Psychotherapy Scams? - Social Anxiety Forum
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
SAS Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 12

Psychotherapy Scams?


Hello again, everyone! It's been nearly three years since I had last posted here. I was wondering if any of you could help me with this.

I was just wondering: could anybody here please tell me whether or not there is such a thing as psychological corporations that are specifically designed and created to scam people out of their money with psychotherapy? I mean, is it particularly common? Are there corporations in which the psychotherapists are all fully aware that the so-called “psychotherapy treatment” that they offer is a complete and utter scam? I ask, because: back in 2017 I had begun what is apparently referred to as “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy” (CBT) and paid $650 for 6 and a half sessions (it was recommended that I go to this so-called “psychotherapy” for a total a six months, so that would be about 24 sessions in total... amounting to about $2,400)... but the whole thing just felt like a big scam to me.

I was already aware that “CBT” was in itself a real thing and not a scam as I had read about it beforehand. I wasn't concerned about whether or not “CBT” was in itself a scam; but, my third psychotherapist seemed to be be fully aware that this specific psychotherapy treatment that I was receiving from her wasn't actually “CBT” at all or anything else that could possibly be considered as having been real psychotherapy and that I was being scammed out of my money real good.

I decided to look these people up to find out whether or not they were legitimate, and it did seem that they were (in fact) legitimate. For example: I looked up the psychotherapist's “PSB” license number on the California Department of Consumer Affairs web site, and she showed up as a “Registered Psychological Assistant”. I also found her LinkedIn profile, but I wasn't exactly sure how to verify some of the stuff that was on there... like I wasn't exactly sure how to find out whether or not she really got a “PsyD.” at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology—do I just call the school and ask? Anyway, her boss (a psychologist with a PhD., and also both the “Director” and owner of their psychological corporation) had evaluated me for all personality disorders and mental disorders back in July of 2016, and he told me that he didn't think me to have any personality disorder whatsoever; however, he did diagnose me as having three disorders—Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). I had also looked the owner up on: the California Department of Consumer Affairs web site, on LinkedIn, and I ran something of a background check on these people using BeenVerified and a few other web sites. These people all seemed to be legitimate, but then when I looked up their corporation on certain web sites (such as Yelp)... they did show up, except they had absolutely zero reviews. So I had no idea what their other patients thought of them.

The owner of this corporation recommended to me that I begin psychotherapy with one of his subordinates (my third psychotherapist). After feeling undecided for nearly eight months, I had finally given in sometime around February of 2017 and I decided to begin seeing this psychotherapist, hoping to get some answers from her boss who had told me the following throughout various e-mails over the previous eight months:

Quote:
I would be happy to provide you with psychotherapy
Quote:
In order for this to work, you will have to accept some limited guidance from me
Quote:
I am repeating my offer to provide you with psychotherapy. All questions (such as the recent one) can be addressed within that appropriate time and space
Once I decided to begin psychotherapy with this psychotherapist he recommended, he ended up e-mailing me the following:


Quote:
I believe that it would be best to leave all these questions for the time being and dedicate to yourself instead. I suggest you concentrate on your therapy and give it some time to help you
I had neither spoken nor seen my psychologist since July of 2016, yet he claimed that he would: provide me with psychotherapy, give me some “limited guidance”, and answer my questions. I had already met with the psychotherapist for a total of 6 and a half sessions and paid $650, and I still hadn't gotten any answers. The psychotherapist could not answer any of my questions because they were intended for her boss, as only her boss could answer them because only he knew what he and I had talked about back in July of 2016. And there seemed to be limited communication between my psychotherapist and my psychologist in regards to me. The psychologist stopped responding to all of my e-mails back in February of 2018.

The way that this psychologist and my psychotherapist had behaved around me was all very strange. It was like they were stringing me along just long enough to milk me for as much profit as possible until I figured out that it was all a scam and I decided to bail on them, only to have myself replaced by another clueless patient. It's all a really long, weird, and complicated story that could take me several posts to explain.

Here is only some of the unusual and inappropriate behavior that I had observed my psychotherapist displaying:

On my first session with her she seemed quirky, quick-witted, and even came off as mildly immature. She interrupted me several times by saying what she assumed I was about to say. After she interrupted me for about the fifth or sixth time, she started laughing.

