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"This isn't working for me" : How to know when its time to find a new therapist

"This isn't working for me" : How to know when its TIME to find a new therapist

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Things don’t feel right, you’ve crowdsourced opinions on the group chat, spent hours thinking about things they’ve said… You’re starting to think it might be time to break up with them. No, I don’t mean your partner, I’m talking about your therapist. 

People seem more than willing to be picky about who they date, what they wear, where they work, but as soon as it comes to therapists there seems to be hesitation. Studies show that this is because people believe that a trained professional knows “more than them” so is in a better position to call the shots. But listen, you and you alone know if something feels right. Here are some red flags to look out for if you’re on the fence about 'peacing' out from your current mental health practitioner:

You don’t vibe on a personal level

Look, you don’t have to be best friends with them, shove them in the girlies group chat and invite them on nights out (definitely do not do that), but there has to be some level of ease and rapport. Studies show the biggest indicator of success in therapy is based on the relationship between clinician and client. If you don’t feel safe, heard or seen, you are far less likely to speak freely with them, and baring all is when the magic starts to happen. If you can’t get past that awkward “getting to know each other” phase, chances are it’s not the right fit. 

You feel judged 

Depending on who you are and how you choose to live your life, things can get a little wild in between sessions. If you find yourself holding back, censoring stories to make yourself seem less “off the rails” or diminishing events to sound more together, your therapist isn’t creating the safe space you need to express. Leaving a session in a shame spiral is NOT what you deserve. 

They forget things you tell them 

Without pointing out the obvious, a therapist’s main role is to listen. If you feel like they’re doing the nod and smile whilst tuning out and not retaining information you’ve told them, it’s time for a swift exit.

You view it as a place for venting and validation

Sure, therapy is an excellent place to get all that shit you’ve been holding in off your chest, but GOOD therapy is so much more than that. Treatment plans, goals and, if appropriate, a potential end date to your sessions should all be on the table. It’s important to keep assessing how you’re progressing. Whilst it feels good to let it all out, without structure it can just turn into a never ending bitch sesh. 

If any of the above resonated with you, don’t make any rash decisions. Write down how you’re feeling and ask to have an honest chat with your therapist between sessions. If something still doesn’t feel right, feel proud of yourself for observing your own boundaries and find someone who gets you. 

Article Image Credit @oaknarrow

Article Written by Ianthe Jacob