Posted by: Disconnected | 2013/01/23


I don''t know where to start. It''s a complex story but shortened version:
Am in therapy few years. Have serious trust issues. Very thankful for everything my therapist has/is doing. We have a good relationship however I did something when I was an inpatient. I was allowed to go on an overnight stay and he went on a business trip. I returned to the clinic with a bunch of keys. The keys were in my dressing table and as I walked past, I took them without thinking. On return to the clinic I went to his office and the very first key I used opened the door. I walked straight to his filing cabinet &  opened it to look for my file. I was totally out of body when I did this. It felt as if I was watching someone else do these things. My file wasn''t there. I closed the drawer, walked out, locked the door and went back to my room. I never opened or looked at any of his patients files I just went straight to the letter of my surname. I told a friend what I did and she said I broke the law. I never opened or looked at anyone elses files. I was only interested in what he wrote about me as I was upset about my family session which didn''t go well. I was very hurt and didn''t trust him and wanted to see for myself if he was being honest with me and believing what I have confided to him. I know it was wrong but at the time I had no control over what I was thinking or doing. I felt obsessed with wanting to know the " truth." This man has been nothing but good to me and I have betrayed his trust and am terrified of telling him because I fear I will lose him. I can''t believe I could do something like this. Even now as I''m typing this I feel split and disconnected. I know it happened but it doesn''t feel real. I just remember doing it but being emotionless. Can you give advice. Do I have to tell him? I want to be honest but don''t want to hurt his feelings as I have betrayed him. Please help.

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Our expert says:
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I don't altogether understand the details of your message. Were you an Inpatient at a clinic, and when you went out for an overnight stay, and on returning with a bunch of YOUR keys, found by chance that one of them opened the door to your therapist's office ? Impulsively, you opened his filing cabinet and looked for your own file, but didn't find it ?
I think in law you have a right to see your own file, but would need to discuss this with your doctor and arrange this with him. Entering his office without permisssion may have been technically illegal, indeed.
If you had concerns about the family session, that should have been discussed face to face with him.
Its no a question of whether you "have" to tell him - who can compel you to do so, but whether it would be wise for you to do so. You're probably not a good liar, and would find it hard to conceal that you feel uneasy about something troubling. You did betray him, and you know it, and are not likely to be able to conceal it, nor want to. Discuss it calmly with him, and se what he says. Its always important within a therapeutic relationship to be able to be frank with each other. What is important about what happened isnt a matter of legal technicalities, but the psychological issues raised, about mutual trust, and your concerns about his view of your family and whether he believes you, and so on. These can only be usefully deal with in discussion

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