How do I know what I need to reveal to my psychologist during therapy?
When I was 2 I used to go to a baby sitter’s house while my parents were at work. The baby sitter and her husband would often have sex together while I was in the same room as them. This happened till I was about 8/9 years old. I wouldn’t tell my parents about it as I didn’t really know what they were doing. As a child, I thought that her husband was hurting her due to the bed rocking and her moans, which is why I was scared. There was once I wanted to use the toilet really badly, but they were having sex and I end up peeing on myself at the corner. I just started therapy recently, and I don’t know if I should tell my psychologist about it. Does this constitute any sort of child abuse? Thanks in advance!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.
If you are troubled or distressed by what happened to you or what you witnessed in your childhood, you should just go ahead and share the details with your therapist. There is really no need to withhold such information from your therapist. Rest assured that what you say will not shock or harm your therapist. Most therapists would have heard of even more shocking stories.
Sometimes, it is really important to take into consideration what an 'outsider' or third party (someone who is not involved in the event or encounter) say as he/she is more likely to be objective.
As to what you experience constitute abuse or what, it may be important to consider two aspects: 1. the original intention of the care giver; 2. the trauma that you experience.
In general, many clinicians would agree that neglect constitutes a form of child abuse.
I hope that you will be able to obtain closure to the event. Do take good care of yourself.
Thank you for sharing your intimate story. This sounds really terrible.
Yes it certainly sounds like child abuse, and if you are not so old, it might still be a reportable offense to the police and MSF-Child protection services.
Therapy is a two way street. The ability for the patient to benefit from this depends on the "Johari window". In simple terms: the more the therapist can reveal to you and the more you can reveal to the therapist, the wider the window. Through a wider window, both the client and therapist is able to access the domain of psychotherapy: which are the things that both you and the therapist does not know.
In short, yes, the more you can reveal, the more you might stand to benefit. But of course that is within the comfort zone and the strength of the therapeutic relationship. Sometimes, the time is just not ripe yet to disclose certain things.
Take care and I pray that you will find peace.
Sorry to hear about your experience and certainly children should never be exposed to things beyond their comprehension - at aged 2 or 9 years! It took me a moment or two to digest what you have written and certainly if I were your counselor I would feel that this is important to disclose to them. If they are a positive person for you, this should be received with empathy and understanding.
I cannot imagine what it has done to you, but certainly its worth bringing this up with those responsible for regulating baby-sitters (if there is such a thing), to prevent others from being similarly affected.
As with Dr Paul, I hope that you overcome this and move forward.