Psychologists, counsellors, psychiatrists etc, all have to deal with any clients and any behaviours, in a respectful and what is considered ‘non judgmental’ way. And need to remove their emotions, to deal with worst of behaviours.
I see this can lead to a continual emotional disconnect from the reality of the harm highly abusive people cause to their victims. They choose to see the abuser/perpetrator, in a non emotional way, and that can transfer to how they speak about them, with the victims. Which is really insensitive and lacking in empathy for the victim of the abuse.
I’ve seen this happen in my own counselling. And I’ve raised it and pointed out the lack of empathy.
I watched a psychologist on a TV program about sex the other day and what is considered normal. One person being interviewed was a paedophile. And what he considers as absolutely appropriate sexual contact with a child as young as 7. (It made me nauseous listening to him). The psychologist spoke of her struggling to deal with him and his obvious deeply sick mind, and how that struggle was because she was out of her clinical environment. Inside a clinical environment – she could remove her emotions and deal with paedophiles in a manner considered appropriate. Outside of that, she struggled to contain her disgust. I could see it on her face. So inside her clinical environment, she wasn’t in fact acting like a normal human being would.
It made me realise, mental health professionals in their clinical environment, can remove emotions and deal with vile, disgusting people, in certain ways. Which is appropriate for that client. And they choose to see that as empathy for the abusive client.
But, this becomes a big issue for the victims, when this lack of emotion, and seeing vile, disgusting people, who have caused such profound and intentional harm, spoken of in a ‘clinical’ way, is also displayed to the victims. (Or they harp on about compassion for abusive people, which is even worse). Continue reading