I’ve been mulling over the my ex-
grifter’s therapist’s notes about me and all the factual errors, omissions and skewed comments in them. They are worthy of many posts in themselves. (These posts are on their way, once I scan the documents, etc. Promise!)
In an effort to understand the psychotherapist’s perspective, I googled “psychotherapy notes” and found this:
The whole post drips with condescension, but the excerpt below struck me as VERY authoritarian.
If your therapist is any good, you should let her manage the therapy as she sees fit. If you have questions, ask them, but don’t expect the therapist to be an open book. The therapist should be authentic and honest, but not ingenuously. If you feel a bit infantilized by such an approach to your treatment, that may be one of the costs of psychotherapy, just as losing control of certain personal choices and freedoms might be one of the costs of a surgical operation and subsequent hospitalization.
What. the. fuck. Feeling infantilized is just one of the costs of therapy? The therapist should manage therapy “as she sees fit”? Um, yeah. What about how therapy is supposed to help you figure out your own ways of coping? What about the client being an equal partner in setting the therapy agenda? What about the client being treated and feeling like a fucking ADULT, which is what the client is?
I have no doubt that many therapists would come up with some bullshit rationalization about how infantilization is just a temporary phase in therapy in which you re-parent yourself so you can unlearn all the dysfunctional patterns you got from your family, and then you re-enter adulthood equipped with healthier coping strategies. Or some horseshit. (As I keep saying on this blog, there is no proof of this.)
It’s a premise that can work to the therapist’s advantage. Once that parent-child dynamic kicks in, the therapist is a heavy-duty authority figure who gets to decide what you should work on and how much progress you have made and when is the right time for you to leave therapy (hint: it won’t be anytime soon, ca-ching!).
And don’t you dare question the therapist’s authority by asking to see your file. You’re not ready for what’s in there anyway. Just trust the process, grasshopper.
Shifting topics slightly, Dr. Robert is speaking WAY out of turn by saying notes are the therapist’s property. There are variations by jurisdiction and by professional standards of practice (e.g. psychologist v. social worker), but in general, therapists are required to provide copies of their notes to the client at the client’s request.