During the second session she seemed like an almost completely different person. Her appearance was radically different. She came off as slightly *****y. She seemed mostly bored or even annoyed as she kept sighing a lot throughout the session. At some point I started talking about something that I felt was relevant in regards to my family, like how they seem largely anti-science because whenever I start talking to them about science-related topics (whether they be about: genetics, neurology, mental illness, astronomy, etc.) they tend to get unusually defensive and start talking about God like how I was somehow offending him.

At that point the psychotherapist then cut me off and said something like: "Right. Science. You're really big on science. You're Mr. Science Man."

That was just so weird and random, I just responded with: "Uhhh... yeah." And I didn't bother finishing the point that I was trying to make. I remember thinking to myself: "The hell was that about? That was kind of *****y. Did she do that on purpose? Is she testing me somehow? Or maybe she's just religious and she felt offended. This might get awkward. I'm not exactly sure how this is supposed to help me overcome social anxiety."

During the third session I could’ve sworn that she must've been high on Adderall. I had also decided to let her do most of the talking during this session because she seemed really annoyed with me during the previous session. So what dic she want to talk to me about? She wanted to talk about pets. She wanted to ask me: what sort of pets I've had, if I had any sort of preference for pets, if I had any sort of preference for dog breeds, and so on. She preferred to discuss pets rather than discussing about my family's weird anti-science stance.

Even now I am only describing a fraction of her antics.

After my sixth session with her, I was really starting to feel angry and frustrated with the whole experience. I was feeling very angry toward her boss who continued refusing to see me, and continued to refuse answering my questions. I ended up writing a scathing e-mail to him.

And in that last e-mail that I received from him, he wrote to me:


Quote:
I now consider working with you not clinically advisable. I hope you can continue to explore your feelings and find satisfying answers to your questions with Dr. [my third therapist]. I would greatly appreciate it if you refrain from writing to me.
So I had handed to this guy a total of $1,350 ($700 for the personality disorder testing + $650 for the six and a half sessions of psychotherapy with his subordinate) over to his corporation, and yet he still wouldn't do what he said that he would do. And he's never going to.

And now not only was the psychologist refusing to see me, but his subordinate (my third psychotherapist) also began to refuse seeing me. I had last seen her on March of 2017, and I wanted to begin seeing her again back in February of 2018. So I sent her an e-mail requesting to make an appointment to see her again. She then sent me an e-mail telling me that if I continued trying to contact her, that she would take legal actions against me to prevent me from contacting her. She then stopped responding to all of my e-mails and phone calls.

Thanks in advance to any body here who can answer my question.

- FriendlyFearfulPerson
FriendlyFearfulPerson is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:31 AM
Tired
 
SplendidBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: UK
Language: English
Gender: Male
Posts: 11,517
There should be official bodies that accredit psychotherapists. In the UK certainly there are, the BPS has a register of all accredited psychologists (those have more stringent conditions), my psychology MSc is accredited with them, which is why I chose that particular course. There is also a body here that accredits counsellors.

The lower down the qualifications you get (a clinical psychologist has to have a lot of university education, for example), the more lax the accreditation. To the point where anyone can basically call themselves a "therapist". So basically anyone can do this, and claim to be offering CBT, but to get your money's worth you should find out what organisations accredit therapists and ensure you see one of those.

Don't fork out for anyone from the internet, including the Dr Richards ****e advertised on this site, its half gibberish and doesn't follow the standards of high quality CBT. Likewise ignore anyone from Youtube (*cough Noah), or any other guru or whatever.

Yes, there are a lot of scammers selling crap therapy, because it's very easy to do, and hard to quantify what is actually good therapy.

1. Find out what the accrediting organisations are for therapy, and the level of therapy you want
2. Find a therapist accredited there
3. Read a CBT self help book or two to get the gist of how the therapy works
4. Interview prospective therapist, to see if you get along and they know their ****

That's what I would do.
SplendidBob is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:48 AM
SAS's Chief Meteorologist
 
Maslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Denver
Gender: Male
Posts: 7,542
Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendlyFearfulPerson View Post
And now not only was the psychologist refusing to see me, but his subordinate (my third psychotherapist) also began to refuse seeing me. I had last seen her on March of 2017, and I wanted to begin seeing her again back in February of 2018. So I sent her an e-mail requesting to make an appointment to see her again. She then sent me an e-mail telling me that if I continued trying to contact her, that she would take legal actions against me to prevent me from contacting her. She then stopped responding to all of my e-mails and phone calls.
Why on earth would you want to see her again?

