Gaslighting, the Double Whammy, Interrogation, and Other Methods of Covert Control in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis

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J. Aronson, 1996 - Psychology - 278 pages
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In treatment, the psychotherapist is in a position of power. Often, this power is unintentionally abused. While trying to embody a compassionate concern for patients, therapists use accepted techniques that can inadvertently lead to control, indoctrination, and therapeutic failure. Contrary to the stated tradition and values of psychotherapy, they subtly coerce patients rather than respect and genuinely help them. The more gross kinds of patient abuse, deliberate ones such as sexual and financial exploitation, are expressly forbidden by professional organizations. However, there are no regulations discouraging the more covert forms of manipulation, which are not even considered exploitative by many clinicians. In this book, noted psychiatrist Theo. L. Dorpat strongly disagrees. Using a contemporary interactional perspective Dorpat demonstrates the destructive potential of manipulation and indoctrination in treatment. This book is divided into three parts. Part I explores the various ways power can be abused. Part II examines eleven treatment cases in which covert manipulation and control either caused analytic failure or severely impaired the treatment process. Cases discussed include the analyses of Dora and the Wolf Man by Freud, the two analyses of Mr. Z by Kohut, as well as other published and unpublished treatments. An interactional perspective is used to examine the harmful short- and long-term effects of using indoctrination methods as well as to unravel conscious and unconscious communications between therapists and patients that can contribute to manipulations. Part III shows readers how to work using a non-directive, egalitarian approach in both psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

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In response to the reviewer who asked, where can I report a bad therapist to?, I'd suggest the state board of whatever discipline the therapist is a member of. for example, state of board of psychology for a psychologist; state board of counseling for a licensed counselor, etc. It varies a little bit, state by state. A google search will quickly return the email address. Good luck!  

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Where can we, the consumers, go to report 'bad' therapists? There are a disproportionate number of them out there, and I have dealt with many of them. One horrific example was the male therapist who ogled me, called me the 'family dummy', and invited my parents into therapy with him after he said he would never do that (and that was while I was still seeing him).
I know the agency to contact to report a 'bad realtor', but the bad therapist? Where do I go?


Covert Methods of Interpersonal Control
How to Dominate Others
On Questioning Used as a Covert Method

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About the author (1996)

Theo L. Dorpat, M.D., received his medical training at the University of Washington School of Medicine and completed his psychiatric residency at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine. He was the first graduate of the Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute (now called the Seattle Institute for Psychoanalysis) where he is now a training and supervising psychoanalyst. He maintains a private practice of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, and forensic psychiatry in Seattle.

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