Each time that I talk to a survivor of trauma, I’m always humbled, honored, and amazed as they tell their story of living through a past filled some of the most horrific and trying circumstances imaginable.
They refuse to be silent, and refuse to be tied by the bonds that controlled their lives for so many years. No matter how long it takes, they find a way to keep going, to not give up, and in time, reach out for the support they so desperately want and deserve. Telling their their story in hopes of reaching others with the message that no one is alone, is so needed in this day and age.
This post and podcast is no different, as I recently had the honor of talking to a survivor of a type of trauma that isn’t often talked about. A type of abuse that you don’t see everyday, or hear too much about on social media. That is, Psychological Abuse in Therapy.
Analie Shepherd is a wife, mother, actress, artist, musician, and the author of, Mending the Shattered Mirror. A Journey of Recovery from Abusive Therapy.
I first met Analie through GoodReads; I came across her book while searching for titles to add to my future reading list. Not long after adding her book, she contacted me to let me know how similar my profile and interests were to hers, and how she described her life in her book.
After exchanging some messages back and forth, I asked her to come on Surviving My Podcast to talk about her life, and her book. Isn’t it awesome how you meet the most amazing people in such unique places?
As you’ll hear in my podcast with Analie, she tells of her experience with a therapist, that started out with such promise, but ended in psychological abuse from a person that she trusted with the most intimate details of her life. She tells first hand, how even though abuse in therapy isn’t something that you hear about every day, it is truly something that we should all be aware of.
Abuse by a mental health counselor happens more often than you think. According to The Therapy Exploitation Link Line, they receive about 40,000 contacts a year, from people about abuse within therapy.
That’s a startling statistic, and something that I did not realize was that prevalent until after talking with Analie and hearing her story. I share that stat from her website, not in an effort to condemn therapists, but simply to help us all be aware that it does happen.
The vast, vast, majority of mental health professionals are wonderful, amazing, people who dedicate their life to helping others. My survivor journey would never have even gotten started without an amazing woman who worked with me for a long time and taught me what it means to be a survivor as I worked through my trauma. I am forever grateful to you, J.
Throughout our chat, you’ll also hear how Analie came across an amazing retired Psychiatrist through the Therapy Exploitation Link Line. Through the wisdom, grace, and support of this wonderful woman, Analie slowly began to heal, and they have since become life long friends.
Throughout our discussion, we talk about the boundaries that need to be in place when working with a mental health professional. Boundaries that are there to not only protect you, but also them. When those boundaries get crossed, or the line between patient and professional becomes blurred, we need to be aware, and as Analie points out… Run!
I won’t spoil it anymore for you, but as you listen to her talk, Analie will validate you, encourage you, and keep it real as she recounts her experiences of Psychological Abuse in Therapy.
We also discuss her life as a woman who lives with Dissociative Identity Disorder; something that as you may know, is very close to my heart, and a topic that I’ve covered here on the blog before. She tells of her life with DID, what it was like growing up, and how after finally getting a diagnosis and understanding exactly what was going on, both she and her husband were able to say, “yes that fits, now I understand.”
As we talk, Analie shares a unique perspective of living with DID…”I feel like people should envy me, because of my experience with DID. I feel like I know myself in a way that most people never have a chance in knowing themselves. I can stand back and look at parts of myself as separate from me, and try to understand what has caused me to respond in this way to life”.
Analie’s outlook on life as a trauma survivor, a person living with DID, and someone who endured horrific abuse in therapy, will surely inspire you as hear her speak. She sums up her book and life perfectly as…
A triumphant book about the journey of recovery and self-discovery.
Thank you Analie for your amazing book, and for coming on the podcast to share your story to help educate and inspire others.
I hope you enjoy listening to the show, and I’d be honored if you’d consider subscribing so you don’t miss an episode! Check them all out SoundCloud, iTunes, Spreaker, Stitcher, and Google Play!
You can pick up your copy of, Mending the Shattered Mirror: A Journey of Recovery from Abusive Therapy, on Amazon. Learn more about and follow Analie’s blog on MendingTheShatteredMirror.com.
Picture of Analie Shepherd and book Cover used with her permission. Feature image courtesy of Pixabay. Social Media images created by Matt Pappas.