you came from an abusive home. (many of us start off not knowing this at all)
Please keep sharing.
Love Darlene


Hi Christine,

Thanks for visiting. It is always great when my blog posts are recognized by mental health professionals. =) I think it is important to the readers also, to know that therapists and counsellors are supportive of some of the things that I write.

Thanks for your comment! Darlene


Yes. It is anamazing difference I blew a ton of moneynand my forties on the wrong person. Unfortunately when you finally do find thanright person, where you feel there is actual
hope, and theyncrush you….it is amreally harsh thing.

May 5th, 2010 at 8:49 am

I can so identify with your feelings of trying hard, trying many things, maybe getting a small amount of temporary relief, but still frustrated, still hurting, still empty. I have gone through days and weeks and months when I feel like I’m really healing… and then I have times like I have recently when I feel like I’ve made no progress whatsoever. One difference between you and me is that nothing really ugly ever happened to me, at least not that I can remember. I’m so broken, therapists keep wondering what might have happened to me. This blog has been so helpful to me in realizing that sometimes just passive neglect…lack of real connection with parents…can leave a person broken and hurting and feeling valueless. It’s a wonder to me that the whole world isn’t broken and hurting because few have parents as universally loved and admired and appreciated as mine–and they honestly did the best they knew how to do at dealing with their own broken upbringing and raising us five children (on the mission field…we had an almost idyllic life). It took me until reading some of the entries in this blog to understand that just the lack of connection, and learning my lack of value from my dad who had no one to give him affection or connection and was horribly abused, was enough to break my heart. I could go on and on but I won’t…I’m just glad for this blog and for the therapists and mentors Abba has connected me with over the years, even though sometimes I feel like I’m failing them and God and myself and my family by not “getting” it and getting fixed once for all like I “should.”


I believe it’s imperative to display emotional reactions, expressions or other messages appropriate to the client’s experience of abuse.

I’m not suggesting it’s helpful to break down and cry in front of my client, but tear-filled eyes – and saying outloud, “that’s really sad” – or “that’s horrible” are not uncommon from me when hearing stories of abuse.

Like Christine said, I think being non-reactive can be abusive – because it doesn’t fit for the experience and may inadvertently reinforce a belief that the client deserved it. And where’s the humanity with that?


Better Late than Never!
This is such a powerful truth that you have expressed here!

When I went through my process with the therapy that finally worked, my best friend and I talked almost every day on the phone. She has a story so much like yours! She had never been hit, or sexually abused, but she was SO broken. She ended up going to the same therapist as me, and she realized that she had been neglected and she realized both her parents were emotionally disconnected. She didn’t hate them or have any anger toward them, (and still doesn’t because that isn’t the point) but it was hard for her to understand what the heck happened that she got so broken herself! But she got it sorted out (and she was turning 60 at the time!) because she dared to look back and she dared to acknowledge to herself that she had not been valued, and she pretty much raised herself.

I think you are on the right track. Hugs and love, Darlene



Thanks so much for posting your professional opinion. You would not believe how many therapists do not show any emotion or even expression.. I told that tongue story a few times.

People write me all the time with stories of therapists who remained “blank” and how it made them feel wrong about even telling. When I worked in mental health support talking to clients, they would tell me things that they were afraid to tell their therapist because they were so sure they were wrong about their feelings and they just couldn’t stand to have one more person, especially a professional, tell them that it was in fact something they had done to bring on the abuse, neglect or whatever or that it was just no big deal and they should just get over it, therefore validating what the client suspected all along.. that the problem was in fact theirs and not the person that wronged them.

I really appreciate having these professional opinions on this blog! I know that it gives the readers courage to keep going forward.

Hugs, Darlene



It IS an amazingly harsh thing what the therapist that you are working with lets you down, but the important thing is that you don’t give up on yourself! I had a couple therapists that tried to have an affair with me! I think I was attracted to abusive therapists! (that is a whole other blog post!)

Please hang in there, YOU are the important person in this equation, Your health and wholenss is what matters!

Love Darlene


HI Darlene,

Thanx for this lovely post that affirms the value of being fully human with a client as therapist, and the power of healing that this in itself is.

I posted some of what you wrote in a blog:

Let me know if that’s a problem.
Have a great day,


I had a guest on my show Monday night that somehow got me to realize that all my work for all these years – all the rage that I have felt and all I do to help others has been because I do not feel that i deserve to feel the rage for myself or that I deserve to be helped.

I have not yet – at age 62- fully come to terms with all that has happened to me.
Oh I know about some of it but not nearly all of it.

