NOW You Care About Ethics?

Zooey responded to my voicemail by emailing me. Here is what she said:

I received the voicemail you left on Friday. In response to your questions regarding contact between us now that we have terminated, I want you to know that my profession’s code of ethics prohibits personal relationships with current or former patients. Please be respectful of this. I encourage you to explore and work through your feelings with your current therapist.

I am admittedly emotional about this. She initially said that she “welcomed updates about my life”. She emailed me back last month. She didnt give me any parameters to follow. And as I’ve already pointed out here and here, she was certainly unethical in her termination process.

But I think I am actually relieved. Now I can really begin to let her go. It will continue to be painful and awful and messy. But at least she has given me the gift of FINALLY setting a boundary on this. And although it’s irritating that she just now figured out that her profession has an ethics code, at least this wil give me a chance at closure. 

Better letter than never?


19 thoughts on “NOW You Care About Ethics?

  1. Zoe says:

    If I could insert that Jackie Chan WTF meme face here I would because it sounds to me like the only thing she remembers about ethics is this bit. What a load of bull. Contradictory bullshit, at that. Sounds to me like SHE needs a therapist to work out some issues I keep getting the impression she let interfere with her “ethics.”

    Now you can try and move past this. Strength my friend. You are above and beyond this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andi says:

      Yeah, I think I can see now that she’s actually a bigger mess than I am. She clearly has some very serious personal flaws that I sincerely hope she’s able to work out one day. I think she’s trying to pin her own shame on me and I do not accept that. The shame is not mine to take. Thanks for your support.


  2. aniken5er says:

    That is SO lame. You deserve a lot more from someone you trusted and let in. We need a bulletin board ‘worst therapist quotes/acts’… I’ve got one to add. A therapist fired me many years ago and would not tell me why, but said (over the phone) that she would leave the reason in her will if I wanted. I declined. When I recovered from that, I found a really phenomenal therapist who helped me immeasurably. I hope this happens for you, too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andi says:

      Thank you. I did deserve more. I deserved better than this for sure. I’m sorry your therapist said that to you – what a ridiculous and hurtful thing to say! I hope that the therapist I’m seeing now turns out to be a lot better because I could really use a good therapist right about now.


  3. Sara J says:

    I’m sorry my dear, she just handled this terribly from the beginning. She really fucked up by creating such confusing boundaries, probably because she was scared and didn’t know or couldn’t bring herself to do the mature thing. I hope you can keep processing this and, eventually, find closure. (if it helps, I’m totally contemptuous of her)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andi says:

      Yes, she really did. I can see it all with so much more clarity now. And I needed that. I needed the anger and the disgust and the disbelief. I feel disappointed, but I also feel a tremendous sense of relief. And yes, it definitely helps that you are contemptuous of her. Everyone should be! 🙂


  4. kat says:

    sorry, but she sounds like a flake and a half. im glad for you you are no longer seeing her. your new therapist sounds really good, and that is itself a gift. as you said, now that zoe set a boundary, you can allow yourself to stop tormenting yourself over her, you can let it end finally. and yes, it is also interesting that she just now ‘found her ethics’. sheesh. anyway, good luck moving forward, with a better you and a better T. you should have better progress 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Andi says:

      Oh god, she’s a total flake. My new therapist is MUCH better already and I hope that this therapeutic relationship turns out to be much more stable, safe, ethical, and efficient. Thanks for your support 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Boost Connection says:

    Zooey is a straight up narcissist, but the insidious kind you can’t spot until too late. Things were fine until your needs asserted themselves in the relationship which both rocked her fragile sense of self and didn’t serve her main ego purpose of “being helpful” or “fixing people.” It’s disgusting that she’s displacing all of that emotion on you and refuses to take any responsibility for her actions. The continued withholding of empathy and subtle placement of blame is an expert game manipulation. Egomaniacs with poor self-esteem masquerading as human services providers (or anyone in a position of authority over a more vulnerable group) fill me with contempt.

    I fully acknowledge all the feelings you have as valid though and it sucks that you have to deal with this at all. I am SO proud of how you’ve handled yourself and asked for what you needed at each turn. It’s her fault she couldn’t or wouldn’t meet your authenticity with anything similar. You are the better person by a wide margin.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Boost Connection says:

        I imagine it’s the main type of person you were taught to relate to and that you were surrounded by narcissistic adults as a child. That’s not your fault. In fact, part of the reason for therapy is to help you change new patterns of interaction that you find troublesome!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Andi says:

        Right. That’s why I chose Zooey. From her profile: “My role, as a psychotherapist, is to help you identify and address the underlying patterns of thinking and behavior that prevent you from making the changes you seek. By working together, we can move you toward new perspectives, possibilities and ways of being.” WOOPS! GUESS NOT!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Boost Connection says:

    ::still contemptuous::

    AND the Code of Ethics is a set of guidelines intended to guide professional conduct according to the profession’s stated values and principles which heavily favor protecting the client (not their ego). It is NOT a rulebook. She is also misrepresenting the social work profession with her statement about personal relationships, which is a cheap and pathetic excuse.

    1.06 Conflicts of Interest
    (c) Social workers should not engage in dual or multiple relationships with clients or former clients in which there is a risk of exploitation or potential harm to the client. In instances when dual or multiple relationships are unavoidable, social workers should take steps to protect clients and are responsible for setting clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries. (Dual or multiple relationships occur when social workers relate to clients in more than one relationship, whether professional, social, or business. Dual or multiple relationships can occur simultaneously or consecutively.)

    I want to point out the part where it says “risk of exploitation or potential harm to the client.” The main ethical guiding principle is Do No Harm, intended to protect the client rather than help the therapist set “boundaries” which to me appear punitive for the lack of narcissistic supply you were providing to her.

    Liked by 1 person

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