Why I Quit Being a Therapist — Six Reasons by Daniel Mackler


I get asked all the time why did you quit being a therapist I was a therapist for a little bit over ten years with a job that I’d loved I was so passionate about it I gave my heart and my soul to it and it was something I did in a lot of different contexts I did it in different clinic situations and I ended up working the last six six and a half years just in private practice I worked with a full range of types of people except for children I didn’t work with children I didn’t want to do that because I didn’t believe children belonged in therapy but I worked with all sorts of adults I did couples therapy at it mostly individual therapy I did some family therapy also and it was something that totally consumed me in terms of just my passion my intellect my emotions I was really really really into it I loved it and yet I quit and so I think it can be hard sometimes for people to get why I quit I actually haven’t been a therapist now for almost eight years and so I’ve had a lot of time to think about it and here are my reasons the first reason that I quit being a therapist is it was such a struggle for me to be a therapist in a system that was so messed up the mental health system was not a healthy system and that’s the irony it’s a system that’s supposed to help Bing bring people who have mental health problems back toward mental health yet the system itself is totally mixed up and screwed up the system presents itself as science but it’s not science it’s not even really social science a lot of its antisocial anti-science or maybe antisocial pseudoscience for starters therapists are supposed to diagnose everyone I was a therapist in New York State a licensed clinical social worker with my our letter meaning I had six years of supervision which allowed me to have the highest level of billing to insurance companies now social workers in New York have to diagnose everybody they have to diagnose every client they see in therapy and diagnosing people is incredibly stigmatizing it can really actually cause people a lot of harm and when you’re in a field where you don’t want to do any harm why do you want to do something that’s an intrinsic part of the field but actually so often harms people also these diagnostic categories are quite arbitrary basically you can stick most people in any number of these categories at any given time so really what that does that gives the therapists a lot of power to label someone with something that really doesn’t have a lot of meaning but that’s just one thing that I found ridiculous another thing is this whole thing about medication psychiatric drugs suppose we’re supposed to push people therapists are supposed to push people into taking psychiatric drugs for if you have this problem you’re supposed to take this drug this problem you’re supposed to take this drug oh you have sleep problems you can take this drug and oh you have this kind of mood problem or this kind of mood problem well you’re supposed to take this drug or this drug and if you have a side effect of this this drug you’re supposed to take this drug and it becomes really ridiculous especially we can consider how unhelpful and downright dangerous so many of these drugs are and how difficult it is to get off these drugs now there was another problem in being a therapist being a social worker being a psychotherapist was that we were trained to help people get on these drugs to refer them to psychiatrist or medical doctors whenever they were having any sort of problem considered outside the bounds of what we were able to help them with now that really could be interpreted very broadly such that therapists could are supposed to and often do refer people to psychiatrist for basically just about every problem there’s lots of therapists that refer to lots and lots of not most of their clients to psychiatrists for medication and medication is supposed to be very helpful in tandem with psychotherapy now I don’t agree with that that was not my observation and certainly from listening to tons of clients and tons of people in my life I see that a lot of times the medications weren’t helpful at all but therapists we were supposed to according to our education get people to go to psychiatrist we’re supposed to up talk medication like you know how waiters to make more money they up talk selling alcohol because that’s how they make a lot of money well therapists are supposed to up talk medication and they never ever never get in trouble when you’re op talk medication when you suggested people well maybe you have some sort of chemical imbalance or maybe you have some sort of biological problem that requires some sort of medication adjustment and it sounds very scientific and so many people buy into it but the truth is what really was our education in terms of medication of social workers psychologists it’s ridiculous it’s so unscientific it’s basically the bottom line is what therapists are trained is when you can’t deal with someone’s problems when it’s too stressful that’s when you send them to a psychiatrist to get evaluated for medication but you never get in trouble it’s considered totally within the bounds of our competency of practice within our sphere of practice to send people for medication evaluation now where it gets ridiculous is the opposite what about when people want to come off medication because lots and lots and lots and lots of clients really do want to taper down off their medication or just stop them entirely so how how do therapy is help them well what we’re told is oh no no that’s not within your area of competency you don’t even talk about that that’s very risky you can get a lot of trouble for that and who wants to work in a field like that and there’s so many other ridiculous things I can go on and on and on but I think of one I think of someone I worked as and this happened multiple times but I think I’ll keep it kind of general and anonymous and I’ll even I’ll even blend it a little so someone who had been hospitalized in multiple times I was working with this person to I think three times a week and the person had been a stayed out of the hospital for about six months which was the longest in their adult life they’d ever stayed out of a hospital wall I got a call from their insurance company you’re not authorized to see this person two to three times a week that’s considered completely unacceptable we’ll only authorized once a week and I was like yeah but it’s actually considering how much it cost to go into the hospital for this person it’s like a thousand dollars a night to go into the hospital and this person was going into the hospital all the time using it basically as a sort of therapeutic help even though it wasn’t helpful now how much was I getting paid for a 45-minute session I think I was getting paid thirty seven dollars a session thirty eight dollars so basically one night in the hospital was the equivalent about what was that what’s about 28 psychotherapy sessions with me and so I was only seeing the person two to three times a week now the insurance company didn’t agree with that they said well no we can’t pay for that and then fine I kept arguing I said you gotta do it come on this is actually helping this person and they said well what’s your treatment plan now I know the mental health field loves confidentiality except when it comes to insurance companies who don’t want any confidentiality at all they want to totally intrude into the therapy and they want to know everything that’s going on so for people who are already have some sort of fears in paranoia about people knowing what their business is it’s not very comforting to know that the insurance companies can dig right in and basically legally before they pay get all the information so the insurance company asked me well what’s their treatment plan I said well they’re Streetman funds actually very simple keep them out of the hospital and they said well that’s not a sufficient treatment plan I was like well how about the