I know that I was neglected, beat, abused, hated, tortured, hypnotised and sexually molested and raped but full details are repressed.

But now I know that my lifelong fight to help others is because I was taught that I am not deserving of love or help and that I am not allowed to ask for or expect help.

I also know I was subjected to witcraft and convinced of the idea that I was cursed and there is no way to overcome my problems. No way to earn my way out.

Born a liar, a bad seed– doomed to die one not worthy of love!

This just became clear and I do not know what to do about that.

I have been to therapists none have helped – I gave up!


FreemeNow ~
I didn’t think that there was a way out either and I also belived that I did not deserve any better. It was a long process to unlearn that message and that message was tangled up with many many other lies that also had to be exposed, and then undone, but it is doable, as you know, I have done it. As I have shared before, my passion is to share this message that wholeness and healing is possible; I had to been to other therapists before also. I know that when things become clear, it is shocking and scary, but it is also a type of beginning. Thank you for sharing your story and your pain here and please be gentle with yourself. Hugs, Darlene


Thanks Darlene,
I have so much work to do and no time to do it . I have taken on the world to take care of so i did not have to look at this — now there is no time to look at it!
But it found me – between you and a few others that I stumbled upon – it had to happen– now I am face to face with it all and not sure what I will do or where to turn or how to go about it all.
I have many things to do – it was easier when I was looking out for others.

Thanks .


My friend,
I have always had a passion for the world and have been involved in helping others for most of my adult life. What I discovered however, is that I never made a tenth of the difference in all those years that I make now that I am healed myself. I did not have a fraction of the impact that I have now. Coming from a place of clarity and wholeness, everything is different. I suspect that this would be true for you also. It is your turn.

I love the quote from Khalil Gibran ~ “your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding” There is freedom on the other side, and you deserve it!

Love Darlene


It was a priest who helped me the most. Amazing what difference it makes when we find the right “healer.”


Thank you for sharing your pain. i recenty wrote on forgivness. It’s much easier for me once I body was stronger ( (Satan loves it when we are weak) becoming nutritionally stronger helped me with spiritual forgiveness.


Hi Colleen,
Yes it is really wonderful when we find the right person! I have met people who were helped by a best friend, or by books even! Thanks for leaving a comment.
Hugs, Darlene

Hi Robin,
Thanks for stopping by!
For me I think that my mind got stronger first, and then the physical health followed. I love how we all have such different healing stories to share. There is so much hope in that!
Hugs, Darlene


[…] called it “My Therapist Winced when I told him…..” I hope you stop by to read it and the comments that it generated from other survivors […]


The first two paragraphs of this post are how I feel almost all the time now. Thank you for having the courage to share. I’m glad you found an understanding therapist.


How are people healed? Is it just telling someone our story? Because of the abuse, I don’t trust anyone. If telling someone involves trusting them, then it will never happen. Are we healed because we change the way we think? I can “think” myself until I am blue in the face but my insides don’t change – they still hurt. They hurt or I am so numb, I have no emotions at all and I can’t connect with anything. I am glad you found someone who could help you – who had some emotional response that let you know “it” was not alright. My guts want me to “get a grip”and “get over it”. It’s no big deal. But I am reading that incest is emotional murder. I tend to agree with that. I feel dead inside. Is there hope for real lasting healing or am I chasing an illusion?


Dearest HiddenHeart
Telling the story is part of the healing, yes. I am not sure that telling someone means having to trust them right away, I learned to trust along the way with my therapist. For me it was not about changing my thinking but rather digging down to the truth about how my belief system was formed, and realizing the lies that were fed me about myself, and they are there in a tricky way. It was easy for me to believe that I was not at fault for the sexual abuse when I was a child, but it was the beliefs that I adopted about myself and my value that had to change. That was the process. When I told myself to “get a grip” etc. it was like I was re-abusing myself. I felt dead inside too, for a very long time but I can tell you this, I have been living fully and feeling so much better for the last 5 years. It has been at least 6 years since my last depression. I have not dissociated for over 2 years at least. There is hope. I talk about lots of aspects of healing on this blog.
Thanks for your honesty,
Hugs, Darlene


“I still had this emptiness, this hole in me that would not fill. I had this restlessness and desire for something better, to find and know myself, to find my purpose in life.”
I feel this way. I started therapy almost a year ago. I’m going through a group session for the second time. I had some therapy when i was quite young, 19 but i didn’t continue with it. I finally think that what i went through was terrible. Only because my therapist reacts strongly to my stories. She says what i wanted to hear from others, how terrible it was for me. Especially as I don’t feel it was that bad. Yes, I’m being validated. I’m struggling with my feelings about my father. All the stories i listed to or read talk about these strong feelings of hate and anger and disgust. I wonder why i don’t feel this way. I feel it when i hear others stories but i don’t identify with it. I love my father and wanted so much for a relationship with him. A normal relationship. I just don’t understand. I’m still a confused child even at 50.
Anyway, I’ve been reading a lot of your blog and many things you say ring true for me. Thank you.


