Have you ever wondered if a therapist is right for you? Have you ever contemplated whether you should break up with a therapist or even how to go about it? Well, then stick around because for this week’s Mental Health Friday, I had the honour of hosting a therapist John Dennis who blogs at Parent family Solutions. Below are his answers to the questions plaguing many of us.
We need to break up!
It’s you, not me. OK, maybe I’m partly to blame too.
As a therapist, I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about people seeing a counselor that wasn’t right for them. They had no idea how to bring it up or how to end things…and consequently it usually didn’t end well.
People will keep seeing a counselor even if it’s not a good fit. Often times, they keep going out of fear or guilt, hoping that they will still be able to work through their issues despite the lack of connection.
For most people who have gone to counseling, they have seen more than one therapist.
I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve met with someone who probably should have been in counseling long ago, but, due to a negative experience with a first counselor, they avoided going back.
This post is going to explain how to break things off with your therapist.
First you have to determine what the issue is.
Is the therapist not a good fit for you?
It’s important to feel there is a good fit with your therapist.
In the very first session I usually explain to clients and family members that it’s important for the client and family to feel like they have found the right professional. I go on to further explain that I’m not the counselor for everyone. All counselors are not cut from the same cloth. If that’s the case, it’s my job to get the client a referral to someone that may be a better fit.
Are they not the right fit in terms of their personality? Or their worldview? (Ie. They’re really into…fill in the blank…and you’re not. You’re an evangelical Christian and they’re an atheist). Now, I will point out that there’s a difference between feeling supported in your life, your choices, etc. and your wish for your therapist to support your cannibalism and heroin use. Just because they don’t support you 100% of the time and confront you on certain areas doesn’t mean they are the wrong therapist. I’ll further point out that doctor and therapist-shopping is common among those struggling with narcissism, substance abuse and borderline personality disorder. Read more