treatment plan is doing all the things that hospitalization should have done but didn’t do because it wasn’t effective well if funny thing is the insurance company after about two months of arguing and I think not even paying for some sessions finally agreed to give two to three times a week therapy to help this person stay out of the hospital because they realized actually they were saving tens and tens and tens of thousands of dollars just by helping this person come to therapy and actually get better help to stay out of the hospital because what did this person really need the person needed somebody to talk to it wasn’t like genius I think actually the irony is so much of psychotherapy is made into this mysterious world of wow the therapists sir what they do is such brilliant stuff and there’s so much insight involved well actually I think a lot of people can do exactly what psychotherapists do and do it much much better if they just have a gift for being able to have a comfortable caring respectful conversation with another person and lots of people can do this second reason that I quit being a therapist there was a lot of pressure on me to make money and to run my business the last six years I was paying for a place to see clients it was expensive I wasn’t working in a clinic I was working in New York City and when you consider some of those insurance companies were really paying very little thirty-five forty dollars a session and a little bit more sometimes and that’s if people could afford the copay sometimes I’d have to write down they just couldn’t afford the copay and so it was like it wasn’t a lot of money and then also with a lot of the people that fee paid I worked on a sliding scale it wasn’t a very high sliding scale I could understand why some therapists would charge a hundred hundred and fifty or more dollars a session just to survive in New York City I just felt that was ethically wrong I had a lot of clients who were paying more in the thirty to forty to fifty dollar per session range but there was a lot of pressure on me therefore to see quite a lot of clients that was exhausting but the problem is especially after I made my first movie and actually it was even before that once I started getting popular at getting a reputation for being able to work with people who were in that state known as psychosis or diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar one with mania stuff like that people who were considered by the system that I hated the word but the system that considered them mentally ill well what I found is a lot of those people discovered ooh here’s the therapist that we could talk to and they told people about me and even in clinics I got a reputation as someone who this guy can work with work with people who have those more serious problems he’s willing to listen to them he has the tolerance he can sit with him he’s curious about them they get along with him they keep coming they don’t skip their sessions all the time so I started working with a lot of those people and in private practice especially when I had much more pressure on me to make money and run a business because I had a lot more expenses the problem is the people who had the most pain the most problems and the most need the most trauma the most difficulties in life the most stress that it would cause a therapist were the people who could actually afford it the least and that just always troubled me and I really fought to work against that I was like you know I’m not going to turn people away because of their ability to pay the consequence though was I ended up having a practice that was very weighted toward people who could pay a lot less money also because I was willing to charge a lot less money I ended up get people who are the therapists didn’t want a lot of therapists work with a kind of a simple system and if you’re psychologically clever even in the first telephone call when people call up you can kind of figure out who this person probably has some more problems going on often because people directly say it and you can kind of get a lot of them well you know actually this person doesn’t have much money to pay and sometimes therapists just write away over the telephone tell what their fee isn’t oh I can’t afford that and so what therapists do is it’s actually a very good business strategy they weed out the people who can pay less they weed out the people who have insurances that can pay less and they weed in they filter in the people who can pay more that felt unethical to me I hated working in that kind of system so another reason that I quit being a therapist it actually was just an utterly exhausting job I was fried at the end of ten years really fried there’s a word we learned we learned it actually in in Social Work school and it’s written throughout the literature but they really don’t emphasize it that much vicarious traumatization I worked with tons and tons of people who had horrible horrible traumas from their life from their adulthoods but mostly from their childhoods from their early childhood in their family of origin and I was on the front line of listening to them and feeling what they were going through along with them empathizing listening to their pain look listening to them cry watching this also crying along with people I was crying a lot I cried every day it sounds kind of ridiculous eight years later for me to imagine that I sat with people and I cried in therapy with people every day it almost sounds like it’s not even believable but it actually was true I wrote it down I talked about it all the time back then and I remember a lot of therapists really didn’t relate to me because they were they were distant from people they they kept people at a distance they kept all those therapeutic boundaries which in my experience really don’t help people very much but they do help protect the therapists from the pain so what I went through yeah was a huge amount of pain just listening to it listening to the horror although it’s like did I get tainted as a person just listening to too many horrible things I thought about that I thought when I was a think before I became a therapist if I had been a parent I think I would have been much less protective of my children after all those years of listening to horrible horrible things that happen to people in their childhood and the range of the horrible things were quite beyond anything I could have previously imagined it’s kind of an amazing when I realized what people went through so often I wondered and I even asked people after hearing your story after hearing what you went through went through on an ongoing horrible basis the rapes and the horrible molestations and the brutality and the beatings and the abandonments and all this stuff how is it that you didn’t kill yourself I asked people that and that’s again and again when I heard people give me the answer to that it’s that they love their life people are incredibly strong incredibly resilient and also people do have defences to keep their pain at bay and that’s part of what’s so horrible about being a therapist is that therapy is the place where people do let down their defenses and their pain can come out the confidentiality the safety the privacy the intimacy of the therapy relationship does allow that pain to come out if it’s a good therapy relationship so often what I’ve heard from people might own experience also being having been in therapy was that therapy relationships were not a safe place for me to feel my feelings therapists just wanted to get rid of me they were threatened by me I I kicked up their own defenses because I was more vulnerable more open more honest than they were but what I found is if I was able to be with people in their pain wow people really felt safe in a relationship with someone else to feel their feelings when they were mirrored for who they really were as people and not criticised and attacked and put down and reach Ramat eyes for it not pushed to go on medications are called crazy or labeled all sorts of