Had my second session with my new therapist, the psychoanalyst. It was terrific. It’s a totally different feel from my other therapists, all of them. Except for the analysts I saw years ago. I didn’t leave with the feelings of confusion and anger that I generally left my sessions with in the past. I just talk about my thoughts and feelings and she makes interpretations.
Also, I asked her if she would take a look at my book of therapy summaries from my last therapy. And to my amazement, she said she was eager to look at them. That surprised me because she wasn’t at all interested in my other books.
And I like her serious psychoanalytical posture. No chit chat. I just sit down and talk. She doesn’t say anything at the beginning. None of that crap like, “How are you?” “How are you feeling?” I remember I once said to Dr. Palombo at the beginning of a session, “So how ya doin’, doc?” And he said in a chilly way, “What’s on your mind?” Before the session I happened to see her outside her office in the elevator area, and she barely acknowledged me. When I mentioned something about her training analysis, she froze. I quickly dropped that subject. Dr. Oberman used to like to brag about his training analysis with Theodor Reik.
She’s not a soother and a mommy. I don’t understand people who are looking for that in a therapy relationship. You go to a professional person — an accountant, a lawyer, a primary care doctor — you’re not looking for a soother and a mommy. Why would you want that in therapy?
I can’t believe my good luck in finding her!!
February 27, 2019
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Matthew W. Caspari, Esq.
D.C. Department of Behavioral Health
64 New York Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
RE: Wendt Center — Social Worker Disciplinary Complaint against Jerri Anglin
Dear Ms. Caspari:
I forward a notarized letter-affidavit dated May 3, 2018 addressed to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia that is marginally pertinent to the document submission I forwarded to your office days ago under cover letter dated February 19. 2019 (enclosed).
I provided my Wendt Center therapist, Jerri Anglin a copy of said letter-affidavit in May or June 2018. The document is psychologically relevant to my propensity to idealize certain individuals. The document discusses my idealization of U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle.
cc: Anthony T. Pierce, Esq., Akin Gump Managing Partner
Anne O’Brien, Esq., Caplin & Drysdale
Walter H. Rusch, Esq., Berliner Corcoran & Rowe, LLP
Karl A. Racine, Esq., DC OAG
Lawrence H. Gesner, Esq., Venable, LLP
I should have done some more research on my former therapist before I wrote the complaint. I just discovered what my therapist’s treatment model is: It’s the so-called TREM Model: The Trauma Recovery and Empowerment Model. The target population for TREM is “women who have a history of sexual, physical, and/or emotional abuse and can have severe mental health problems and frequent co-occurring substance abuse issues.”
It was so clear to me that her work was manualized. She was like a wind-up doll, always commenting in routinized ways when I said certain things. Her comments weren’t particularized, but more like “stimulus-response” — “if the patient says this then you say that.” And she even projected that onto me. She would say, “You have an internal script. Your feelings and behaviors are controlled by your internal script.” See the projection? Her relationship with me was controlled by a treatment manual.
“TREM is a fully manualized 24- to 29-session (6-7 months) group intervention for women who survived trauma and have substance use and/or mental health conditions. This model draws on cognitive–behavioral, skills training, and psychoeducational techniques to address recovery and healing from sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. TREM consists of three major parts. The first section, on empowerment, helps group members learn strategies for self-comfort and accurate self-monitoring as well as ways to establish safe physical and emotional boundaries. The second component of TREM focuses more directly on trauma experience and its consequences. In the third section, focus shifts explicitly to skills building. These sessions include emphases on communication style, decision-making, regulating overwhelming feelings, and establishing safer, more reciprocal relationships.”
Can you imagine applying this model to me for 9 months? This is ridiculous. I wish I had worked this into the complaint.
Here is my therapist talking about TREM:
Can you imagine what a real lawyer like David Callet could do with this woman on cross-examination?
I came across an article on the Internet. My former therapist was interviewed as a social worker who does trauma work. This is what she said:
Says [redacted], “We tell them from the very start, ‘We’re glad you did all those things. Had you not been hypervigilant when you were a kid, you wouldn’t have been watching out for yourself, and you wouldn’t be around today. If you didn’t soothe by getting high to get yourself through, you might have killed yourself and wouldn’t be here today. If you hadn’t dissociated when your father was raping you, it may have been too painful to stay in your body.” TREM leaders relabel those behaviors as survival tools, and, says Anglin, “give these women less costly strategies—a repertoire of activities—they can use to take care of themselves when they experience stress.”
I’m not a drug addict or a cutter. I use writing for self-soothing. I write letters for self-soothing. That’s a healthy way to self-soothe instead of drugs or cutting. But she had a problem with that healthy form of self-soothing.
Think about it. If one of her other patients was a drug addict, and she got him to write about his thoughts instead of taking drugs, she would consider herself a damn good therapist. She would see that as definite therapeutic progress.
God help people in psychotherapy who have high-level ego functioning, like me. Their high-level coping mechanisms will arouse bad things in therapy. You’re better off being a drug addict with some of these therapists. Believe me!
My therapist said on a number of occasions, “You don’t let me help you.” In fact, she repeated that at out last session on February 12, 2019.
