Bad Therapist – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★ ☆ ☆   (3 / 5 stars)
Audio Book Performance: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 Stars)

Often, people wonder if they can trust their therapists. In most cases, the answer is yes. But in the case of Chris Bathum, a predatory Malibu rehab therapist and guru, individual’s found their trust violated, their money used, and their addictions tested. Chris Bathum was not only a “bad therapist” but also a fraud, an abuser, and quite frankly, a sociopath. Too many men exist like him in the world, and his story is just one of many.

While the case surrounding Chris Bathum is fascinating, and it’s amazing how he was able to deceive not just his patients but the medical professionals and authorities as well. He was able to put together an empire, take control of vulnerable individuals, and profit off of their fears. It sounds like something from fiction, but it is true.

Honestly, for such an interesting case, I wish the recollection had been executed better. While I was intrigued from start to finish, overall it wasn’t the most impressive narration of a true crime event. It reminded me more of a long podcast (especially in audiobook format) rather than a book.  Some parts I found myself drifting in as well, not able to pay attention. While I can’t quite pinpoint what needs to be done better, it felt like something in the narration or discussion was missing. Perhaps this had to do with the fact I listened to it as an audiobook. Maybe reading it would have garnered a different result.

Yet, Bathum’s case is not one we should take lightly. There are people across the world who use their power to their advantage. Rather than putting individuals like Bathum up on a pedestal, we should watch it in fear and do our best to stop predatory practices like Bathum’s rehab centers. 

Overall, I’m definitely curious to learn what regulations have been set up to stop people like Bathum since these events – if any at all. 

What’s it about?

Inside the biggest scandal in the history of America’s $40 billion drug recovery industry: a predatory Malibu rehab guru—and the fearless female patient who exposed his empire of deceit.

Chris Bathum was a respected therapist, addiction specialist, and founder of one of the fastest-growing rehabilitation chains in America. But Bathum was a total fraud: he was a meth-head with a history of sexually abusing his patients, scamming insurance companies, and eliminating whistle-blowers. Like Rose Stahl. But this intended victim would be his last. Stahl would risk her life to bring down the monster she and so many other people in need had once trusted for their salvation.

Evan Wright’s Bad Therapist is part of Exposure, a collection of six incredible and true stories of American double lives from millionaire CEOs and suburban teens to undercover investigators and scam artists—all for whom secrets are a way of life. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single astonished sitting.

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