Hi Barb,
It is okay to be a confused child at 50, because you realize it and that is so important and exactly what I am talking about in this blog. The thing about the confusion, which I like to thing of and refer to as “the fog” is that there are so many layers of it to get through that we get scared and give up. The layers are full of lies, one building on the other one, and we have to get to the bottom of it, one lie at a time, in order to see straight. Once you figure out a few lies, it begins to get easier. I think that I got lost because of abuse and because I was not valued for who I am, so who I am got squished right out of me. I learned to be what others wanted, and therefore could not find purpose. It was in hacking away at that rotten foundation, and replacing it with a new strong foundation, that I was able to find the real me agian.
Thanks for you heartfelt comment and for sharing some of your story with me.
Hugs, Darlene


[…] Ouimet over at Emerging from Broken recently published a post titled, “My Therapist Winced When I Told Him . . .“, on this subject. She describes how her healing began in earnest when she found a therapist […]


Dear Darlene,
As I’m going back and rereading your Mother Daughter posts, I just had to tell you that I winced at this one, too.

My mother was also sexually inappropriate with me in some weird ways on a few occasions.

I’ve been to the therapists who remain totally blank and impassive, no matter what you tell them. I’ve got some therapist horror stories, too.

When I had a counselor whose eyes filled with tears when I told about my mother trying to gas us all to death when I was 12, and then she said, “I have a 12-year-old child at home right now. I’m just thinking how horrible that is, what you went through when you were 12,” it was a pivotal and healing moment in my therapy.

Darlene, this blog of yours is the best healing community I have found anywhere, and I’ve done a lot of searching. There are some other great ones too, but I believe this is the best. I think what makes yours so special, is your ability and willingness to be completely REAL and HONEST. You don’t whitewash anything, you are positive and full of hope, but not in a sickeningly sweet, pollyanna way, you present a healthy, realistic balance in your positivity. You are always respectful of others’ differing views, while sticking to your own guns, so to speak. Your writing is always coherent and understandable, which is no small accomplishment, especially with these tough topics, and the volume of writing you do.

You know the saying that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”? I think that, in your case, Pain is the Mother of Creativity.

There’s some irony in the fact that the word “mother” is used in that old proverb, though!


Thank you Lynda,
Thank you so much for all the lovely things you say about me and about my work.
I might need to quote you one day ~ LOL

I thought about what you said at the end;
“You know the saying that “Necessity is the Mother of Invention”? I think that, in your case, Pain is the Mother of Creativity.”and the more that I thought about it, the more I would say that in the case of this blog “necessity is the mother of invention” too. When I realized how I had made such stunning progress in my recovery, I realized that this was something that needed to be said ~ needed to be written. This was a community that needed to be born.
I just had to add that!
Hugs and love, Darlene


Darlene, I can’t tell you how valuable your writing is to me. Nearly every post has me wanting to say “thank you for being so real and so honest”! It’s encouraging me to be more real and honest about my own experiences. I used to have no idea how to find a good therapist, and the implication was that they were all good, or at least better than me. Their “training” meant more than my experience. Most of them like to practice as if that’s the case. I had my experience discounted so many times that I refused to see a therapist for years because I sensed that it was more damaging to me than helpful. Now I’m seeing therapists again, and finding some helpful ones. I’m not afraid to test them anymore, and to look elsewhere if they don’t pass. ~Cheryl


Hi Cheryl,
Thank you for your note! When I started coming out of that “fog” I thought I had been living in a si fi movie… and everyone was in on it. No one seemed to understand or agree with how discounted that I had been! When I overcame all the results of the mistreatment that I suffered by validating it, I vowed to tell about it! So … here I am!!
Glad you are here too!
Hugs, Darlene



As I read the above article I had to smile, because I have been telling the psych community for a while now, that it is normal and ok to show horror when a client describes the abuses they endured. Too many psychiatrists just sit there like statues saying “uh huhhhhh and then what happened? how did you feel about that? ohhhhh and so you thought blah blah blah…” I actually had a therapist hold up a peace sign repeatedly when I asked him what was wrong with me. On pressing further, I realized he was saying “two” meaning two diagnoses, which he wanted me to GUESS what they were! He was a NUT as far as I’m concerned! People expect other people to be HUMAN, to have reactions, feelings, empathy, concern. Too many in this world have been conditioned to be “professional” at the expense of compassion! Great article, Darlene!


