Most of us can agree that, while it’s not for everyone, talk therapy has its merits, and it can help people work through difficult periods in their lives.
But when the wrong people acquire information from the talk sessions, much bigger problems can develop, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor SabrinaFox33 was absolutely furious when she discovered that her son’s therapist had been disclosing details about their talk sessions to her ex-husband without permission.
But when her brother-in-law questioned her reaction, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was being too harsh.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for reporting my son’s therapist for giving my ex-husband information about the sessions?”
The OP’s son was in therapy after the divorce.
“My ex-husband (35 Male) and I (33 Female) got separated 7 months ago. We have shared custody of our 14-year-old son.”
“My son struggled to accept the separation and adapt to the new normal.”
“I put him in therapy as suggested by my Brother-in-Law (BIL), his dad’s brother and favorite uncle.”
The OP started to notice some weird behavior coming from her ex-husband.
“I noticed my ex-husband has been coming over a lot to yell at me and start fights about our son.”
“He’s been saying stuff like how our son should live with him full time.”
“At first, I had no idea what his problem was until my son told me that he’s suspecting his therapist to be giving my ex-husband information about the sessions, because my ex-husband brought up many things my son talked about in therapy.”
“But my ex-husband was trying to deflect the blame.”
The OP then confronted the therapist.
“I did some digging and my son’s suspicions have been confirmed.”
“I felt so incredibly violated on his behalf.”
“I went to confront his therapist, who first denied this but then said that my ex-husband came to him with ‘concerns’ and basically wanted to know about what my son says in those sessions out of concern.”
“I had a big argument with him and told him that I’ll be reporting him for betraying my son’s trust and for violating him like that even if this information was going to his dad, aka ‘family.’ To me, that is still wrong.”
The OP was then criticized by her brother-in-law (BIL).
“Apparently, he (the therapist) told my ex-husband about me reporting him, and my ex-husband didn’t say anything nor come over to fight with me.”
“However, he must’ve told my BIL, because BIL visited and told me that I overreacted.”
“He added that if I report my son’s therapist, then I’ll cause more damage because my son ‘got used to this one.'”
“When I pointed out how my ex-husband could’ve gathered and twisted information to screw me over in custody, he told me then I was doing this for my own ‘selfish reasons’ and to cover my own a**.”
“He said that I clearly don’t have my son’s best interest at heart to think that’s okay.”
The OP became suspicious of the entire situation.
“I got mad and told him to leave after he tried to talk my son into stopping me from reporting his (buddy) therapist.”
“But I yelled at him that clearly he, my ex-husband, and his buddy therapist were in this together.”
“He got offended and called me delusional and walked out.”
“The family is telling me to let it go and just find another therapist instead of reporting.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some encouraged the OP to report her son’s current therapist and find a new one.
“NTA. The therapist absolutely should be reported for their wildly unprofessional behavior.” – druidoom
“‘Because he got used to this one’ is a terrible, terrible reason to stay. The therapist has proved that son can’t be open and honest. And if you can’t be open and honest with your therapist, you shouldn’t be going to that therapist.” – Silvinis
“I feel really bad for this poor kid, especially if this is the first therapist he’s ever gone to. How much harder is it going to be to form a relationship with the next counselor when he’s had his trust so completely betrayed?” – Vilinius_Vastavnik
“As someone who lived a situation very similar to this as a kid, it took me well over a decade to even think about looking into therapy (that I desperately needed and could have absolutely used the entire time).”
“It took me an additional couple of years to find a therapist I felt comfortable with, and when she retired a year later, I haven’t tried again.”
“OP is doing the right thing here and needs to have a talk with her son about how this isn’t okay, this is a bad therapist, but that doesn’t mean all therapists are bad.” – sdh59
“My wife had multiple therapists as a child with her mother there and telling the therapist everything. She got ignored, misdiagnosed, and forced to take unneeded medication for years. She hates therapists and taking pills with a passion.”
“For years, I watched her struggle with depression and refuse to see a therapist or try antidepressants. It’s only been since realizing she’s trans that she was willing to try either therapy or pills (hormones, not antidepressants) again almost 20 years later.”
“Bad therapists, especially when that’s your only experience with therapy, can seriously mess you up.”
“NTA, OP.” – Songwolves88
“‘Got used to this one’ is wrong, but also it’s like a blatant lie???”
“The son isn’t ‘used’ to the therapist. The son feels just as betrayed by the therapist as OP given the son told OP about his suspicions of betrayal in the first place.”
“The son just as much would rather have a therapist they can trust versus this one who betrays professional boundaries.”
“And frankly, if I were the son, I would never feel comfortable with the dad again knowing he’s willing to essentially send you to a medical professional who is not an impartial party.” – addisonavenue
Others agreed with the OP’s suspicions about the men working together.
“Notice how BIL wants son to keep going to the therapist because he ‘got used to this one’? The therapist who son has already seen betray his confidence?”
“BIL doesn’t have the poor kid’s best interests at heart. He’s just trying to convince mom she’s unreasonable so she doesn’t cut off their info and manipulation line.” – UnApprovedActivities
“Is it possible BIL set this up specifically to help the ex-husband obtain ill-gotten ammo for court? OP needs a lawyer.” – RosalieThornehill
“All three of them are sketchy as f**k, but d**n are they all stupid.”
“The ex-husband couldn’t keep his mouth shut for long enough to get full custody. The therapist more than likely just screwed his license if OP can get her lawyer to raise enough of a stink about it. And the BIL just showed his hand, and OP will always remember how much of an abuser the favorite uncle actually is.” – ZantaraLost
“The moment he called the therapist his ‘buddy’ sold it for me.”
“That poor boy… bad enough to be betrayed by one person you thought you could trust. He was betrayed by three. His father, his favorite uncle, and his therapist.” – Rose-color-socks
“My first therapist would tell my parents everything I told her. As soon as I realized this, I stopped telling her anything and made zero progress in therapy.”
“If the BIL seriously cares about the child, he would want nothing more than to give him a place he can be open and heal.” – AthenasApostle
“My mum forced me to talk to a counselor when I was a teen, and they told me like 5 times that everything is 100% confidential and they aren’t allowed to tell anyone. So I gave up one tiny scrap of unimportant information, and my mum relayed that information to me the minute I got home, gloating about it.”
“That was nothing to do with custody, though, it was to make sure I wasn’t talking to anyone about certain things now that I was older and harder to control.”
“This favorite uncle seems suspicious in a whole different way to me, I’d get that kid to a real therapist pronto.” – forestbean7
“Yep, the dad, the therapist buddy, AND the BIL were all in on this.”
“OP, your BIL is no longer a safe and trusted person for you. He is actively manipulating and conspiring against you.” – Wild_Statement_3142
Not only could the subReddit agree with the OP’s suspicions about the therapist, the ex-husband, and the brother-in-law conspiring against her, but they were also appalled that they would use the son’s chance to heal as an opportunity to manipulate the situation.
They firmly suggested finding a new therapist, on the OP’s and her son’s terms, and without any of the rest of the family’s opinions considered in the decision.
The son was struggling with the divorce and deserved a safe space to work through that, not a space that would manipulate his words and potentially turn his life upside-down that much more.