What did she really mean by that?
The session on May 29, 2018 is striking. I pointed out the following in my letter about that session: “Group theorist Earl Hopper offers insight into the possible psychodynamics of such thoughts: ‘Malign envy is directed towards objects who are perceived as able but unwilling to help, and who are perceived as responsible for failed dependency, that is, failed containment, holding and nurturing. In other words, according to this perspective, malign envy is not innate, but develops as a defence against feelings of profound helplessness, which are a consequence of traumatic experience.’” Traumatic Experience in the Unconscious Life of Groups.
I propose that her dominant counter-transference was envy triggered by feelings of helplessness with me. I suspect the feelings of helplessness became unbearable for her.
Upon retiring last night, February 20, 2019, I had the following dream:
I am in a deeply wooded area. It is like a picnic site. There is a lake and people are swimming in the lake. There are islands in the lake off to the distance in one direction. Off to another side of the lake there is what looks like an Egyptian temple, but it is just two supporting structures with a lintel (see picture above), as if it were a giant picture frame in the lake, the two sides of the frame and the top portion of the frame. I am intensely hungry. My sister is there and I say I am hungry for breakfast, tea with a piece of cake. I have a camera and I am taking pictures of the scene. It is a beautiful scene. A boy comes up to me and grabs the camera. He says to me, “I want that,” referring to the camera. I am angered: “Everybody wants something from me,” I think. There is a vague sense of anxiety throughout the dream. My sister seemed detached from the environment. It was as if she and I were having two different experiences in the very same environment. I was enthralled by my surroundings, but my sister seemed indifferent.
Event of the previous day: I was watching the BBC news on TV. There was an interview of a professor of theology at Villanova University. He talked about the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. He spoke with an Italian accent, but he lived in the United States. There was film footage of the Pope speaking to a crowd of people in Vatican Square from inside the Vatican.
1. In 1978 I took a trip to Italy. I visited the Vatican. On a Sunday I went to the Vatican to see the Pope speak to the large crowd in Vatican Square from the Vatican. I also visited Stresa, in the lake region in Northern Italy. Stresa sits on Lake Maggiore. In Lake Maggiore are the three Borromean Islands.
The Borromean Islands (Isole Borromee) are a group of three small islands and two islets in the Italian part of Lago Maggiore, located in the western arm of the lake. Together totaling just 50 acres in area, they are a major local tourist attraction for their picturesque setting.
Their name derives from the Borromeo family, which started acquiring them in the early 16th century (Isola Madre) and still owns the majority of them (Isola Madre, Bella, San Giovanni) today.
I took pictures of the lake and the islands with my camera. I remember thinking, “This is one of the most gorgeous things I have ever seen.” My hotel room in Stresa overlooked Lake Maggiore. I remember watching the sunset over Lake Maggiore one evening; it was spectacular.
2. Villanova University is located in the Philadelphia suburbs. I had been accepted to the LL.M. program in tax law at Villanova University in 1983. Also in the Philadelphia suburbs is a Catholic seminary, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. My mother mentioned that seminary several times.
3. The weekend of December 30-31, 1978, three months after the trip to Italy, I visited New York City. I stayed at a hotel over the weekend to see Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and Strauss’s Elektra. I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I visited the Egyptian temple, The Temple of Dendur in the Sackler Wing (see picture above). The Temple of Dendur had been a gift from the Egyptian Government to the United States, donated in 1967.
4. The day of the dream (February 20, 2019) I sent a copy of a disciplinary complaint I had filed against my last therapist to the managing partner of Venable, LLP (Lawrence H. Gesner, Esq.), a major funder of the clinic that employed my therapist. In effect, I alleged that the clinic his firm helps fund is corrupt.
5. The day following the dream (February 21, 2019) I was to have my first session with my new therapist, a psychoanalyst. I was both intensely excited and anxious about seeing her. Remember that the dream featured anxiety throughout.
The issue of corruption in the Catholic Church parallels the idea that my last therapist was corrupt. I have exposed my last therapist, the way the victims of abuse exposed priests in the church. The Catholic Church, as an institution, parallels the mental health clinic where I obtained therapy. Both the Catholic Church and the Clinic have a false image as benefactors (“givers”), when in fact they are both corrupt.
I note that both the Temple of Dendur in New York and the Borromean Islands relate to hotels where I stayed. Does this parallel the theme of the hotel in The Dream of the Four Miltons? Does Lake Maggiore in the dream correspond to the swimming pool in The Dream of the Four Miltons? In this dream, I am hungry for breakfast, tea with a piece of cake. Does the cake correspond to the birthday cake in The Dream of the Four Miltons?
The theme of wanting is overdetermined in the dream. I am intensely hungry. This parallels the boy who wants my camera; he was “hungry” for my camera. Does this state of wanting relate to the issue of envy, which is a state of wanting?
Does “the temple that looks like a picture frame” parallel the camera, a device that “takes pictures?”
Penn State Abington, where I attended the first two years of college had a wooded campus. At the center of the campus was a duck pond. It was delightful.