horrible things that the mental health field labels people so what I experienced yeah was swallowing a lot of trauma it went into my body it went into my mind I can’t became jumpy I I would noticed a car horn would go on the street and I’d jump and it was like what’s happening to me and it’s like yeah I’m sitting around and an interfacing with intense trauma all day long it affected me I got sick I think it was how many six years into being a therapist that I got ulcerative colitis my gut my inner gut my intestines went crazy and yeah I’ve since learned it the the gut is like the second brain the second mind there’s so many you know receptors for some of these same chemicals that go in our brain serotonin and whatnot are also in our intestines well god my intestines were profoundly affected by being a therapist it’s like I was on a lot of medication toward the end – for all that ulcerative colitis it seems ridiculous to me that I was so like skeptical and critical of the psychiatric medication yet I was taking medication for my gut to soothe it and you know what it didn’t help and I got hooked on it and it was very hard to get off it took me six months to get off my medication which actually considering how long it takes a lot of people to get off their psych drugs actually isn’t that long but I was able to get off of it and being away from being a therapist you know unlike exactly what the doctor said the doctors plural said I got better so another reason that I quit being a therapist is I had very little collegial support I kind of mentioned this already but basically I was not well supported at all yeah I did supervision I did years and years of supervision as a psychotherapist but that wasn’t supportive mostly it was like it was really good training to learn how to play the game to learn how to say mmm if I tell the supervisor this they’re gonna punish me or punish my clients or harm me or harm my clients in this this in this way so I had to learn what I could share and what I couldn’t share and that was a very unpleasant frustrating process it was disgusting basically but learning how to play learning how to play the game was actually very very useful to me be it translated directly in me being able to help my clients learn how to play the game especially clients that we’re getting sucked into the deeper mental health system into psychiatry into into mental hospitals and basically for those clients to learn how to function outside of psychiatry how to get out of the mental hospitals out of the hooks of their psychiatrist they had to learn how to play the game – and often the skills that I learned were very very useful to them and a lot of it yeah people who’ve been in the Mental Health System a lot as clients learn these things don’t say trigger things like if you tell people you’re you’re suicidal maybe okay maybe you don’t really want to follow through to kill yourself but even if you start talking about suicidality a lot of therapists and psychiatrists plumbing they’re trigger-happy they’ll send someone right to the hospital well I learned the same thing for my supervisors if I was really open with them like I was supposed to be like I was trained to be about what was going on with my clients they were less supportive of me less supportive of my clients they wanted to just do what do to my clients what they did to their own clients which was sent him to the hospital forced him to get on medication evaluations kick them out of clinic clinics say you need a higher standard of care basically be incredibly unthe Arup utak and so what I learned is that I couldn’t talk openly with my colleagues about what was going on I could yeah I could be friendly with my colleagues it was always a good idea especially when I was working at clinics to get along with them and well and even with a little bit that I did tell my colleagues a lot of them figured out oh this guy actually can work with really troubled people and they didn’t want to work with really troubled people most people wanted to get rid of the really troubled people so they would send them to me so yeah I had good relationships with colleagues but I was very unsupported the end result with that was that professionally I was very isolated now I know I shared this at times I’d feel in more intimate moments I would share this with colleagues and often I was burned when I shared they said oh you’re professionally isolated that’s your problem as if there was something wrong with me and I was being pathologized in many ways the same way my clients were being pathologized by the mental health system there were a lot of parallel processes going on but what I learned is mmm I really can’t share with them now where did I get my support I got my support I would say from four different places one I got my support from my friends I had a few friends who I could really talk about what was going on with I couldn’t really talk so much in specific detail about what was going on with my clients because of confidentiality but I could talk about my feelings and I could talk about certain things as long as it wouldn’t come back to my clients in any way and I found that very helpful what I found also is that a lot of my friends who were not therapists at all actually had a lot more common sense I think the mental health system burned the common sense out of people it ripped it away from them and it made people have a lot less common sense I’ve also seen that with some people who really had a natural gift for being a therapist and they went through all the training to become therapists and the end result is they became worse therapists as the result of all their professional training once they got their license but yeah I got support I got a lot more emotional support from friends that was the first thing the second is it’s sad to say but it’s the truth is in my therapy with clients a lot of my clients gave me support back though I didn’t ask for it but what they gave me was mirroring when they realized that I was actually helping them when I they realized that I was actually listening to them caring about them and really being useful to them often in ways that no one had ever been useful to them before they turned around and they were like thank you my god you’re helping me they were so appreciative and they mirrored me back they said oftens I couldn’t believe how many clients told me how do you do this all day this has got to be horrible to sit in to listen to my stuff I feel so bad should I come left people like even though it was helping them they wanted to come less because they knew it was really painful to listen to and I tried to be tough and I said no no no no no of course not I can handle it but the truth is it was difficult but I really still did appreciate the mirroring and it was intuitive mirroring that the clients gave me they mirrored me as I was mirroring them so it really was a two-way relationship in a way that I never learned about that in training nobody ever taught me that was true the third place that I got a lot of support was and this is more early on later I got less but I got it through reading about psychology I also got it by reading about novels but I remember it like Alice Miller the psychologist Alice Miller she gave me a lot of support I also got support by reading about other you know critical psychiatry therapists and different parts of critical psychiatry or reading Peter Breggin stuff like that that actually really helped me to get support but but again it’s not like day-to-day support I could get from reading but it did it definitely did give me a foundation of some support wait a second I’m not crazy this stuff is actually what I’m going through is actually healthy and good and strong and the fourth way that I got support and I think this was actually the main way that I got support was through supporting myself through doing my own self therapeutic process my own self supervision process I did a huge amount of writing a journal I wrote about what I was feeling I wrote in my notes what