Hi, my name is Amy Nordhues. I am a married mother of three, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, a passionate Christ-follower and more recently, a victim of therapist abuse.
In 2013, I began counseling with a local psychiatrist and elder at my church. But I wouldn’t just become another client. I would also become another victim.
After this tragedy, I knew one thing was certain…I would never tell. The only people who would find out were my pastor and his wife because I needed their help in order to escape—the hold the doctor had on me was too strong.
Perpetrators Know They Have the Upper Hand
And you know something? Abusers know that you won’t have the courage to tell because the inherent shame is too great. In fact, my abuser threatened another one of his victims…go ahead and try to tell…no one will believe a psychiatric patient and I am best friends with the local DA. The situation feels hopeless.
It’s been five years since I made that promise to myself to keep quiet. I can heal on my own, I reasoned. I will put it behind me and it will fade over time like anything else. God and I would handle it…secretly.
I was well aware of the stigma that would come with telling. After all, I told my best friend what the doctor was doing to me and even she took his side. It was me versus a doctor. No witnesses. No proof. Just my word against his. He was an elder in my church. I knew I didn’t stand a chance.
Adult Victims of Therapist Abuse Were Childhood Victims First
For those who were not abused as children, the thought that a grown, educated and intelligent woman can be duped and sexually abused may seem preposterous. I know I held that belief until it happened to me. Yes, I would take this secret to the grave.
It’s been five years since I got away from this man who was preying on vulnerable women under the guise of a “Christian” psychiatrist. I am still healing and will always be on some sort of a healing journey, but God has allowed me to forgive my offender. He has helped me to write a book, a memoir entitled PRAYED UPON, so that others can understand this insidious form of abuse and so that victims can know they are not alone. He has used the recent abuse to address the shame I’ve carried since early childhood when the first man took advantage of me.
The Courage to Tell
And it’s because of one simple thing. He provided me with the courage to tell. First, I told my pastor and his wife. Then, I told my husband. Next, I told the supportive women with the Therapy Exploitation Link Line. (For additional help with therapist or clergy abuse contact T.E.L.L. at: http://www.therapyabuse.org) After that, the Oklahoma Medical Board. Lastly, my attorney. And now…I’m telling you.
I hope to use this blog to shine a light on this reprehensible form of abuse, to be the mouthpiece for those who, like me, planned to take their secret to the grave. I want to provide a refuge for such women to come forward and share their experiences and find resources to aide in their healing. More than anything, I want to encourage victims of therapist abuse or any type of abuse to take that first terrifying step…to have the courage to tell.
It’s not easy. I’m still very afraid of others’ judgement. It is on wobbly knees that I share these experiences with you, but I trust that God can take my “little” and multiply it. And these predators need to be found out. It is not ok to destroy people’s lives, lose your medical license and pretend to retire. Some don’t even lose their medical licenses. I was lucky. This abuse needs to be made criminal in all of our states, not just some of them. For a list of states that have statutes against therapist sexual abuse, see my resources page or click here. https://amynordhues.com/sample-page/
A Beacon of Hope
I am not a counselor, just a fellow victim who has traveled far enough on my healing journey that I believe I can now safely offer a lifeline to others.
If you have never been affected by this type of injustice, I hope this site will be an eye-opening source of information to aide a loved one who has or to provide a word of caution as you or your loved ones seek out help from a mental health professional or member of the clergy. I have worked with many outstanding and reputable therapists in my lifetime, but now I know first-hand the inherent risks that come with such a relationship.
I hope that through stories, articles, poetry and photography this blog will encourage you in your healing process, help you better understand the nature of this abuse and its effects on victims and ultimately point you towards Jesus, the source of my healing and, in my opinion, the source of all true healing. It’s no accident that He has Mighty Counselor in His name.
A Source of Support for Victims of Therapist Abuse
I would be honored if you commented on my post and even more blessed if you reached out to me. I will try my best to personally respond to anyone who contacts me. After all, I created this blog for you. You can find contact info by clicking here. https://amynordhues.com/contacts/
For any victims of therapist abuse, let me tell you the one thing I needed to hear more than anything in the early stages of my healing: It’s not your fault! The professional is always responsible for setting and maintaining proper boundaries—always, 100% of the time, no exceptions.
While I am passionate about exposing abuse by therapists or clergy, I am equally passionate about encouraging others in their walk with Christ, especially during times of extreme hardship when it feels as if God has turned His back on us.
Please leave your comments in the comment section below. I look forward to hearing from you! And if you haven’t already, consider signing up to follow my blog. When you do, I would love to send you a personalized photo with scripture.