Yes, I have. It’s actually not uncommon.
I feel like I’ve answered a question similar to this, but I’m on mobile so I’m not going to go look- forgive me if this sounds familiar.
There’s an important distinction to remember when I listen to my clients- historical truth versus narrative truth. Historical truth is what actually, objectively happened (“the high yesterday was 95 degrees”). Narrative truth is all about perspective, and often changes over time as people understand themselves and their history within the greater context of their lives and their current circumstances (“my mother wanted to hurt my feelings”). When a client is telling me something, they are mostly coming from a place of narrative truth- we all are. There is always going to be distortion in narrative truth. Part of my job is to figure out where the distortions and inconsistencies are.
There are so many reasons why a client may distort things in therapy. They may have severe cognitive distortions, or maladaptive approaches to relationships, or communication problems, or cognitive deficits or personality traits that lead to tendency to distort or exaggerate. They may just really feel like they need help right now and want to make it clear to me that they are in trouble.
So part of what I need to do is figure out what’s going on- why are things being distorted? Is this really the way the client sees things? Is the client intentionally distorting things? If so, why? In essence, I use the client’s distortion as one piece of information to help me conceptualize the case and choose the best treatment plan possible. I hope that’s helpful!