I was going through my with my clients I would read the notes I would read about what they were going through and separately I would write about my feelings what was coming up for me I did a huge amount of dream analysis I found my self therapeutic my self supervision process to be vital for me to be able to function as a therapist to keep my sanity to not lose my mind I mean yeah you could say my colitis lost my mind for me but pretty much I kept it together in terms of being able to function as a therapist to the best of my ability but man it was hard but it was a struggle i journaled every day for years I also had to really really simplify my life I couldn’t I couldn’t go out and drink I couldn’t go out and smoke cigarettes it wasn’t using drugs at all I don’t I couldn’t even be in a relationship when I was a therapist it was just like I really had to treat it as a holy dedication and that’s that’s really how I felt so a fifth reason that I quit being a therapist was the responsibility I think people don’t talk about this too much in the mental health field and for me that was something that was one of the hardest things about being a therapist especially a therapist with people who had a lot of really serious stuff going on in their lives but what it is in terms of responsibility what is it that’s so hard okay first there’s just the responsibility of being the point person and that person’s life being the one who is the recipient for hearing the horror of what they’ve gone through that’s an incredible responsibility because you know that person when they leave the therapy session and they go home and they think about it for a week I’m on their mind a lot and that that’s an incredible responsibility it’s like I had to be really careful about what I said people especially people who have been horribly harmed by their childhoods by life in their adulthood and by the mental health field and by therapists they can be pretty harmed by a wrongly used word an inadvertent phrase a lack of sensitivity or my mind would wander for a minute and they would catch it people would catch it and it was like I felt an incredible responsibility to be focused to be present to not drift to not not be thinking about hmm I don’t want to go see a movie it’s like no be there then also at the end of the day it’s not like oh therapists say I hear this commonly oh you know you’re supposed to leave therapy at home you supposed to leave what happens with your clients at home you’re supposed to have your own freedom afterward at night you supposed to have your own evening Yeah right it’s like come on when people to share about horrible things you really think you’re supposed to be able to leave it behind ridiculous it’s just ridiculous I don’t think you can leave it behind some of the stuff that I heard lots of it it’s like you don’t just leave that behind it would come out in my dreams it would come out it would come out sometimes first thing in the morning or I just think about it painful stuff the other thing is I had this happen I took very very few vacations away from New York City when I was the therapist mostly because I was so into the work also it’s like I didn’t take a lot of time off but when I did I learned there was no such thing as a real vacation for me it wasn’t a holiday I’d be thinking about people I’d be checking my mail or even a few times I was out of range of being able to check my phone or check my my voice messages and it was like I worked with a lot of people who had suicidal feelings sometimes suicidal actions and it was like I felt like I bore a lot of responsibility I feel a lot of the blame for that really is on the mental health system there’s this idea that therapists somehow supposed to totally be the the catch-all that prevents people from killing themselves well to me that’s ridiculous people have responsibility for their own lives but the mental health system with the rules of what it means to be a therapist puts a lot of pressure on therapists they can get in lots and lots of trouble with somebody if somebody tries to kill themselves or heaven forbid does kill themself and the therapist hasn’t taken all appropriate actions to stop them therapists are supposed to use force to stop people from killing themselves they’re supposed to call 911 they’re supposed to hospitalized people they’re supposed to force people to go to psychiatrists to get meds all these things that therapists are responsible to do that to me like actually many of them are very irresponsible I you know and all those years I was a therapist I never actually called 911 I never got somebody forcibly hospitalized I did have some people voluntarily choose on their own volition to go to the hospital to go to an emergency room if they felt really suicidal or had other things going on but it was never me pushing them and often it was like I would be the devil’s advocate is saying well why don’t you try something else you haven’t tried this this this and this before you go to the hospital there’s tooth loss certainly lots of alternatives that you can try that haven’t been exploited but some people wanted to go and I feel like that that’s certainly their right and the same thing with medications some people wanted to take medication and I feel totally that’s a person’s right though I feel it’s my responsibility to say well have you tried this have you tried this have you tried this do you know the side effects do you know the dangers of this maybe you could try other things blotter de blah de blah but again those are big responsibilities to take but I think the main one also is that it’s just that fear that if something goes wrong if something goes wrong with one of my clients I’m gonna get blamed for it and I was like when I quit being a therapist man that freedom that I got just to be away from that incredible responsibility so this brings me to my sixth and last reason that I quit being a therapist and this actually may be as important as all the other ones put together I became interested in other stuff I wanted to move on with my life I realized you know have interest in other things aside from just sitting in an office listening to trauma and helping people work through their trauma helping people grieve I started to want to make movies full-time I started to want to travel I started wanting to be I wanted to go and hitchhike around the world again I hadn’t done that in a long time I wanted to learn other languages because the other thing was a lot of what I was helping people do was free up themselves to go forth and manifest to be exactly who they wanted to be and eventually I realized wait a second I kind of want to do that too I want to do more than just spend all my time dealing with healing and grieving and pain and trauma I want to do with beauty I want to deal with all sorts of freedom to try new things and explore and experiment and be in other countries for a long period of time and go see parts of the world that I’ve never been and I haven’t seen whole parts of the world whole continents so I’ve gotten to do that it’s been wonderful it’s actually been a really beautiful thing to not be a therapist and it’s also given me a lot of time to really have perspective on what I did sometimes I look back in it and I say what is this world where certain people are designated to do this role of being therapists and to listen to people’s pain and trauma and to be healing conduits sometimes seems a little bit ridiculous it kind of seems better to me if everyone or almost everyone had some therapeutic skill and really could provide that for the people in their lives and it wasn’t put onto the role of people with titles and social workers and psychologists and therapists and psychiatrists and shrinks and all this stuff it just seems like yeah a more ideal world it would be these helpful things these helpful roles the emotional support the emotional insight would be more integrated into communities into our regular life and not not into roles and diagnosis and this whole silly system you

