Emotional Abuse in Therapy

The exploration of emotional abuse in therapy emerged out of my reaction to hearing how a client had been treated in therapy. I was appalled and as a result began to investigate emotional abuse. I invited those who had experienced emotional abuse in their therapy to share their experiences. Further, I began to explore how to heal from emotional abuse, and what practitioners need to do to facilitate this healing. Finally, I made some recommendations to the counselling and psychotherapy profession to their training committees and professional associations about how to deal with this distressing and disturbing matter. Unfortunately, emotional abuse in therapy by practitioners against their clients still occurs.

This article was first presented at the XIth Australian Family Therapy Conference, Adelaide.  It was first published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, and then later in Self & Society, the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. 

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Webster, M. A. (1992) Emotional Abuse in Therapy. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy. Vol. 12, No. 3, pp.137-145.

Webster, M. A. (1998) Emotional Abuse in Therapy, Self & Society, Journal of Humanistic Psychology, March, 1998