Is there a theme of my wanting knowledge? Wanting knowledge at Penn State? (My association to the Catholic seminary?) Wanting knowledge of myself through psychoanalysis? My disappointment and frustration of satisfying that desire for knowledge with my past therapist? The infant whose wanting of the breast is frustrated, sees the breast as the “bad breast.” In a sense, the infant whose desire for the breast is thwarted views the breast as a bad breast or a “corrupt” breast. The mental health clinic where I sought treatment was the bad breast, the “corrupt breast” that thwarted my desire for knowledge about myself?
I note that Freud associated ancient Egypt and its artifacts to psychoanalysis and the unconscious. He referred to his landmark book, The Interpretation of Dreams as the Egyptian dream book.
The duck pond at Penn State Abington.
I had my first session with my new therapist. She’s terrific. Every comment she made was absolutely on point. Very empathic with a keen sense of my internal world. And that was just in the first 50 minutes!! And she would say, “But I don’t know you that well.” But it was as if she did know me! I felt that. If I didn’t know, I would suspect that she was trained in analysis. Of course, she had a couch in her office.
I spent a lot of time talking about Dr. Palombo. She said, “It sounds as if this man meant a lot to you.”
She said, “It may be that you could benefit from two sessions per week. But I can’t determine that at this point.” She also said, “It may also be that you could benefit from standard analysis. In that case, I would refer you to someone who can do analysis with you.” Nobody ever said that to me before.
I told her I was very optimistic.
My other therapists would say at the end of a session, “How are you feeling? Are you feeling good?” Freud said that “the purpose of analysis is to transform misery into common unhappiness.” It’s not to make you feel good.
2. She would deny she ever said something.
5. Her actions did not match her words.
6. She would throw in positive reinforcement to confuse me.
–You’re very smart, Mr. Freedman. You are a very smart man.
–You’re very intuitive, we know that.
8. She would project.
–You think you’re smarter than everybody else.
–Do you know everything?
9. She tried to align people against you.
–Your doctor was afraid of you.
1. They tell blatant lies.
You know it’s an outright lie. Yet they are telling you this lie with a straight face. Why are they so blatant? Because they’re setting up a precedent. Once they tell you a huge lie, you’re not sure if anything they say is true. Keeping you unsteady and off-kilter is the goal.
2. They deny they ever said something, even though you have proof.
You know they said they would do something; you know you heard it. But they out and out deny it. It makes you start questioning your reality—maybe they never said that thing. And the more they do this, the more you question your reality and start accepting theirs.
3. They use what is near and dear to you as ammunition.
They know how important your kids are to you, and they know how important your identity is to you. So those may be one of the first things they attack. If you have kids, they tell you that you should not have had those children. They will tell you’d be a worthy person if only you didn’t have a long list of negative traits. They attack the foundation of your being.
4. They wear you down over time.
This is one of the insidious things about gaslighting—it is done gradually, over time. A lie here, a lie there, a snide comment every so often…and then it starts ramping up. Even the brightest, most self-aware people can be sucked into gaslighting—it is that effective. It’s the “frog in the frying pan” analogy: The heat is turned up slowly, so the frog never realizes what’s happening to it.
5. Their actions do not match their words.
When dealing with a person or entity that gaslights, look at what they are doing rather than what they are saying. What they are saying means nothing; it is just talk. What they are doing is the issue.
6. They throw in positive reinforcement to confuse you.
This person or entity that is cutting you down, telling you that you don’t have value, is now praising you for something you did. This adds an additional sense of uneasiness. You think, “Well maybe they aren’t so bad.” Yes, they are. This is a calculated attempt to keep you off-kilter—and again, to question your reality. Also look at what you were praised for; it is probably something that served the gaslighter.
7. They know confusion weakens people.
Gaslighters know that people like having a sense of stability and normalcy. Their goal is to uproot this and make you constantly question everything. And humans’ natural tendency is to look to the person or entity that will help you feel more stable—and that happens to be the gaslighter.
8. They project.
They are a drug user or a cheater, yet they are constantly accusing you of that. This is done so often that you start trying to defend yourself, and are distracted from the gaslighter’s own behavior.
9. They try to align people against you.
Gaslighters are masters at manipulating and finding the people they know will stand by them no matter what—and they use these people against you. They will make comments such as, “This person knows that you’re not right,” or “This person knows you’re useless too.” Keep in mind it does not mean that these people actually said these things. A gaslighter is a constant liar. When the gaslighter uses this tactic it makes you feel like you don’t know who to trust or turn to—and that leads you right back to the gaslighter. And that’s exactly what they want: Isolation gives them more control.
10. They tell you or others that you are crazy.
This is one of the most effective tools of the gaslighter, because it’s dismissive. The gaslighter knows if they question your sanity, people will not believe you when you tell them the gaslighter is abusive or out-of-control. It’s a master technique.
11. They tell you everyone else is a liar.
By telling you that everyone else (your family, the media) is a liar, it again makes you question your reality. You’ve never known someone with the audacity to do this, so they must be telling the truth, right? No. It’s a manipulation technique. It makes people turn to the gaslighter for the “correct” information—which isn’t correct information at all.
The more you are aware of these techniques, the quicker you can identify them and avoid falling into the gaslighter’s trap.