100 thoughts on “Why I Quit Being a Therapist — Six Reasons by Daniel Mackler”

  1. Therapist Dude, I hope you find EFT. I hope you can see that it is what you want in reason #6….a way EVERYONE can have self-therapy. I have been using it and Emotion Code for over 15 years. I hope it gives you hope beyond drugs as treatment. That would also help you with that vicarious trauma. Try the Tapping Solution app out to see how it works. Peace out….

  2. why i quit working for a living i saw how the law allows the rich adn middle class low lifes to take advantage of teh poor and pay them much less money then they deserve so the rich and middle class low life can live a good life off their backs so i quit working and i been living 80 times better living off the tax payers im in a much better program then section 8 my program pays higher rent so i live in a new building built 5 days before i moved in i have central air conditionning elevator new stove new fridge i live much much better then millions of working poor my total rent is 1300 for a one bedroom apartment i pay 222 out of my ssi check the tax payers pay the rest i eat cheap and saved thousands of dollars and bought very good tvs and computers many pc video games movies etc i love having all the free time for my self every day i feel so much better then i use to feel when i worked and got taken advantage of

  3. i have mentall illness why is it i been around mentally ill and teh so called normal people for many years why is it the so called normal people victimized me many times adn caused me severe harm when the so called mentally ill people never caused me any harm and treated me one thousand times better why is it the so called mentally ill acted and behaved one hundred times more normal then the so called normal people i delt with many times in my life the so called normal people proved to me many times in my life to be much more sick in the head compared to the so called mentally ill people only sickin the head people do to other people what the so called normal people do to many people many times in usa

  4. i told some of my storys to my psychiatrist on how the so called normal people caused me severe harm and she told me unfortunately in usa the law system allows people to set up mentally ill people to cause them severe harm and the law system does not hold them responsible she told me people with impulse control disorder are very easy for some one to set them up to harm them selves

  5. when i was 16 years old in juvenile jail one white middle class staff worker set me up to harm my self adn 9 other white middle class staff workers kept causing me severe harm they refused to help me or get me help l am a poor white mentally ill man because of what they did to me i have a severe breathing disorder severe damage to my turbinates in my nose its a long story

  6. I wish that I could have been your patient when you were in practice. You were one of the good ones. I’ve been in counseling for about twenty years and between medication that only helps short term and bad therapists I still struggle and need better help. I agree with everything you said about the mental health field often being unhelpful and at times counter productive. Thanks for sharing your experiences it confirms for me that I’m not at fault for not having been helped enough yet. I have experienced a lot of what you said about how therapists and psychiatrists can be unhelpful in resolving my issues. Thanks for that it helps to know it’s not just me. The mental health field needs to make some significant changes.

  7. Thank u so much for posting . You really put to video what my thoughts, feelings, and gut had suspected for a long time. I believe you are very brave and it’s admirable to know that you really did the truly good things and and not the easy or bad thing.
    Please keep teaching everyone and please keep posting

  8. Thank you for making this video. After a 120K education and just 6 years in the field I agree with everything you say. I make barely enough $ to get by. I work with people in the criminal justice system who do not want therapy. Pill pushing, diagnosing, stress, grief, a broken system and insurance/govmt making most of the treatment calls. It's sad and has taken a lot from my physically, emotionally and spiritually. I got in it to help others and it has made me a depressed, cynical and very anxious (traumatized) person.

  9. thank you so much daniel, you saved me a hell lot of money and time. i have a deep passion for helping people and it dissapoints me that this system is like this, when there are good people who do genuinely want to help

  10. THANK YOU for not using force. It can be so harmful, especially when you're released after 72 hours and given a bill for $15,000.

    I disagree a bit with you on the drugs: of course it's totally unscientific, but a patient can still figure out by trial and error what medications work for them, and should be allowed to more easily.
    (honestly, though, I couldn't finish the video. It's too true)

  11. I suffering for burn out as a therapist and boy
    I don’t know what to think. But if I’m not a therapist how I’m I going make a living.

  12. i'm a little stunned. i have been pondering this for 18 months. IS therapy any different than, say, Scientology? i've never NOT been Diagnosed. i've never NOT been CHARGED.

    For the first time in 25 years, over 3 states, 2 institutions, 10 hospitalizations, 1 exorcism, 5 shrinks, & 35 therapists, i'm starting to think: The problem might not be me..

  13. Therapy hasn't really helped me, when i finally opened up to the therapist he transferred me to another therapist who insisted i needed to be on medication, so i was put on anti-depressants and they didn't help me, if anything, i got worse, i was open with the psychologist but she insisted that i wasn't being open enough. now i'm being transferred to another therapist, it feels like i'm too crazy to be helped. it was interesting to hear what it was like for you to work in the mental health field. great video, glad it was in my recommended section.

  14. Clearly I see the importance of church here. People just need church as cheesy as it sound, a good true christian church can guide people, specially coz Christians dont break people down in to separate groups, Christians sees every one in to the same level as God does, we all are messed up, we all have traumas and problems, our only way out is God, through Jesus Christ the only one that can bring restoration to our life. Every one needs someone to talk to and be listen, Christians support and encourage each other through faith, as God ask us to do. ((((((1 Thessalonians 5:11 New International Version (NIV)

    11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.)))))

  15. I’m so glad I changed my major. Aside from the fact that psychology is massively over saturated as a major and as a field, I genuinely don’t think I have the capacity for so much outside trauma. Instead I’m doing the thing that I’ve always known deep inside that I love worlds more, and after watching this I can’t even imagine how much worse the alternative would be.

  16. Thank you for posting this- I've been talking with friends, family and fellow therapists at the practice where I work- no one has been able to validate what I've been struggling with which you very beautifully articulate here. Thank you!

