Therapists facilitate people suffering from domestic, marital, and mental health problems. Some also help further the plotline in The Sopranos effectively! But sometimes, a person believes s/he isn’t satisfied by a therapist’s services anymore. Like every association, the patient-therapist relationship seems vulnerable to a breakup as well. In 2018, Barna reported that more than 40% of Americans had seen a therapist/counselor once in their lifetimes. The following year, CDC revealed that 9.5% of adults in the US received therapy in the past twelve months. If you’re seeing a counselor for a year but then feel like it’s not helping you any longer, it’s time to move on. So, listed below are some reasons to change your therapist.
They behave unethically
Therapists discuss intimate details about your private affairs purely for professional motivations. But when this relationship becomes unprofessional, you must switch to an ethical therapist. If someone attempts to seek/offer sexual favors or violate confidentiality, it’s time to find a replacement. Other examples of unethical attitudes include being too interested in your sex life, looking to befriend you outside of therapy, doing/saying something harmful, or criticizing your decision to finish treatment.
They aren’t qualified
Most therapists have specialized in certain subjects and don’t claim to be generalists. Today, many aspiring counselors and life coaches have distance learning opportunities at their disposal to acquire high-quality education on the internet. These opportunities enable them to bolster their academic expertise without attending classes physically and gain relevant experience alongside. We can see how students now can pursue an online master’s in counseling that blends theory with hands-on experience. So, ensure that your therapist has sought the proper education and certification in order to be of use to you. If not, then it’s advised to find someone new.
Don’t let therapists forget that you are the center of conversation during a therapy session. It does not mean that therapists should act like machines at all times. No, they should show some aspects of “humanity” by telling you something about themselves. But, if they start narrating lengthy personal stories and ignore your problems completely, it’s the perfect reason to contact someone else. Get a therapist to whom you can say anything while they listen to your concerns attentively.
You might’ve noticed the widespread portrayal of well-disciplined therapists in films/series. They disapprove of patients missing an appointment or arriving late for their sessions. It’s a part of their job to track your progress and ensure you’re taking counseling seriously. If they aren’t attending to your progress, this relationship seems inconsistent and ineffective. So, when they stop caring about you arriving late or not attending a session at all, it’s time for you two to “see other people.”
They aren’t punctual
You don’t want therapists to waste your time and money, do you? When they’re running late frequently or rescheduling more often, it means you should seek another therapist. Also, if they’re fidgeting with their smartphone or taking pictures uselessly, that’s not something you should appreciate. Also, you must change the therapist if they seem neglectful/inattentive while listening to you. You’re not paying them to wander in their thoughts. Instead, you need them to focus on the challenges you face.
Even students pursuing education in counseling are told not to let their biases interfere while interviewing patients. These professionals even meet people claiming to be Lucifer but don’t bat an eye! Thus, when your therapist starts judging you based on their biases, you should consider a switch. Therapists must not bring their values and beliefs into the conversation. They’re trained to keep their prejudices in check. So, showing partiality means your therapist isn’t qualified anymore.
“We can’t expect therapists to remember every detail about our lives,” one may argue. Well, that’s why counselors take extensive notes and pursue an in-depth study of every client. So, when they start to forget important information you’ve uttered in your last session, it demonstrates their sheer negligence and lack of interest in helping you. You want a therapist to retain this information. If they don’t remember, it means they weren’t listening to you properly. In some cases, this can also lead to mistreatment and adverse consequences. Therefore, don’t work with a therapist who can’t communicate effectively.
Statistics published by Psychiatry show that some 75% of patients recover from therapy sessions. It happens because counselors help clients discover solutions to their problems. But when therapists start telling you what you should do, it means the session hasn’t been productive. Their job is to let you arrive at your answer, not to impose their suggestions on you. If your therapist isn’t empowering you, it’s time to switch. Thus, unless that person stops dictating, keep looking for replacements.
There’s no progress
Sometimes, attending these sessions doesn’t improve you at all. Well-qualified professionals can also fail to produce visible results in some patients. It shouldn’t reflect poorly on their abilities, but people can switch to another counselor for the sake of progress. We even observe some therapists recommending their clients to meet another professional. If your mental health coach doesn’t apply better strategies or suggest switching after seeing no progress, it’s time for you to migrate.
In the end, not every reason here involves the therapist being a creep! Some patients decide to seek the services of another mental health professional because they’re moving to a different city/state. Even if your family chooses to live in the suburbs, you may consider saying “goodbye” to your mental health coach in the city. Don’t say, “I can’t relocate ’cause I’m seeing a shrink right now”! Just find a different counselor with whom you can discuss your problems and also enjoy a productive session.
A survey by APA revealed that 91% of Americans would recommend a mental health professional to their family/friends. But there are some obstacles too that sometimes make it impossible for a patient to see a therapist in the future! If you don’t notice improvements or feel that some boundaries have been violated, switch and get a better therapist. Similarly, frequent cancellations and continuous distractions should also convince you to see someone else. When you believe your therapist isn’t helping you achieve the desired results, it’s time for a switch.
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