7 Signs You Need a New Therapist

therapistPeople look for kind, compassionate, and caring traits in therapists, as they wish to connect with them and delve deep into their inner problems.[1] When meeting a therapist for the first time, we look for eye contact, a smile, and sincerity, and when we don’t find what we are looking for, we may brush it off as one of two things.1 First, we may ignore the behavior—they’re close to home, rates are reasonable, and other incentives are offered.1 Second, we may make excuses for them—maybe they’re having a bad day or maybe they need time to warm up.1 However, when you are seeking help from someone who will be diagnosing you and giving you recommendations and insight, it’s time to get picky.1

After the awkward introduction, there are several other things you can look out for to identify whether or not the therapist is right for you.1

  1. Answering the phone while you’re in session. If it’s an emergency, it’s a different story.1 Otherwise, the therapist may feel too important to give you their undivided time—that you are paying for.1 A good therapist will apologize for the emergency and it may not happen again. If it happens often, it’s time to find a new therapist.1
  2. Eating while speaking with you. It’s just bad manners. It’s taking away from their undivided and well-deserved attention.1 Happening once may be due to them taking an emergency session during their lunch break, but happening all the time is unacceptable.1
  3. Talking too much about themselves. Some therapists are just self-centered and enjoy speaking about their accomplishments, dilemmas, etc.1 Some do this to find a common ground with their clients. However, the ones who just like to brag are doing it on your time.1
  4. Doesn’t return calls in a reasonable time. Therapists do receive many calls each day—many during sessions—leaving their voicemail boxes full.1 However, many set aside time to return calls, which they should as part of their job.1 If a therapist ignores you, doesn’t attempt to call you back, and doesn’t give you a ring to reschedule when needed, you need to move on.1 What if there was an emergency and you needed your therapist?1
  5. Crosses boundaries. It’s true: some therapists flirt with their clients.1 Others cross personal boundaries and may offend their clients.1 It’s not what you are paying for—move on.
  6. You feel judged. You should never feel judged by your therapist. You are going there to be heard and helped.[2] Never walk away feeling like the therapist enjoyed hearing about your problems—they aren’t the right fit.2
  7. You’re a number. Sometimes therapists see too many clients that they are unable to remember your name or your situation.2 If they appear disconnected, disinterested, and over-worked, find someone new.2

A therapist-client relationship takes time to develop, so don’t waste yours if you spot any of these signs, because likely, a good relationship will never happen.2

[1] Hill, T. (2013). How To Spot A Bad Therapist: 10 major signs. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 30, 2013, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2013/10/how-to-spot-a-bad-therapist-10-major-signs/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We are the only facility in Florida owned and operated by an addiction psychiatrist involved in all treatment decisions. Learn more
Hello. Add your message here.