  17. Wow! Such honesty!! I always wondered about this and how therapists put up with their job. To me, therapists have more credibility than psychiatrists.

  18. in england, medication is free, and i find that therapists recommend as many other things as possible before recommending pills

  19. Have you read the highly sensitive person book? I am a HSP and it answered my questions about my burnout.I asked myself why other therapists could dastance themselves but i couldn’t and actually didn’t want to🙏

  20. I agree with him. I was prescribed these pills that kept me in this zombie state for over a year. Its possible that it has also destroyed my liver. Had to stop immediately. On a side note, why should children not be in therapy if they have trauma?

  21. God live inside of everyone. We just have to talk to Him. God, thanks for my life, i love you, teach me how to love you better and teach me how to help others to love you better BECAUSE WE ARE BIG BEAUTIFUL FAMILY. YAY

  22. Do you have any books out, Dr. Mackler? It would be really interesting to hear about your cases (identities protected), your philosophies and opinions similar to what you do here, if you can do it without making yourself sick. I think it could be very useful in pointing out others painful life experience with the hope of helping our society evolve, helping others thrive and possibly improving the mental health community (I use that term lightly). Think about it. I'd buy them.

  23. I want(ed?) To become a therapist too. But I have experienced trauma myself and I am extremely empathic. And I would love my job because I love helping people. But this is exactly where I see myself if I do end up studying psychology. This guy put his whole big ass heart in it, and look where he is now. Idk what to do.
    My heart goes out to this dude

  24. Depends on the therapist. When I used to have therapy, my therapist told me it wasn’t a good idea to take medication. But if I felt like it, I should go for it. She suggested me many things and said she always prayed for me. I used to have anxiety and I am now very direct XD

  25. As a client in Florida I haven’t had the some
    Of the same experiences with mental
    health providers as he is speaking about in his explanation for Reason #1. Despite the problems as I have encountered from them, therapists have always told me that they support my choice to take medication or not take medication.

  26. Is it common sense to go to school for 6 years n rack up debt? While being seated n school and obey’ing to aggressively?

  27. upsell meds? this must be an American thing , i have never ever been on meds (im very anti meds) and so are my therapists ( i had therapists in ireland, germany, spain and they never told me about meds )this NEVER happens here in europe. i love your videos thanks x

  28. Check out Irving Kirsch. He has done extensive research on the placebo effect and antidepressants. He is a professor at Harvard and a great person to reference when people try to push drugs on you.

    https://youtu.be/UC5RZRG7-QQ

  29. That is one of my problems. I do not need medication or just to talk. I need real advice and none of the therapists I have seen have been able to help. Your honesty gives me hope!

  30. Every person I know who has been to any sort of therapy has told me that those "shrinks" told them everything they already knew and didn't do anything except stare at their clocks and interrupt them after their hour was up and told them they were done for that day. They also told me from day one, they wanted to push meds on them without even giving them a diagnosis but suggesting they had a mental disorder

  31. It would be nice if learning psychology in school is required. Like Daniel said, knowing a bit and learning the alternatives will really help a lot of people.

  32. It's interesting how you said you didn't believe children belong in therapy, I am very interested to know why that is coming from a former therapist. I somewhat agree to this also but would like to know your thoughts on that further.

  33. I am one who wishes to be a 'Therapist' and would like to leave a comment, not to down the video, but to give my view on things, just the way I see it…I feel you need to be a very responsible person to be a therapist of any kind. Therefore, if this is the case, then it would not be the responsible thing to prescribe medication that is unsuitable for the client, medication that could cause them harm. With that said, is it not plausible, that any therapists explores many avenues that may help the client, not just leap on the drug wagon? Maybe it is just the way things are done today and not how they were done 8+ years ago.

    I would hope that every student learns about the dangers of giving inappropriate medication.

    I understand totally what is being said in this video, that therapists are pushed to push these kinds of drugs, however, I really believe that there are therapists out there, that will not prescribe anything, that they are unsure of.

    Thank you for sharing this video, well made and very informative. Let's hope it helps all therapists to think before they prescribe. No matter what pressure they made be under.

    We must remember, that the world really does need great therapists. The world and it's people are in trouble, help is needed. I truly believe I may be one, who will go on to help others in the future.

    Love and respect to all.

  34. Kids don't belong in therapy? Yeah, you are right, they should just suffer trauma or pain silently with nowhere to turn to.

  35. Have been in training for psychotherapy for the past few years, almost finishing. And thank you for this… does not discourage me at all, but it is such a beautiful and honest reflection, and from the little experience I've had thus far, so so true. It points at lessons that we as individuals as well as a profession need to learn. Especially what you say in the end about therapy coming from the community–I have recently been very curious about this, as therapy is such a contrived and artificial relationship, no matter how sincere we might be, it is a beautiful natural human need for intimacy squashed and packaged into a 45-minute-per-week marketable product… similar to how sex workers package another type of intimacy into another type of product. No judgement to therapists or hookers… but we both represent a crutch, a deficiency in people's "diet" of relationships. And what if there was a more wholesome/sustainable way of meeting those needs?

    I also REALLY hear you when you talk about suicidal clients. It seems to be actually modern culture's avoidance of death at all costs. We have a horrible relationship with the angel of death, we can never allow him into the room and talk with him, no no no, repress repress repress. Other cultures have integrated this much more in their collective psyches via myths and rituals, but modern western secular really has a problem with death. And I feel this inability to honestly process the desire to die never really allows clients to access life. They never get past it, because we are unwilling to go there with them. Irvin Yallom points to death as one of the four most important existential problems that need to be processed in therapy (along with love, freedom, and meaning). So thanks for this honest and moving reflection!

