Therapists Share Their Wildest 'I'm Not Supposed To Judge You But Holy Sh*t' Experiences

People who have a difficult time processing their feelings and emotions for various reasons consult a therapist who helps them work through whatever mental block they have.

A therapist's office is widely accepted as a safe space and the information shared is strictly understood as confidential.

That doesn't mean specialists aren't secretly judging their patients. After all, therapists are human too.

Curious to hear from those in the profession, Redditor homowithoutsapiens asked:

"Therapists of reddit, what was your biggest 'I know I'm not supposed to judge you but holy sh*t' moment?"

Reaction to these shocking experiences are justifiable.

Not A Casual Convo

"I was once in my psychiatrists office—a bi monthly, 15 minutes med check. She asked me what was going on—more as conversation."

I told her that my in the last six weeks: my three elders (aunt and two uncles) I was guardian/conservator for had died—one right after the other."

"My wife had a heart attack. My daughter attempted suicide."

"And my mom broke her hip and had laid on her floor for a week before being found (she drank and ate from the dogs bowls). I got that call within ten minutes of setting up the last funeral."

"She stopped the meeting, got on the phone with a therapist in the office next to her, and had her postpone her next meeting to speak with me."

"I was so f'ked up, I had no idea. I think she saved my life."

– Merlin560

Because Priorities

"Here's my most recent one: As the pandemic worsened here in the US and more lock downs are on their way, one of my most extroverted clients and I brainstormed ways to meet her social needs while remaining safe. The following week she canceled her session and told me that she's positive for COVID after attending a sex party, which definitely wasn't one of our ideas. I let out the deepest most defeated sigh after I hung up the phone."

– gyakutai

Sh*t Faced

"I joined in a review of a secluded patient and he threw a cup of wee and poo in my face when we opened the door. I tried to be objective about his experience but I just thought... what a c*nt."

"I work in inpatient services so it can be hard to challenge myself at times - individuals with diagnosis of personality disorder, for example, can do things that in isolation make you think they’re just being bratty or manipulative, but to think of the experiences that shaped them to react like that in a given situation can help to clear my judgment and find compassion."

"...harder when someone bites me or hits me with one of our fabulously detachable anti ligature curtain poles, though."

– Bob-omberman

Therapists have a soft spot for children who are struggling with a variety of problematic scenarios.

Growing Up Fast

"Clinical psychologist working primarily in forensics here. This means my clients are usually involves in legal proceedings (family court, juvenile court, criminal court, etc.) My job is usually to evaluate or provide treatment. I'm not there to judge, that's the judges job, but of course I have my thoughts."

"I am usually impressed by the justifications people make for sh**ty behavior. The one that irks me the most is when parents manipulate their child against the other parent. I've had to do therapy for a 5yo who said she doesn't want to see a parent because they haven't paid child support. Excuse me? What 5yo knows, understand, or needs to be worried about child support."

– FriktionalTales

Pitted Against Each Other

"I got my father accusing my mother of turning me and my siblings against him (we were 14yo, 9yo and 7yo at the time), and never acknowledged that he was the one doing all kind of sh**ty things to us. We had 8 years of pure pain with social assistants. We got f'ked by familiriasts CPS who only thought about the 'good for the family.'"

"I'm kinda sensible to this argument as it has been using against me, my siblings and my mother."

"EDIT: I see that many children are or have been in my situation. Specialists tried to mark us with PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome), a really controversial syndrome that isn't really official, but neither was proven wrong at the time."

– vDarph

Unfit Parents

"I'll say this, I rarely encountered a child that had a clear mental illness in the same way as when I worked with adults with serious mental illness. In many ways, they were visibly confused or lonely. Given that most of their parents were suffering from poverty, alleviating the burdens of being poor would have likely mitigated the most severe symptoms of many of the children. Advocating for affordable childcare and livable minimum wages is mental health advocacy."

"I found myself judging, not the children, but their parents. Some parents would drop the kids off with me and peace out with a, 'fix my kid' attitude. As a parent, now, I get some of it; exhaustion and burnout are real. But the best I could do in that situation was provide that kid with an hour long vision of what it looks like to live in a loving, structured environment. Those kids were the ones I could tell who were much more likely to be subject to the 'system' for the duration of their lives. Either cycles of institutionalization and homelessness or prison."

"When a concerned parent showed up and asked, 'how do I help my kid?' I practically jumped for joy for the child because they had someone who loved them and was fighting for them."

– Hideyoshi_Toyotomi

Sage Wisdom

"And remember, you dont have to stay with a therapist if you dont want. Therapy, like any psychological treatment, is often more about trial and error to find what works for the individual than anything. Also, you'll get out of it what you put in, so be upfront, Frank and honest with your therapist. That will help them work with you on determining the best therapy course for you."

"I wish you the best of luck."

– Miscellaniac

What Makes A Good Therapist

"^ agreed HARD. I was talking to a friend about my recent therapy session, and she very wisely pointed out that she thought my therapist was a great fit, because 'she challenges you.'”

"I asked what she meant, and she talked about a mutual (now ex) friend who was also going to therapy, whose therapist was more of a 'buddy to complain to' instead of working through your problems. Turns out, the friend had proudly divulged that one session, they didn’t like the questions the therapist asked so instead of interacting, they spent the entire rest of the session staring out the window and full-on stonewalling the poor lady. I never knew that, and made me really WTF. You’re wasting your money, and the time of the both of you if you don’t just go head-first into the situation. Therapists, good therapists, love helping solve your problems and listen to you to understand why things are going wrong. I personally think it was kind of sh**ty for my friend’s therapist to let them get away with that kind of behavior, but there was a clear pattern of weaponizing their own emotions against people who cared about them, so I wasn’t surprised."

"If my therapist even SMELLS I’m downplaying or telling half-truths, she stops everything she’s doing to weasel it out of me lol. I’ll go through 4 or 5 'good enough' answers for why I’m feeling before I finally say whatever the real reason is- not because I’m being intentionally obstinate, but I have a habit of doing it that’s hard to break, or I need a moment to pause and really think on the reason. We really do play a verbal game of her trying to catch my weasely a** in a half-lie LOL."

"That ability to push back on me until I give up the ghost is the reason my therapy has been so goddamn successful, as well as my own work put in to actively try to be as open as possible to the process. It f'king blows, nobody likes being upset or 'going' to those really hard emotional places, but it has to be done. Not allowing that for yourself in the presence of a neutral third party will be a detriment to your journey."

"So yeah. Shop for someone who challenges you just the right amount, and don’t be afraid. I know it’s been a good session when I come out feeling like I’ve run a marathon and I’m mentally dog cussing my therapist for dragging me through that, and I absolutely recommend that to EVERYONE to experience hahaha"

– grumbledork

First of all, kudos to all who seek counseling when they feel they can't take on any personal emotional burden.

The bottom line is, it shouldn't matter what a professional may think about your situation personally.

What matters is finding the right therapist who challenges you–because ultimately, it's the patient who needs to face their problems and work through them with proper guidance.

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