Is It Normal To Hate Therapy? Signs That Your Therapist May Not Be the Right One
Whether you’re struggling with perfectionism, recovering from a heartbreak, or looking to develop some self-compassion, talk therapy can be an invaluable resource. However, taking the time to research your options and “shop around” for the right therapist is essential to your healing process.
While there are tons of good therapists out there, there are also some not-so-good ones. Sometimes, even an experienced, qualified therapist might not be a good fit for you, and it’s essential to listen to your gut.
So, how do you know if you’re just adjusting to your new therapist—after all, therapy sessions can spark some discomfort—or if you and your therapist aren’t meant to be? Above all else, your therapeutic relationship should allow you to feel like you can be yourself and express your mental health concerns without judgment. In addition, your therapist should be appropriately trained and hold a license in your state, with no unresolved complaints from your state’s licensing board. With that in mind, here are some signs that your therapist might not be the right fit for you.
You don’t feel comfortable.
Your comfort level during therapy sessions is integral to your healing process, but it can be easy to overlook during your first few sessions. This might be a red flag if you feel like something is “off” during your first phone call or therapy session.
Psychotherapy is hard work—and successful therapy requires diving into negative feelings and thoughts. As a result, paying attention to your comfort levels is an effective way to determine whether your therapist is a great fit. While some discomfort is normal, you shouldn’t dread seeing your psychiatrist or psychologist or avoid your appointments.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the quality of your therapeutic relationship—the relationship between a therapist and a therapy client—is a crucial indicator of effective psychotherapy. In other words, finding a good fit can significantly influence your mental health outcomes.
They don’t specialize in your issue.
Your therapist should know that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach for every therapy client, and it’s important to adapt their therapeutic approach based on their client’s specific mental health issues. If your therapist doesn’t specialize in your specific issues—or isn’t willing to adapt their therapeutic approach to fit your needs—you might not get what you need out of psychotherapy.
To avoid this, be sure to ask specific questions about training, experience, and certificates during your initial phone call or session. For example, if you’re searching for a psychologist with LGBTQ+ experience, consider asking questions like “How would you describe your experience treating therapy clients with LGBTQ+-related trauma?” Alternatively, if you’re experiencing relationship problems with your spouse or partner, you might ask “What types of treatments do you utilize for clients navigating intimacy issues with their spouse?”
You feel judged.
When it comes to your therapeutic relationship, trust is fundamental. If you feel judged for your feelings, sexuality, personal beliefs, behaviors, mental health issues, or for any other reason, this is a major red flag. Your therapist should never roll their eyes during sessions, disrupt your sessions, or make you feel like you’re not heard.
Whether you’re starting therapy for the first time or returning after a long time away, your therapist should always provide compassion, empathy, and insight into your mental health. If your therapist responds to your concerns with criticism or negativity, it’s time to search for a new therapist.
Finding the Best Therapist for You
If you’re questioning whether starting therapy was the wrong choice in the first place—or find yourself thinking “I hate therapy” after each session—it’s more than likely that you haven’t found the right fit. It’s hard enough to seek professional help if you’re already feeling overwhelmed, but having to “shop around” for a good fit is one of the most common reasons people quit therapy or settle for the first therapist they find.
To find the right fit, reach out to a mental health professional through The Therapy Group of NYC. We’ll connect you to a therapist that you feel comfortable with, regardless of your personal preferences and requirements. One of our compassionate, experienced therapists will help you navigate your mental health issues and jumpstart your journey toward mental wellness.