    And I would encourage you to pick up therapy again, if it ever interests you again… perhaps not as your "bread and butter" in the cold and institutionalized factory of mental "health"… but perhaps as an art and craft? I'm sure a few people would greatly appreciate it!

  36. I really want to become a social worker but the Pay is horrible and I know it’s about helping but I really can’t afford to be broke I mean no one can. I will be the first to attend college and I don’t want all my hard to be for nothing I want to help my family but I won’t be able to do that.

  37. Stay You,Stay FREAKIN Awesome!!! You and Your Truth Actually Managed To Restore Some Of My Faith In Humanity. It has been my experience where I come from where sadly reaching out to mental health providers/facilities can quickly turn from trying to get help to feeling bullied Into a regrettable powerless state of paranoia. You're now stuck with a mental health label and these medical professionals start throwing around their new found control of your life like prison guard's straight out of The Stanford Experiment! These Posts Commenting This Mom Shouldn't Give Her Child Meds A Psychiatrist Prescribed👀You Try That Here and They'll Have Child Protective Services Removing Your Child For Neglecting Their Needs and Going Against Medical Advice! Now Your Child's In A Hospital for medication stabilization where they'll be taking those meds only now in the temporary custody of the local C.P.S. The more help you ask for and the more truthful you are the more dire the consequences seem to be. Most Of My Childhood Friends Are No Longer With Us Do To The Substance Abuse EPIDEMIC and Overdose Sadly. Drug's Quickly became a means of coping and an even quicker way of life for my generation. Those who manage to survive their addictions and maintain sobriety are now trying to learn how to LIVE, NOT just to survive but to thrive Happily. The Struggle Is Real when you lack family, love, support, safety, trust and a sense of belonging! Glad You Found Your Way Back To Living A Happy Life!

  38. This field is a profession that NEEDS to be shut down effective immediately. People can be mentally damaged by these same therapists, mainly by psychologists. The ugliest human trash on the planet, they normalize "victim blaming" by disguising it as "responsibility and accountability" and they go as far as to be MANIPULATIVE and reverse everything around on the client and blame them for things THEY CLEARLY DIDN'T ASK FOR and stupidly say they need to "own it". That is clearly psychological abuse and they get away with it.

    Hell, most psychologists invalidate their clients, gas light their clients, stall, withhold information from them and exploit the worst fears that can cause damage and inflict PTSD and emotional distress.

    I also feel these QUACKS are responsible for the mass shooters we have today as well as the suicides as well because they inflict damage that is insult to injury and then people are pushed over the edge. Stop defending these therapists, stop making excuses for them, just stop otherwise, you are proof that cancerous people DO EXIST in society. If you want to defend trash, then you are part of the problem and NEVER the solution.

    The psychiatrists prescribe medication that can do GREATER HARM to people and if it doesn't kill them it does something else and in the words of Richard Dawkins: When you base medicine on science you kill people.

    It should be illegal to practice psychotherapy and psychiatry and if any low IQ pinhead doesn't like that, they can go fuck themselves. We need to be a little more barbaric with SANCTIONING things and fast. No more devil's advocacy no more bullshit, just shut this profession down NOW and the ONLY WAY it can be reinstated is a proper reform where "victim blaming" is NO LONGER allowed, misdiagnosing people is NO LONGER allowed, prescribing DEADLY MEDICATION is no longer allowed, candidates are HARSHLY SCREENED before receiving their licenses because research also shows that MANY psychotherapists and psychiatrists ARE FUCKED UP NARCISSISTS so boom, more reasons for a reform. Even if they are not a narcissist but a plain dumbass then again, more reasons for a reform.

    Therapists don't help people nor do they try, they only inflict harm which they are not supposed to and it's time many of them are sanctioned for their actions.

  39. This is GREAT! But I have to say as a psychotherapist (LCSW) I have never “up talked” medication, as a matter of a fact I’m against it. I always go into details with my client about what did you eat, drink, do, etc when you began to feel this way. Mental health and physical health go hand and hand. As such, knowing your body and triggers is very IMPORTANT!

  40. I get it. However, I hate when people complain about things they're "supposed" to do. You are an individual, and can practice your way within the law. There are plenty of medical professionals who do what they feel is right rather than the norm. I know of doctors who are against vaccines because they think they 'cause' autism. They're incorrect, yet still in practice because they do what is law. 'Whistleblowers' tend to be conspiracy theorists, and overall don't help, themselves.

  41. Exactly the system is fucked up. Thank for being a human. People just do a career for money. Money of course is a double edge sword.

  42. Daniel makes a good critique of American psychoanalysis within the medical system… but there is so much more in the world of counselling and psychotherapy that this. Much of this critique is really psychoanalytically based and coming from a Humanistic & mindfulness background its very different. i.e. Diagnosis, Psychiatric Drugs, Insurance Companies etc. The therapeutic boundary issues Daniel had also explains his burn out, therapy is a boundaried relationship – that's what makes it different from a friendship or a relationship with our partners. Self-care is also important in preventing burn out.
    In summary – it sounds like Daniel was just not in the right work environment/system for himself… but lets not confuse this with psychotherapy or counselling worldwide.

  43. ''Because I don't believe kids belonged in therapy.'' Children can be worrying more than adults even, so please, do not be like that, but I do respect you for being a therapist. c:

  44. Thankyou you’ve given a profound insight and I feel comforted to hear how similar I feel working in that field I’m grateful as I also love Gabor Mates insight too

  45. A lot of people in therapy are those seeking attention and no matter what solutions the therapist comes up with the patient swear it didn’t work when in reality they never even tried .

  46. I have a question. Would you say that these issues are more prevalent in your field of work, where you deal with more serious trauma and mental health issues, than in the field of mental health counseling? And do you think that work culture can differ from clinic to clinic, in a significant way? I’m considering getting my masters in mental health counseling and I’m trying to decide if it is worth it. Thank you.