There are a lot of bad therapists out there. You can learn CBT from a book or there might even be some websites that have all the info you need. The therapist just kind of acts as your coach. A good therapist will motivate you to do the exercises.

There should be something out there like CBT coaching. I don't know if there is, but really, that's all you need. You don't need a $100 an hour psychologist. They're for rich people who are depressed because their lives feel empty.

Nobody loves me but my dog, and I think he might be jivin', too.
Maslow is offline  
 
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2019, 10:57 AM
I'll reply you all later
 
SorryForMyEnglish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Language: Bad English
Gender: Agender
Posts: 1,115
My Mood: Dead
Erm there's so much more therapies out there than just CBT.
Do you think meds are something that actually helps and there's no such thing as a pharm industry?

Also here are therapists critisizing the current state of therapy:

Sorry for not currently replying to your posts addressed to me. I will do that later (hopefully in a few days) because now I can't Please, don't take it personally because you have nothing to do with it.
SorryForMyEnglish is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:20 AM
SAS Member
 
Hopeful12's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 111
Hiii there friendly fearful

I think a lot of them believe they can help, but if they were asked to provide evidence of recovery, they'd be hard-pressed to produce it.

I'm sorry you've had such an awful experience. We trust people to help; this is your life we're talking about. It makes me angry that people can be so casual about another's well-being, and there are no consequences.

I was diagnosed with social anxiety, OCD, panic attacks in 2003. I'm on Cipramil which stopped the panic attacks immediately. I've tried CBT but found it quite shallow. In another thread I've written about another therapy, ISTDP, which I found to be very effective.

I initially was with a supervised psychologist as she was in her 3rd year and I seemed to get along with her well. She though would end up arguing with me about things which was immensely frustrating and counter productive. She was still green and trying to find her way. To her credit, she informed me her supervisor was much better at this therapy than she was.

Then last year her supervisor moved up from Melbourne and I started seeing him: very professional he was and I started making great progress til my money ran out.

I've had 30 years of some truly shonky therapists who, looking back now, I'm disgusted that they could look me in the eye and take my money. CBT did give a little relief only so much as I could talk about things and get it off my chest but I NEVER got close to recovery like I have in ISTDP.

Hope it has helped😊
Hopeful12 is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 08:00 AM
SAS Member
 
ideasunlimitedonline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Gender: Male
Posts: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by SplendidBob View Post
There should be official bodies that accredit psychotherapists. In the UK certainly there are, the BPS has a register of all accredited psychologists (those have more stringent conditions), my psychology MSc is accredited with them, which is why I chose that particular course. There is also a body here that accredits counsellors.

The lower down the qualifications you get (a clinical psychologist has to have a lot of university education, for example), the more lax the accreditation. To the point where anyone can basically call themselves a "therapist". So basically anyone can do this, and claim to be offering CBT, but to get your money's worth you should find out what organisations accredit therapists and ensure you see one of those.

Don't fork out for anyone from the internet, including the Dr Richards ****e advertised on this site, its half gibberish and doesn't follow the standards of high quality CBT. Likewise ignore anyone from Youtube (*cough Noah), or any other guru or whatever.

Yes, there are a lot of scammers selling crap therapy, because it's very easy to do, and hard to quantify what is actually good therapy.

1. Find out what the accrediting organisations are for therapy, and the level of therapy you want
2. Find a therapist accredited there
3. Read a CBT self help book or two to get the gist of how the therapy works
4. Interview prospective therapist, to see if you get along and they know their ****

That's what I would do.
Agreed. If you're in the US, most individuals doing psychotherapy have to follow internships and pass a state test to get certified. So make sure to check any potential therapists site to see where they received their education and certification from, if they went to some for profit or esoteric/alternative college..STAY AWAY. As a general rule too, most qualified individuals will promote themselves as counselors or psychologists, since those are the field appropriate terms.

ideasunlimitedonline.com
ideasunlimitedonline is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Low Cost Psychotherapy MobiusX General Discussion 0 12-29-2010 05:58 AM
Craigslist employment scams IcedOver The Work Place 7 07-23-2010 08:37 PM
No Added Benefit of Adjunctive Psychotherapy to Antidepressants Alone in Chronic Depr crayzyMed Medication 13 12-04-2009 10:19 AM
E-mail scams... Gena320 General Discussion 21 11-08-2007 08:55 AM
Psychotherapy... Aaron1975 Coping With Social Anxiety 1 05-07-2007 11:40 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome