6 Signs

6 Signs You Need To Switch Therapists

I am 22 years old and I have been in therapy of some sort off-and-on (mostly on) since I was 9. I’ve gone through countless therapists. I’ve hated them all. Just because someone you trust recommends a therapist to you does not mean that they are right for you. Finding your perfect therapist is like finding your soulmate. They are out there somewhere! You just unfortunately and unpleasantly may have to try out a few not so great ones to find the perfect one.

Here are six signs you may need to continue your search for the right therapist:

They are not on your side

Yes, there are certain issues your therapist may disagree with you about, but your therapist should be on YOUR SIDE and looking out for YOUR best interest, keeping nobody in mind but YOU. If you feel they are not… time to get OUTTA THERE!

They have someone else in their ear

I can’t stress this enough. If your therapist is accepting calls from a parent or significant other, GET OUTTA THERE!! Your therapist should never have someone else in their ear. They need to hear stories from you, in your voice, your point of view and your opinion.

You can’t think of things between sessions you NEED to tell them

I have an ongoing note on my phone of things that happen during the week that I just HAVE to tell my therapist when I see her the following week. If you cant think of things to talk about with them, or aren’t itching to tell them something that has happened, maybe you don’t trust them fully, consciously or subconsciously. Loooong silences in therapy aren’t only awkward and a waste of time, but a sign that neither you nor the therapist are too invested in what’s going on. If you have made the effort to go, you must have something to say.

Going there is a chore

This is a big one. If going there does not feel like a ton of bricks being lifted off your back and if it’s a chore or an obligation, time to switch! If you find yourself cancelling sessions last minute because you just can’t face your therapist that day, time to switch! Your therapist should be your savior, your guru, your leader to sanity – anything but someone whose presence annoys you or whose opinion you do not respect and value.

They don’t return calls or are never available

Your therapist should ALWAYS return your calls in a timely fashion. You should be able to text them if something is urgent. And they should check their messages!! If they don’t meet these standards…YOU’RE OUTTA THERE!

You don’t cry at least once a month

If you aren’t leaving the office in tears at least once a month after making a serious realization about yourself… you might be wasting your time. The whole point of going to therapy is to talk about things that you don’t want to talk about. To bring up the pain and difficulties of life. Those are bound to bring out some tears right? RIGHT! It’s part of the therapist’s job to make you feel as though you are in an environment where it is okay to cry. Or you may just be talking about fluff; in which case, you are playing for small talk. Time to GET OUTTA THERE!

Featured image via ShutterStock

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1416306652 Valerie Jung Gilbert

    Last therapist I went to I told her, I don’t think I need to come so often, she gave me “that’s your choice”, with everything I said she kept saying “that’s your choice”. That’s when I chose to get up and walk out and never go back.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=76200829 Jessica Jeffers

    I recently moved to a new city and the prospect of finding a new therapist is so daunting. I love, love, LOVED my old therapist. We clicked so well and I made so much progress with her. My friend once compared finding a therapist to finding a boyfriend — there are a lot of people out there who are perfectly find, just not the right match for you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1389893166 Gabriela Medina

    Omg, girl. I totally feel you. Finding a therapist is like finding a pair of jeans that fit perfectly, nearly impossible, but when you do, there’s crispness in the air and everything is right in the world. I just stole half of that quote from a Lizzie Mcguire episode, but it rings true. I’ve been in therapy since I was in my embryonic stage of life. That was a disgusting visual, so I hope you didn’t visualize it. Point being, finding a therapist whose heart, mind and soul is in sync with yours is truly a blessing. It’s difficult, but worth it when we find that special one. Big ups to all the therapists that had to deal with me in the past, it just wasn’t meant to be. Pero I’ve had some good luck, too. Disclaimer: *semi rant* (this should have been in the beginning)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503088873 Em Milling

    Ha! Valerie I love your “choice”, that’s awesome! I just left my therapist. I found that I was getting nowhere, we weren’t delving into anything life changing. To add to that, I began to stop trusting him because it never felt like I could say the things I wanted to say. I never felt safe. I’ve had some other crummy psychiatrists as well, hell bent on medicating me until infinity ended who I left rather abruptly. The only therapist I did like would take calls while I was in session. At least she tried to empathize with me as opposed to judge my issues and my reactions to suggestions. She was nice, but she’s long gone in another town now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1266213220 Angela Constanza Rivera Martinez

    I went to times with different therapists in my university because of anxiety issues and I don’t have enough money or time to going by myself and I must say, I had horrible experiences! the first one told me my problems were caused because I was an spoiled child and I should stop thinking about myself the whole time and the second one told me nothing! she was all the time cheking her FB! so if you find your soul mate therapy, consider yourself lucky. sorry if my english is terrible!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1333830160 Naura Mrtnz

    I’ve been to two therapists. I really liked the first one, she had a way to make me look at things from other perspectives and she made me realise I was in control of my actions and decisions, I ended up having a pretty good opinion of myself which I still find hard sometimes. But what all the stuff I liked about her and her method was overshadowed by the stupidest things: she liked money a lot, her sessions were not cheap. My financial situation got to a point where I couldn’t afford 4 monthly sessions; I proposed having 2 a month (which wasn’t ideal for me but at least I could afford that, instead of stopping altogether) – but she said no, and that was it. She ended up calling me a spoiled brat, among other things. It was really sad, really.

    After that I decided I wanted to keep going to therapy so I looked for an affordable choice through my health insurance. She was nice, but it seemed to me like she didn’t know how to identify my issues, so when she tried to tackle some problem, she immediately ran out of questions and she was never able to put me in mindsets in which I could question myself or see beyond my words. It felt extremely flat, and after the 3rd session it started feelig like a chore and like a complete waste of time. So that was that. Haven’t been back to therapy, but I would if I felt the need to again. Too bad it’s so hard to find the right one!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741993970 Sara Rogers Chang

    While I agree with most of your listed reasons to switch, I will point out that therapy isn’t meant to be easy so if going to each session isn’t a chore, then I would actually challenge the efficacy of your therapy. I have been seeing my therapist for two years and both love and hate going each week. There are weeks where I know I need to face something so I would rather turn the other way and run but there are some weeks were I am not as anxious. If your too comfortable then real issues are not being addressed and processed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=23204321 Lauren Ross Welch

    You can TEXT your therapist? I’ve never had a therapist who I could get in touch with without a receptionist involved! I recently got my therapist’s email address (which I actually feared might cross some ethical lines). She had to think a minute before saying she was comfortable giving it out. I’ve never emailed her. She’s not my favorite but there are few non-judgmental choices in a small, Southern town. When will I find my soul mate?!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=517862186 Melody Brenneisen

    As a therapist-in-training, I’ll say that the ability to text or even email your therapist is still very much an ethical gray area. A lot of therapists won’t go there simply because confidentiality cannot be guaranteed once you bring technology into the mix. So if you can’t text your therapist, don’t freak out, it’s not because he/she doesn’t care enough. They’re just watching out for your privacy :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005833629329 Augustine Weber

    I don’t mean to criticise you but I am studying psychology.. and.. get trained in being a therapist.. and.. your suggestions in this article are mainly wrong and misleading and could be bad for people.. just saying.. for instance.. it’s very in depth psychology (i hope thats the correct word in english) long silence is essential..
    and i apologize for my english

    • Angela

      Don’t consider doing therapy for english speakers only for people who speak your language and only if you are good.
      There’s no point in disagreeing with this website in everyway and hiding incompetent therapy. Dr Bruce E Levine is right to suggest some therapists use their manipulation to overprescribe some therapy and label and control their patient in such a way that the focus is more maximizing money than an ideal therapeutic healing relationship. i.e. labelling the patient than trying to fix them so they never leave so they continue to feed their wallet.

    • SinDelle Morte

      I don’t mean to criticize YOU but reading from a book and dealing with actual patients (or therapists) is very, very different. She is responding to therapy as a patient, not a psych major and your first impulse is to tell her that her feelings are wrong. I hope you fix that.

  • SinDelle Morte

    Bad therapists are an epidemic, especially for people who have severe illnesses and disorders. Thank you for saying so. There is someone with a very severe mental illness in my family and we have found time and time again that most “therapists” are simply not educated enough to be able to treat this person correctly. They invariably make things worse, sometimes much worse. Most therapists seem to know just enough to make them dangerous and no more. I respect the profession but just I don’t think 2 years of school is enough. Sorry.

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