  47. Thank you for the video. I'm thinking of majoring in Psychology and becoming a therapist. This has given me a unique perspective on what I should keep in mind while I go through this and think about what I want to do.

  48. Thank you for your honesty. I attempted therapy or checked out over 100 therapists over years, after my Mom died and I was dealing with intractable grief. I still am, and it's been 35 years. Finally, I found I Damn good psychologist, who's key to his work was to always be compassionate, No matter what. I asked him once why he was always so compassionate, now matter what scrapes I got into,.and he said, "Because compassion is the only thing that works."
    Bingo.
    I have know for decades that meds were just a way to bring psychiatrists back into the biz after the horrors of more severe psychiatry were.exposed in the 1960s. So big Pharma created milder drugs and therapists were told these would help clients benefit more from therapy. Yeah by drugging them to not be so "difficult." It was and is a 3 way scan between psychiatrists, big Pharma, and therapists.
    Beware.
    Thanks for being a good therapist.
    And honest.
    And exposing the problems.

  49. “I don’t believe children should be in therapy.”

    I don’t understand… where do you put children who have depression?

  50. Dan you should be a Life Coach. You would be amazing and with your experience and credentials you would help a lot of people

  51. Um HELLO! I have my MFT degree and 2 years experience working with kids, teens, and adults of various ages and and backgrounds. I have been struggling and feeling really incompetent lately. I just don’t know if this field is for me anymore. But what are good career options for us leaving mental health? I have a bachelors degree in business/marketing. And my masters in MFT. Any input would be helpful. Thank you for this video!

  52. Find a good life coach — therapy can waste years because it is so slow and often doesn't work. If you do therapy, find someone that will WRITE and SHARE with YOU a DETAILED written concrete, measurable and accountable treatment plan based on your goals. MAKE them track your progress on a written treatment plan every week and share the results with you. I guarantee you most therapists will resist doing anything of the kind. They HATE accountability. The want to keep it vague and super low labor intensive for themselves–no reporting, nothing. Just vague "so how does that feel?" -it's mostly snake oil sales. Also, beware of therapy addiction–when a therapist actually addicts you to their treatment—for years.

  53. I completely agree with you. I don't think we should label others. It only causes more harm. And plus, like you said, most people will find themselves with at least one or two of those disorders listed. Damaging. And ironic (Mental "health" ?) Is there any way we can treat without diagnosing? I wonder. no.2 THE DRUGS. What's the point if it only causes more complications? One drug leads to another, and another, and another. Is the patient ever really saved?

  54. It’s scary that you are in my mind. I’m currently starting my 2nd year of MFT grad school and I think these things already! Thank you for sharing your insight. I definitely weigh what you say with how I feel heavily against whether I continue. I probably will graduate but whether I continue with licensure… we will see. One of the biggest discouragers is the other therapists. Ugh 😑 The characters in this field acting as “healers” is astounding! Hearing them speak of their own issues mostly in session… sometimes I’m overhearing the therapists personal problems shared with the client instead of the client! Also, the narcissist label is so overused and abused it’s sickening. The therapists are trigger happy with that word. Can you believe it if a client is late to session or misses one they are a narcissist!? I’ve never heard such BS! Anyways, thanks for sharing. I was wondering what you do now for a living, if you’re happy, and whether you would return to being a therapist in some form or capacity? Also were association fees and investing in continuing education worth it?

  55. Beautiful words and reasons🤗The psychiatric industry lost a “TRUE”~or maybe not, you’re here and you’re free and you’re STILL healing. Thank you for your service and your honesty ❤️ #NewSubscriber

  56. I’m training as a therapist in the UK, I don’t think we have the pressure to diagnose and medicate. Therapists here don’t diagnose and while you are expected to refer to a psychiatrist if people are suffering psychosis and it is affecting their functioning or likely to cause harm to themselves or others if they do not have medical treatment, there’s no pressure to refer to psychiatrists otherwise. Therapy here is not regulated, anyone can call themselves a therapist, a psychotherapist, a psychologist, a counsellor, but they cannot call themselves a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist unless they have the qualifications, but there is training to go through and membership bodies which create a semblance of order. There is no pressure to medicate because the NHS doesn’t really want to medicate, it costs them money, and the NHS doesn’t pay for therapy in private practice so if a person is coming to see a therapist and paying themselves then that is cheaper for the NHS than to have them also be medicated. It’s a different system, but it’s not up to standard for different reasons.

  57. Drugs: my understanding is that the same drugs they give punitively to those in prison for sexual abuses, they prescribe for victims of sexual abuse.
    They never address psychiatric problems in a wholistic manner, when it’s an accepted fact that the head is in fact attached fairly securely to a greater body.

  58. We live in a social system where the victim carries all of the burden. Victim blaming ideals are sponsored. The idea that you are 100%responsible for what happens in your life is a double edged sword that while giving us the feeling of so much agency, is cutting us to ribbons.

  59. I am from Pakistan. A session costs 50 cents literally. They are against medications. And they are 100% caring, loving and respect everything you say. Also, they don't diagnose anyone. Just talk things. It's helping me alootttt. Thank God I am not in the USA.

  60. Thanks so much for this video, Daniel. I've been wanting to contribute to improving mental well-being for quite some time, after having quit the tech industry because of all the screwed up things they're doing in the background too. Well, after watching your video it became clear that I wouldn't be happy at all joining another broken system. I like what you said about everyone having some therapy skills that they can share with their community. I think the next right step for me is, then, to teach people active listening skills. I plan on putting some videos up on YouTube related to that. If you're reading this, it would be pretty cool to connect. I'm sure I could learn a lot from you.

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