10 Warning Signs Of An Abusive Counselor (PS: You Deserve Best)

Last Update on November 9, 2021 : Published on August 9, 2021
Warning signs of an abusive counselor

Counseling should be therapeutic. Counseling is specially designed to heal us and to provide strength to fight our inner issues. The place wherein the client and the therapists sit should be a no-judgment and non-comparison zone.

The counselor should build therapeutic rapport with the client in order to make the client comfortable. To escalate the process of recovery, it’s the counselor’s role to create a comfort zone for the client.

But, ever thought about what happens when your therapist turns out to be abusive? Do you think that the client will ever be able to take the road of recovery without the proper support of the therapist?

Throughout the education, all the counselors are educated to maintain the trust of the client. Also, we cannot deny the fact that counselors are also humans and sometimes they can also be wrong. Do you think you also might be facing an abusive counselor?

Here is the list of warning signs of an abusive counselor to look out for in a therapist-client relationship.

10 Warning Signs of an Abusive Counselor

Unfortunately, there are some counselors who can take advantage of your naïve personality. Such counselors are referred to as abusive counselors, as they provide you with dis-service in the name of loyalty, recovery, and healing. One of the worst things about an abusive counselor is a lack of understanding of your vulnerable or fragile personality. Here are some signs that you can look in your counselor to find if he\she is abusive or not:

1. Plays the Blame Game

Plays the Blame Game

Whatever be the situation, if your counselor blames you for everything he/she listens to, you might be dealing with the wrong counselor. If you feel like you are not comfortable with your therapist because he/she does not carry good listening skills instead always judges you back, it’s time to change your therapist.

2. Humiliates You And Degrades Your Morality

Humiliation and degradation of your personal self are some of the red flags in a therapist-client relationship. Counselors should never degrade you or humiliate you; it is completely against their studies. Counselors are obligated to work with you, respect you, and hear you. If they are doing just the opposite, you are definitely dealing with an abusive counselor.

3. Compares You With Other Clients

Although, sharing other’s client information is totally illegal. No counselor can talk about other clients. It is a complete no-no situation. First of all, it breaks the trust. Secondly, if a counselor is doing so, it means that they are revealing your personal information with other clients as well. It’s all about confidentiality and trust here.

4. Takes Your Advantages Mentally or Sexually

Under no circumstances, the counselor cannot make a romantic relationship with their clients. If they are doing so, it means they are cheating on their work and they will never be able to provide you a better quality of life. Moreover, if a counselor is taking your advantage mentally, it is also a complete no-no situation.

5. Lacks Empathy

Lacks empathy

Counseling is the only platform wherein empathy and care are provided. Whenever a counselor works with the client, they are obligated to empathize with their feelings and inner issues. If you feel like your therapist lacks empathy, it is a great red flag in your abusive relationship with the counselor.

6. You Experience Negative Thoughts After Sessions

If after sessions, you do not feel good about yourself, and if you mostly experience negative thoughts, it’s a red flag of an abusive counselor. We cannot deny the fact that counseling is designed to help clients. If it is not helping you in any way, you might want to change the therapist.

7. Violates Your Boundaries

If you have already set a clear boundary and if your counselor is not maintaining the boundary, it is the other sign of an abusive counselor. Being uncomfortable should never be an option when you are going through counseling.

8. Expresses Anger Towards You

If your therapist expresses anger towards you or carries angry behavior during sessions, you should never tolerate it and should consider changing your therapist.

9. Yells At You

Yells at you

If your counselor yells at you or raises a voice against you, this will never help you in healing or recovering from the mental health issues. Therefore, it is also a red flag for an abusive counselor.

10. Threatens You

If you feel like you are threatened by your counselor, you can terminate them without giving it a second thought.

What To Do When You Have An Abusive Counselor

If you think you have an abusive counsellor, you can always opt for changing your counsellor. If you do not wish to change the organization, you can demand the admin to change your counsellor by reporting them to the authorities. 

If you have made up your mind to change the therapist, read this guide: 

8 Things to keep in mind while changing the therapist

Furthermore, if you wish to change the organization as well, you can search another organization that provides mental health services in your area. 

In order to find the right therapist, you can try the below-mentioned ways: 

  1. Consult your directory 
  2. Ask someone for reference 
  3. Use online databases 
  4. Explore locals 
  5. Reach out the organizations (national associations)
  6. Process your goals 
  7. Try online platforms
  8. Ask the experts 

To read the guide for finding the right therapist, click here. 

Considering changing the therapist, here is a guideline for you:

That’s all readers! I hope this blog helps you with the warning signs of an abusive counselor. Comment down and share your experiences with your counselor or therapist (if any). For more such content, connect with us on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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