Sometimes people do not “click.” Their way of thinking and communicating is simply not compatible in a meaningful way. You might be experiencing this in your therapy sessions. Maybe you have been feeling unheard or bossed around, and you want to find someone new. Before taking that step, there are a few important things to consider, including your motivations and new approaches you can take.
Check Your Motivations
There are helpful and unhelpful motivations for wanting a new therapist. You should be fully aware of what is behind your desire to move away from your current client-therapist relationship. You may find it useful to sit down and list out the main reasons you do not feel your current therapist is working out. It may look something like the reasons below:
- My therapist constantly cuts me off when I am talking
- My therapist never agrees with me
- My therapist gives me advice unrelated to the issue
- My therapist is loud and annoying
- My therapist talks too quietly, and I can barely hear them
- My therapist does not always tell me what I want to hear
- My therapist treats me like a diagnosis and not a person
- My therapist is constantly distracted
You can probably tell that some of these motivations are more relevant than others. For example, speaking too loudly or quietly can be resolved by simply talking to them about it to let them know you are finding it difficult to listen because of their volume. On the other hand, therapists who are distracted, uncaring, or lack empathy can have a significant negative impact, and it might be best to move on to a new therapist.
Red Flags That May Indicate a Problem
Therapy is meant to help you learn valuable skills and healthy ways of expressing yourself. Setting goals and working towards achieving them is essential. If you notice that your therapist has not been succeeding at doing their job, it might be time to look at some alternatives. Here are several red flags that might indicate your therapist is not the best fit for you:
- They have no experience or training in your area of need
- They belittle you, your culture, or your beliefs
- They are unable to admit when they have given bad advice or made a mistake
- They do not help you define your goals or motivation for therapy
- They do not provide a game plan for accomplishing your therapy goals
- They speak in a way that leaves you feeling confused or uncertain about their meaning
- They are often confrontational
- They are not following what you are saying and often speak over or ignore your words
- They are emotionally compromised or triggered by the subjects you need to talk about
- They expect you to get better without providing you tools to make necessary changes
- They often start late, end early, or interrupt the session for unrelated matters such as phone calls or office work
Let Your Therapist Know Your Intentions
Once you have written down your motivation or determined that there are some red flags you cannot ignore, it is time to take action. Depending on your personal history, it might be difficult for you to have conversations that may be seen as confrontational. Writing out your intentions might be easier, and that is perfectly valid. The easiest way to communicate your needs is, to be honest and open.
How to Broach the Subject of Switching Therapists
You are in control of your therapy. If you feel uncomfortable or have a solid motivation for changing therapists then you have nothing to be worried about. That does not stop unwarranted and unrealistic fears from popping up but knowing that you are completely valid in your decision can help build confidence before having the conversation. When broaching the topic, stay professional and as neutral as possible.
Here are a few examples of how not to tell your therapist you want to stop seeing them:
- “You’re a bad therapist”
- “You don’t know what you’re doing”
- “Nothing you say is helpful”
- “You’re too bossy”
Instead of focusing on the therapist and blaming them, make it about your health and comfort. More neutral ways to talk about working with someone new include the following.
- “I don’t feel like I am getting as much out of our sessions as I could”
- “I think it might help for me to try talking to someone else”
- “I don’t always feel heard during our sessions, and I would like to try seeing a new therapist”
At Everlast Recovery Centers, we understand that the client-therapist relationship needs to be strong to encourage trust and emotional healing. Feeling unheard or undervalued within that space can be devastating. If you feel like your therapist is not doing enough for you, then it might be time to look for someone new. Before making that decision, it is essential that you closely examine your motivations to make sure it is worth the time and effort that will go into finding someone new to take over your therapy. Sometimes all you need to do is express your concerns and issues honestly so that your therapist can then adjust their communication style to accommodate your needs. When that is not the case, you may need to switch to someone new. Finding the right therapist for you will increase the effectiveness of your recovery treatments. For more information call Everlast Recovery Centers at (866) 338-6925.