how does that make you feel

8 Women on Therapy Horror Stories

More often than not, therapy is a great, healthy, wonderful — if painful — experience. It is a warm washcloth on your weary face, a safe haven for your scariest feelings, a place to swim in the ocean of you while effectively sipping chicken soup for the soul. It is Good Will Hunting’s “It’s not your fault” scene. But sometimes therapy is also finding out that your shrink hung himself just before your next session — as Sarah Silverman famously recalls. Sometimes therapy means secretly wishing your shrink would seduce you. Sometimes therapy is a combative relationship or a super-freaky one, and all sorts of dynamics in between. For those reasons and more, we asked eight women for their most hilarious and horrifying therapy stories ever.

She Only Talked About Herself

“I swear my therapist was only there to talk about herself. Every time I visited her, she would tell me about her ‘friend.’ It was obviously about her. And then there was the time that she was inspired by my silly fashion and bought the same sweater I always wore to our sessions. Of course, I never would have known this if she hadn’t shown up to our meeting wearing it — while I had mine on, too!”

She Set Me Up With a Freak

“My therapist set me up with another one of her patients, who was a writer. He wrote about the porn industry and lived, literally, in a closet. For our first date, he met me at work. I had to swing by my place to change before we went out. So I went to the bathroom to freshen up, and when I came out, he was lying naked on my bed. I had known him for five minutes. At first, I was confused as to why my therapist would set me up with such a schmuck, so I confronted her about it. She laughed it off, and then she immediately wanted me to pay my bill.”

She Didn’t Know My Name

“I saw this woman in Michigan before I moved to New York. I was just trying to get all my mental shit together, come to terms with my baggage, deal with my fear, etc., so I could leave in a good place. I was 23. I saw her for about six months, and she was pretty useless. She had sheepdog hair, so I couldn’t really see her face, and she wore sweaters with lots of bows on them. So one day, she was going on about how I didn’t know who I was or where I was going, and I said, ‘That’s what I said on my first day here. I don’t know who I am or where I’m going.’ Then she said, ‘Tell me: Who is Marlo?’

“My name is Marla. She didn’t know my name. I wanted to say that I didn’t know who Marlo was, but I’d be happy if she paid my bill. Instead, I left when the session was over, called her later, and told her I wasn’t coming back because she didn’t know my name. I resolved to use the money I was wasting on her for my move to New York, which was vastly more therapeutic. Right before I moved, I went out for a good-bye dinner with some friends and she was at the restaurant. It’s always weird to see your therapist in the wild. We waved, but I didn’t go over to say hi.

“The funny part? I can’t remember her name.”

He Fell Asleep

“In couples’ counseling with my then-husband, we both talked as we watched our therapist fall asleep. I remember looking at him and saying, ‘Damn, we are just not that interesting.’ My individual therapist was furious when I told her. And it happened more than once. Maybe we should have made some juicy shit up? On the same note, my latest therapist keeps looking at her clock watch as I’m talking. She is very obviously totally uninterested in my shit.”

She Was Obsessed With All Things Trump

“Around the election last year, my old therapist asked me every session if I was a Republican. When I reminded her that I was not, she would go on to talk to me about all her clients who she thinks supports Trump. Obsessed with Trump all day, all night. That is all she talked about. One day, we got into it. I went to her to talk about my stress at home, but she kept asking me about Hillary. I was a huge Hillary fan. So was she. Then she made the biggest mistake. She told me that an educated, rich, white politician (Hillary) had suffered more than any woman in the world. She said Hillary had endured the most as a woman … ever! I said, ‘More than enslaved black women?’ She said yes. I was like, Girl, bye. My next session was scheduled for the day after the election. Hillary lost. I was upset, but knew I couldn’t listen to her whine about Donald Trump for the next four to eight years. So I rescheduled my appointment. She fired me as a patient, saying I no-showed. Whatever.”

He Threatened to Take Away My Kids

“This is one of the most disturbing things that’s ever happened to me. I went to this therapist for about six months. I told him incredibly private things about my marriage, my parents, my children, etc. We really got into my own ‘Daddy Issues,’ and other issues. After a while, I just didn’t have the time for therapy anymore — I have four kids under age 7. So I sent him an email that I had to quit him out of the interest of time. He responded with the most threatening letter a mother could imagine; using all my personal secrets against me and even threatening to have my kids taken away from me because, he said, this decision to quit him made me seem very unstable to him. It felt like he was holding me hostage. I was nervous every day for months that someone was going to come to my house and take my kids. It’s been about a year now and he’s never done anything — but even talking about the situation freaks me out immensely.”

He Hate-Texted Me

“When I broke up with my therapist, he sent me a scathing text that could have been from a high-school mean girl. ‘Okay, sweetie. Just keep sweeping all of your problems under the rug. I’m sure it will work out perfectly for you. Best, John.’”

She Dissed Me at Whole Foods

“So I actually loved this therapist, Pam. She was helping me sort out a really tricky relationship with a man who was way too close with his family (a family I hated). At the time, it felt like Pam was the only person in my corner, and I just cherished her for making me feel less alone. So when I saw her at Whole Foods on a random Tuesday night, I was really psyched. I ran over to her in the pasta aisle and excitedly said ‘Hi!’ and gave her a big hug. She was totally bugged out by me. She couldn’t get away fast enough. I know you’re not supposed to engage in the real world, or whatever the rules are, but she was so incredibly cold to me that the whole relationship felt weird after that. Soon enough, I dumped the guy and moved back to New York, anyway.”

8 Women on Therapy Horror Stories