Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

A journey to healing from complex trauma.

The Shame & Hurt Of Being An ‘Untouchable’ Client – To My Therapist ~ Lilly Hope Lucario


I have always assumed my therapist has a ‘no touching clients’ rule. I assumed this, because within the last 5 years I have been seeing her, she has never held my hand, or hugged me. And I know about therapy boundaries, and ethical codes of conduct. So, I know some therapists still choose to hug etc, but some don’t.  I assumed the latter, was the case for my counsellor.

This week, however, while I was sitting in the waiting room, I realised she does not have this rule, for all her clients. I saw her hug and kiss a woman on the cheek. I could tell by the conversation, this woman was not a friend, because she hadn’t seen her for a while. And if this woman was a friend, she wouldn’t be at the counselling centre making an appointment.

It shocked me, because this was not something I ever expected to see. And it made me realise, I had assumed she had this ‘no touch’ rule, which made me feel better, about her not hugging me, or holding my hand, like I know other therapists choose to.

Of course, I have been wondering since, why she chooses not to have physical contact with me? What’s wrong with me, that makes me someone she would not touch? Bearing in mind as well, that she was a GP for years prior to becoming a counsellor, so she is very used to touching patients.

Obviously there is something about me, that I don’t realise – makes normal people not want to touch me. And it seems only toxic, abusive people want to touch me.

sad p5


It is very painful to realise this. I must be repulsive in some way that I don’t understand. I always shower prior to appointments. I wear clean clothes. I’m not repulsive in my appearance. So, I can only assume it is my personality, or my character that is the issue. Or, maybe it’s my past and someone like me, really is damaged goods? And that makes normal people find me physically repulsive? Maybe, she just really doesn’t like me, and that is why?

I also realise, that whilst jealousy and envy, are not emotions I normally ever feel, I did feel this, when watching this physical embrace and gesture of physical contact. There have been so many times when I have been crying and upset, when I truly needed a hug, or the comfort of holding my hands. But, they have never been offered to me.

It makes me feel really hurt, ashamed, damaged, dirty, disgusting and very emotional, to realise this.

It’s been really upsetting me, since the appointment. And it not something I can talk about with her. Partly because it’s really embarrassing, and also………… I don’t think I want to know the reason why.

It might make me feel even worse, to know why.

Some things are better left unsaid.

~ Lilly Hope Lucario

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Author: Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

I am a survivor of complex and multiple trauma and abuse, who at the age of 40, began my healing journey. I am using my journey to recovery and healing, to help others, to help survivors feel less alone, validated, encouraged and to enable others to understand themselves more. Complex trauma, particularly from severe, prolonged childhood abuse, is profoundly life changing. Complex trauma produces complex adults. The journey to recovery is a painful, often lonely, emotional daily challenge and it is my aim to encourage others in their daily battle. ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

9 thoughts on “The Shame & Hurt Of Being An ‘Untouchable’ Client – To My Therapist ~ Lilly Hope Lucario

  1. You are a beautiful soul and the only reason, I believe, a good therapist would not hug you is for your safety.

    I don’t know all your back story but I would guess your therapist does. Perhaps it is the fact that you have been touched by bad people that she draws a physical boundary for your protection.

    Your reaction to seeing this is completely understandable. But remember it’s your trauma brain telling you that it means anything bad about you. xx

  2. Lilly, I understand that some therapists do not touch others & some do, but in my experience, they, at least, ASK if it’s ok to hug you…soooo, if I was going to a therapist & there was no question about hugging me, I don’t think I could go on after about a year. I know it would be a challenge, but could you ask her about this or write her a note OR could you tell her it’s ok to touch you at this point, using the story that you just shared w/ us? How a therapist could go this long w/o having some touch w/ her client is kinda non-human…even non professional people just hug you or ask if they can hold you or hold your hands. I’m visiting my niece who recently had an attack, beating, TBI & she welcomes hugs…it’s just reading people & then following that lead. If you wouldn’t mind having a hug from your therapist, maybe you’ll find a way to express that to her. It’s a challenge that could bring good results for you. God bless you.

  3. The therapist know your case, what you have been through, and she is respecting boundaries. She wants to keep you getting well and I know she is doing that out of respect. Nothing you did.

  4. Lily I feel that it is YOUR therapist that has the problem & not you.
    I mean I assume this lady has extensive knowledge about what people of complex trauma go through doesn’t she? I would confront her about what you witnessed then you make the decision of where you should go, either dump her or keep her around. I think that you should find someone else someone with a bit more warmth to her. She seems as cold as that witch in the Chronicles of Narnia movie in my opinion.
    I mean I don’t know this lady but from the way that you describe her I sure as heck don’t get a real warm feeling from her.

  5. Please talk to your therapist about this. Its not that you are an “untouchable”. It probably has something to do with the degree of sexual, physical abuse that you went through and she is just being very careful with you so as not to trigger you.

  6. Thank you all, for your comments and thoughts.
    Maybe because I am someone who has been sexually and physically abused, she has to protect herself from me potentially interpreting any physical contact with her, wrongly.
    There could be reasons I’m not even aware of.
    It feels sad, because I am someone who really needs hugs and I don’t have them from anyone except my children.
    It feels like a form of rejection and more ‘not good enough’ issues, that I am finding hard to deal with.
    I’ll get through it.
    I always do.
    Lilly ❤

  7. Getting thru it might mean finding another therapist & letting the new one know that it’s ok if she touches you or hugs you.

  8. Might it be that she is being careful of you rather than repulsed? I don’t know the details of your traumas but I know that I do not encourage touch. Touch does not feel safe to me. I tense up and pull away when people touch me without permission. I can see that not touching you might be her being respectful of your boundaries, and it might be her keeping you emotionally safe, and it might be her holding a counselling boundary that you need but other client’s don’t to keep you both safe. Touch can be very powerful indeed. Sometimes it is too powerful. Sometimes touch is not a safe thing to offer a particular client. From what you have said about your counsellor I doubt very much that she feels any of the things you fear she feels. You have finely honed survivor empathy. Wouldn’t you have sensed it before now if your counsellor felt repulsed by you and felt that you are untouchable? Please don’t fall into the toxic shame pit. You are not irrevocably contaminated. That is a fear that comes from your past and it distorts your view of the present. You know this battle. You have fought it before. Much solidarity.