A struggling artist has got Psychiatric Therapists fearing for their livelihood after filing a legal suit for malpractice.
In what could be a landmark case, twenty-two year old abstract painter Thomas Dolehead, paints a pretty clear picture of how his life went wrong following sessions with accredited therapist Miranda Holberg, 60, in New York City.
''I only wanted to talk, really, to check if I was okay. I'd had some anxiety issues in the past and always worried it would resurface and become debilitating. But she took everything. All the pain and misery I'd been channeling into my work. The resentment at my parents, bitterness over failed relationships. Just what am I supposed to do now? I feel really happy,'' he said.
A spokesperson for the therapist didn't see what the problem was. ''I think he got good value for money. Some people spend years in therapy and all they end up with is an unhealthy attachment to their therapist,'' said Daniella Halls, 54. ''I should know, I've married and divorced two former clients.''
Mr Dolehead retorted by suggesting this highlights a wider problem with mental health services. ''If you go in there with specific requests you expect them to be dealt with and everything else left untouched. She can't take away my livelihood like that. I can't work now. It feels akin to organ theft, it's the exact same thing, except instead of a backwater doctor with a hacksaw, I got robbed by a lady in a nice suit and pearl earrings.''
The therapist's lawyer, Adam Kobak, didn't hold back when assessing the situation. ''The whole thing is patently ridiculous. It's pretty obvious that his anxiety was merely a symptom of an underlying problem. If he didn't know that obviously he has zero insight into his own behavior and should have stayed well away from therapy.''
A Legal Advocacy Group is concerned the lawsuit could mark the beginning of a worrying trend. ''It smacks of an easy payday for a low income artist,'' said Kyle Mallard. ''If you're struggling to pay the rent, why not set up some poor, unsuspecting professional for a malpractice suit?''
Meanwhile, Mr Dolehead is trying to get on with his life, and has taken work repainting sheds and chicken coops. He has also entered into a relationship which he hopes will prove to be very unhealthy. ''I've joined a group for depression therapy as well. I feel okay but I'm hoping some of them will rub off on me and I'll get my edge back,'' he said.
If Mr Dolehead's mojo returns, expect to see some pretty darn crazy outhouses appearing in the neighborhood.