The whole point of getting a therapist is to have someone listen to you talk about things that might not be easy to discuss with those close to you, to get an outside perspective and to do so without facing judgment. 

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But as TikTok has become so popular, so has talking about your work. And one therapist’s decision to complain about her clients on the platform — even broadly — has people admitting that this is exactly why they’re hesitant to go to therapy.

TikTok user @sidequesttherapy posted a video saying that she plans to set boundaries to prevent her clients from “trauma dumping” in their first session. “Not happening on my watch ever again,” she wrote on the video, which was also tagged #TeenTherapist.

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The actual video has since been deleted, and her entire TikTok and Twitter accounts have been taken offline following the backlash — and it was harsh.

Many people were quick to point out that listening to people’s problems and trauma is literally a therapist’s job. 

“Your first session doesn’t have to be sharing all your trauma especially if your therapist has a different method,” wrote @diligenda. “But to call it ‘trauma dumping’ is sinister and has entirely different implications than protecting the client.”

Trauma dumping is a term that’s generally used in a negative context, often prompting the suggestion that the person doing it go talk to a therapist. So to have a therapist turn around and use it against her clients is leaving people reeling.

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And the idea of a professional speaking negatively of their clients online isn’t sitting well with many people either.

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Some corners of social media may be helping to normalize therapy and prioritizing mental health, but when the same platforms give rise to people like this who make it even harder for folks to trust therapists…well, it feels like another two steps back.

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*First Published: October 20, 2021, 6:39 am