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In the last 6-8 months, many people have come across and told me, it’s so difficult to take therapy because it’s so exhausting to find a therapist. My assumption was that they’re referring to finding a therapist that they connect with in the therapy room. However, I was wrong.

Clients, patients, parents and many other people simply said, it’s so hard to even find one therapist. If we gather the courage to look up for one or ask someone, it takes us months to message/call the therapist not knowing what lies ahead in this journey. But, its disappointing to see that some of the therapists don’t even take a few minutes to respond.

I further asked, what do you mean?

The common response was - “We leave a text, we make an attempt to call. We’re okay if you can let us know that you may not have the slot open for new clients but a large pool doesn’t even acknowledge or respond.”

Someone further added - “I did get a response once and two days later, my future therapist never responded to me while she responded to another family member and told them to inform me they’re unavailable for me. That made me feel when a therapist behaves this way, there’s no way I am trusting them with my life stories”

As a mental health practitioner, I apologise to many of you who’ve had this experience or have been discouraged to seek therapy due to lack of response from any MHP. I don’t know about reasons from other practitioners but I am writing this today so at-least some of us may become mindful of such events and concerns of people.

Many times working with my patients, I have come across a common theme - harassment after abuse. I am surprised how the word ‘consent’ is always lacking, be it to touch someone or to talk with someone. Learn to ask for consent and it’s okay to not consent.

There is an adverse effect on abuse survivors of how their family/friends/colleagues treat them after the abuse.

Things that happen -

1. Exclusion of the abuse survivor from gatherings

2. Constant talking about and referring to the abuser

3. Pretending as if nothing happened by others around them

4. Asking survivors to move on and let go

5. Forcing and persuading survivors to attend events where the abuser is present for social pressures

6. Having loved ones to continue speaking with the abuser and others who exist in his/her circle

I often hear arguments in family therapy rooms that we cannot boycott the abuser because he belongs to our family too or that we have asked the employee to resign etc etc.

By removing the abuser from the environment of the survivor or vice versa, we are only solving the immediate crisis of stopping the abuse.

Continuous conversations, reference of abuser in front of the survivor and pretentious behaviour of survivors trauma is also ABUSE.

Educate your family and friends about a lack of consent to talk about abuse and abuser with the survivor is emotionally damaging. Please contribute to the healing of your loved ones, not violating their personal rights.

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