Hi Laura
That is the thing; they are still only human beings with all their own stuff and if that stuff isn’t dealt with they are not able to effectively help others.
Hugs, Darlene


I once had a therapist wave a magic wand at me to get rid of my troubles. I didn’t stay with her long. I’ve found that the quickest way to find out whether a therapist has looked at their own history, and therefore will be able to help you with yours, is to come right out and ask. I interviewed about ten before I picked one, after having so many unsatisfactory and unhelpful relationships with therapists throughout my life, to the point where I refused for several years to go to any more of them. (I think this was good because it was part of the process of beginning to listen to my own voice.) This time, I explicitly told them, “I’m taking a break from contact with my family. What do you think about that?” and asked “What’s your relationship with your parents? What was it like when you were a child, and what is it like now?” It was scary to ask such personal questions, and some people got defensive, but I quickly found out who was willing to support their own child self — and by extension mine — and who stayed in contact with their parents out of obligation, rather than true enjoyment. The majority of the people I interviewed did not have a good relationship with their child selves, and therefore could not have helped me develop a better relationship with myself. I did find one I love.


That should be what everyone asks therapists! This is excellent! (we need an article about this here! )
I especially LOVE your second to last sentence ~ “The majority of the people I interviewed did not have a good relationship with their child selves, and therefore could not have helped me develop a better relationship with myself.” There is where the proof is!
Thank you so much for sharing this today… I really hope everyone reads it.
Hugs, Darlene


Great, Darlene! I look forward to seeing such an article.


Remembering a horrible therapist experience: My therapist, who I’ve later come to beieve is a misogynist, was trying to expound on a point about Quantum Physics to me, something we had both spoken about in the past. But I was having a pretty bad day emotionaly, and couldn’t focus on what he was saying. He jumped up, opened the door to the office, and THREW ME OUT!!! Wow! I guess his needs were more important………
He also told me, if I ended up trying to work in the “9 to 5 world” (I was in a creative field at the time), I would end up killing myself. Nice things to say to a 25 year old young lady. He was definitely wacky……



Hi Janie
Wow.. he sounds like a pretty BAD therapist!
Thanks for Sharing,
Hugs, Darlene



I too had an experience with a therapist that made all the difference in my healing. She kept saying that what happened to me was “heinous” and used that word when I told her some of the worst stuff that happened. She also reacted visibly when I told parts of my story. That’s when I began to believe that what happened to me was NOT normal and it wasn’t as simple as just “get over it.” My depression never disabled me entirely but was pervasive. I had bad reactions to Zoloft (a horribly itchy rash that grew geographically and in intensity every day that I took that damn pill) and decided to not take any other prescriptions for depression. I take St John’s Wort daily and it helps and I’ve accepted that I may need to take it the rest of my life. My therapist is an incredible gift from God for me. I strongly encourage those who have not found the right one to keep trying. She was certainly not my first attempt at therapy and I’m so glad I kept trying. Thank you for providing this forum for those of us who were so severely broken in childhood. This entry moved me to tears, as so many others have.



Hi Gloria
Welcome to emerging from broken and thank you so much for sharing your story here too. It is really hard to find a great therapist, they seem to be so rare but for those of us that do it really is a huge blessing. There are so many on my site who have had the most awful exp. with professionals too so it is a good thing that this process can be done with support from regular people who are not therapists and I have had great success coaching people too; I think the key is being validated for the pain and the damage that was caused in the first place.
Glad you are here!
Hugs, Darlene


Hi Darlene
I’ve been lucky, (or perhaps it was God-given) to find a very supportive clergyman and when I started to apply what you teach he was able to ‘get it’ and said I should put the whole issue of forgiveness to one side; (I had been put under a lot of pressure to do that at a previous church). He has been able to react when I have told him upsetting stuff which is a great help – a ‘blank canvas’ would be awful. I was gradually able to trust him with more and more stuff as I gradually believed he would not reject me, (I have major trust & rejection issues). He has even stayed on board when I reluctantly told him that I saw him as a replacement parent; he said he could not be a replacement parent but he would support me as a friend and that he would not ‘run to the hills’. I am confident that I will not need therapy as I’ve made more progress in the last 8 months when I first discovered your site that I had made in 20 + years; your site is life-giving and I am so grateful for it. Sam


Hi Sam
This is so excellent! Thanks so much for sharing. I really appreciate your words, compliments and all of it!
Hugs, Darlene

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