One of the most shocking aspects of abuse is how abusers use concepts like confidentiality against the client in order to keep abusing a client or to protect themselves from any kind of legal action. Its very hard for a client to tell anyone there story, what brought them into therapy is usually something they cant discuss with anyone else, or else they have tried and failed. Finally they gain the courage to get some help.
Usually the first few sessions go very well. But by around about session ten, eleven or twelve they find that changes. Its then that abuse sometimes comes in. And then everything the client as told the therapist in confidence, something that seemed so real. Starts to look so unreal.
That unreality can and does quickly turn into a nightmare for a lot of clients. An abusive therapist will make sure that a client knows how hard it is to complain. Or even better still with the use of abuse tolerance will know that the client is not the complaining type. Usually both concepts are used, and if by then a therapist as created the conditions for abuse - abuse will occur.
If it is sexual abuse it will be maintained by the abuser making sure the client knows - that what happened - happened with consent - and complaining will only make the client look bad. Not the abusive therapist. Very few people understand the issues of therapy, never mind abusive therapy. And you quickly discover that any complaint will only be heard by the organization a so called governing body that as a vested interest in making therapy look like good. In other words these organizations are there for the therapists not the clients. Going to law, is an even harder process, certainly in the UK and can only be done with legal aid.
Other forms of confidentially abuse often come up with co-abusers. People who help and protect abusers. Abusers rely on the shock value of abuse. That can leave survivors in a state of shock for months. If they get through that, they often find the abuser as moved or is not around. The intention is to throw the ex-client off the track. They will often leave an organization they belonged to - so that a governing body cannot supply any new address. Or switch organizations. A client cannot complain to the ABC if the therapist is no longer a member. Equally if the therapist as joined the XYZ, they will not be interested in any complaints. Because the abuse did not happen with them. And you cant do anything legally until you know where the person is.
An abuser will then often get a co-abuser to provide hints and clues, to where he/she is. Its all part of the fun of abuse. And if you ask why they wont supply you the address, they will tell you that to provide you with the address could place the abuser in danger. This sort of thinking turns the abuser into the victim. And its at this point that co-abusers need to be reminded that if anyone else is abused by this person they are part to blame for the abuse, by preventing legal action taking place in order to prevent further abuse by the abuser. Confidentiality exists to protect clients not abusers.