You may not always connect with a therapist on the first try, and that is okay. Finding a therapist is kind of like shoe shopping. You sometimes have to try different styles and sizes before finding the pair that fits just right.
The same goes for therapy and treatment. There are many reasons for you to consider “breaking up” with your therapist—for lack of a better phrase. Maybe you do not care for their practices or their personality. Any good therapist will not take offense to you finding a new one. They will most likely offer assistance, referrals, or do whatever they can to help you find the proper treatment.
You may hesitate to seek treatment elsewhere. Perhaps you fear you will have to start over. This fear should not deter you from finding a new therapist. Your treatment will suffer more by remaining in an unproductive therapeutic relationship.
Tips for Finding a Good Therapist
When looking for your first therapist, it is hard to know what to look for. The first step is figuring out what you need. Will you benefit from someone who specializes in addiction treatment? Do you need a therapist who focuses on treating eating disorders?
Maybe you are having a hard time determining what you need. You just know that you do not feel like yourself. These determinations will narrow down the kind of treatment you may need, but you should first discuss your feelings with a primary doctor. They can offer their professional opinion and recommend mental health professionals whose counsel they trust.
There are technical decisions to keep in mind, of course. You will have to consider what insurances they participate with, if they are within a commutable distance, or if telemental health services are offered. Asking yourself these questions before making final decisions can make a difference in your therapy search.
Something else that may be helpful is seeking advice from close family or friends if you are comfortable discussing it with them. Hearing the narratives of others may help your decision. Perhaps they have seen a therapist that they think very highly of and can make a recommendation.
If you are both local to the area, they may have gone to a therapist you are considering and can advise why that person may or may not be the best fit. With that said, it would be most beneficial to never base a decision solely on one person’s experience or perception of the experience.
Nevertheless, if you trust and value that individual’s opinion, it may help clear up your confusion, qualms, or worries about choosing the right therapist. Do not be afraid to evaluate potential therapists as well. Call and ask what previous work they have done regarding services you are seeking. When it comes to your mental health, no service is too good—do not settle for less.
Signs Your Therapist Isn’t the Right Fit
Sometimes there are not always signs that your therapist is wrong for you. For some, it is just a general feeling, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Your therapist may be renowned in their field, but it is time to move on if the chemistry is not there.
There are, however, some signs that you can be on the lookout for. If you notice unethical behavior, such as your therapist talking about other clients despite confidentiality, do not turn a blind eye. These sorts of things are cause for concern.
Other signs will be more specific to you and your sessions. Perhaps you feel judged by your therapist or that they are not acknowledging your feelings and beliefs. Maybe little to no progress is being made.
These are signs it is most likely not a good match. You might feel comfortable enough to bring your concerns to them, and they will work with you to adjust your treatment. There may still be hope, but you should never settle for feeling worse after a therapy session.
Respectfully Saying Goodbye
After ultimately concluding that your therapist is not right for you, there are effective ways to end your time together. Of course, in situations where you feel unsafe or your therapist has behaved unethical, completely cutting ties and reporting them is necessary. When it is simply a lack of connection, be open and honest. Make a conscious, respectful exit and have a plan to continue treatment before leaving—which your therapist may even be able to help you create.
Seeking individual treatment and therapy is a personal journey. You should not rush the process. While it is difficult figuring out where to turn, credible research and sound advice or counsel from medical professionals and trusted confidants can make all the difference.
Just be sure you are making the right choice for yourself. The Lakehouse Recovery Center is primarily an addiction treatment facility, but our competent staff has what it takes to provide you with whatever treatment you require. Do not let the fear of not finding the right therapist stop you from seeking treatment altogether. Get the help you deserve today.
Finding the best therapist for you is a personal process and should not be rushed. There are many factors that you should consider when looking for a therapist. First, figure out what it is that you are struggling with most. Many begin by talking to their primary doctors. They offer medical advice and referrals for therapists they believe can help. You should also conduct research to consider what insurances a therapist accepts, if they are local, and if they provide telemental health services. Unfortunately, all the research in the world is not a sure way you will find a therapist that is the best fit on the first try. There needs to be a connection between you and your therapist. If that connection is not there, be sure to respectfully say your goodbyes, have a plan to further your treatment elsewhere, and move. If you struggle to find the right therapist for yourself, call the Lakehouse at (877) 762-3707.