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Should I use this as a chance to educate?

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My first therapist was so great in the beginning. Like I really felt I could do a lot of work with her. Until she questioned how I contracted h saying she has never heard that it can be transmitted with a condom 2x and asking if I didnt see the sores on my giver when it was transmitted. I explained asymptomatic shedding and she looked doubtful about that being true. After that session I was angry and sad. I entrusted her with such private information and she didnt even believe me. Also she made a comment about my choice not to take st johns worts for my anxiety bc of the , correlation it seems to have with infertility and asked if I would rather h make me infertile by damaging my cervix since anxiety can cause ob's. I left her and started with another therapist and just didnt feel a great connection and like much work would be done. My question is, is it a bad idea to give the 1st therapist another chance but first educate her and tell her that if she is not knowledgeable about h her sessions may end up.causing me more damage than good but if she can consider educating herself more then perhaps she can really help me through this. Who knows this may help other clients. I really want to go back to therapy though. Today was rough....what do you all think? Should I just try to find someone else. This is a little exhausting. Besides not having a connection the 2nd therapist alluded to me not having to disclose right away even before intimacy. She said its my business when to tell. This really bothered me and she said it a few times. She said its not contracted that easily and I shouldn't disclose until we are in a relationship. Where do these people get their info?

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I've replied and deleted this numerous times. This is just a tricky area. I don't think that anyone really understand H unless they have it. That being said, I also don't think a good therapist would make comments like that without doing some research. Her comments bother me.

I'm assuming that you are going to therapy for issues in addition to H? If you have a connection to her, and she was helpful with other issues, then it might be worth a second chance. However...It sounds to me like you find her to be the lesser of two evils. It shouldn't be that way. I think if I were you, I would continue to search for a therapist that you connect with AND that knows something about STIs. Maybe you can inquire over the phone before even meeting them the first time? If they don't know about H, then I think that you could tell up front how open they are to learning about it.

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I personally would print out the handouts (links below) for BOTH therapists and respectfully ask them to join this community to get educated about the virus. Therapist #1 is confusing HSV with HPV (why the HELL all these STD's have 3 letter abreviations starting with H totally escapes me!!! LOL) ... Therapist #2 is clueless. Remember, they are not trained in STD's and how to deal with them ... which is unfortunate because they likely will come across this on a reasonalby frequent basis... @adrial went to a conference last year and was on a panel that discussed this and they were very surprised at how ignorant most therapists were (and so were the therapists themselves... they reported afterwards that they had a whole new appreciation around dealing with STD patients ;) ). I added the link below from that weekend ... there is a video in the blog - you may want to show it to them too :)


This would be a great time for YOU to feel empowered by taking a stand for them to learn something that might help others ... and in doing so you could help yourself ... Even if you look for a new therapist I would have the handouts when you start and ask them to make sure they are educated about H before you really get into discussing it :)


Handouts + disclosure e-book:




Herpes facts video




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@mmissouri yes I was working with the therapists to deal with other issues but its mainly issues that have been exacerbated due to h. @wcsdancer2010 I asked both if they had experience working with clients with this diagnosis and they said yes they have a few they have been working with for awhile. The first one even asked me if this was my sexual experience because it seemed she couldn't wrap her mind around the fact that I got this while my giver used a condom.


But in the few sessions we had she was able to help me work through my fear of never being good enough for a man now due to this diagnosis and she also really helped me put some other things in perspective. I think she really was just ignorant to hsv and how it works. And I get it all therapists wont know everything, they are human but something as traumatic as what I went through and as sensitive as h, they really can do more damage than good due to their ignorance.


So im wondering if I should email her and tell her how her lack of knowledge affected me during these sessions and attach all this info and depending on her response reconsider her or if I should schedule a session and bring everything to the session or if I should just find someone new. The process is just so draining especially with my insurance. And yesterday was just hard for me. Its like man h really does bring all your insecurities to the surface.

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It can be very difficult to connect to a therapist and finding one you like the first time is actually pretty lucky. It's certainly worth a try to provide her with the info. As a therapist, it's her responsibility to be where you are. This means learning about hsv. I would also suggest looking for a therapist that specializes in sexual health. Not sure if that is an option where you are but I know the first therapist I saw (prior to hsv) specialized in this and relationship issues.

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Ultimately it is your decision, but I think you should definitely tell her how her reaction has affected you, and provide her with more information. I think sometimes people need to hear how their actions/words have affected a person to provide some perspective... sometimes they just don't realize. Although as a therapist, I would like to think that she would know better... but apparently not. Going forward with expressing your feelings and providing some level of education could not only benefit you and her, but maybe someone else who comes to see her with similar issues later on.

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Personally I don't think you should go back....a good therapist listens and guides and doesn't make judgments or decisions for you!!!!


I have an amazing therapist and I have educated her about h. She knew a lot already though but the key is she had an open mind and would ask me questions.


Trust and open mindedness and a room free of judgment.


Keep looking, you will find one


My therapist says at least half her patients are dealing with medical conditions. Maybe you should look for a therapist who has experience dealing with people struggling with medical issues. Ask your gp.


Good luck

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I would definitely send her the email with the materials ... I think I would send that to her, and request a session a few days after so she has time to do her research... tell her the last link may help her to see that most therapists are actually not well trained for this type of issue... (they did some excercises she can try with another therapist on her own too)


If she's open to that idea, I'd go forward with her seeing as you already have a relationship... I'd also send it to therapist #2 and say you won't be back but it would behoove her to get her facts straight for future clients.


Remember, you have the choice to use this experience to help you to become stronger... and yes the therapist will help you with that... and coming here will help. So look for the lessons, realize that your brain will do it's best to mess with you some days and you can buy into it or shake it off.



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  • This content is for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute medical advice or diagnosis. I'm not a medical professional, so please take this as friendly peer support. 

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