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How To Know When It’s Time To Break Up With Your Therapist

Mary-Lauren O’Crowley, NCC, LPC 

Sometimes therapy or counseling is all you need to get through a difficult period. However, you may find yourself sitting in your counselor’s office wondering, “Is this therapy really working?” The reason could be as simple as the two of you not clicking or as complex as an awful therapist at what they do. It’s better to say when something isn’t working for you than to suffer silently in despair.

Here’s how you figure out when it’s time to say goodbye to your therapist.

1) Lack of trust in your therapist

Therapy only works if you have faith in your therapist’s ability to assist you and keep your personal information confidential. The purpose of a therapy program is to help you build trust and open yourself to another person. Your therapist might not be the ideal fit for you if you are suppressing or hiding facts from them. It is possible that going on with counseling in this way will hinder your recovery. Holding you accountable is one of your therapist’s obligations, which can be difficult. If you cannot fathom telling your therapist about even the most difficult issues in your life, it may be time to look for someone worthy of your trust.

2) You are feeling judged by your therapist.

You may assume that being scolded is an inevitable aspect of treatment; However, a good therapist should be non-judgmental irrespective of what they hear in their sessions. It would certainly help the therapeutic process if you have a therapist who is kind and empathic. Your therapist may challenge you at times or even say things that may be difficult to here; yet they should still able to communicate with tact and respect. In a therapeutic relationship, delivery is essential. Unkind or disrespectful therapists could very well hinder a client’s recovery. You should never feel scared or worried about what you share in therapy. Wave farewell to your therapist when you develop the impression that they are disrespectful or snarky about your predicament.

3) They don’t care about wasting your time.

You may consider breaking up with your therapist if they do not appreciate your time. Have you ever arrived on time for your sessions, but your therapist showed up late or did not show up at all?  While these problems happen, your session should not be shortened as a result. Also, while a single rescheduled session is fine, it should not persist. If it keeps happening again and again, you may want to find someone that values your time. 

4) Not feeling any relief from sessions.

The purpose of therapy is for you to progress positively. The growth isn’t necessarily immediate and can take a long time. Therapy forces you to talk about unpleasant topics, which can make you feel worse in the short term but is still beneficial in the long run. There is no specific time frame for seeing the benefits of therapy; However, if you do not find these meetings a source of personal growth or a place where you find some relief, you have likely taken all you can from the sessions. It is absolutely OK if one therapist’s technique is not exactly what you had wanted or are looking for; another therapists’ treatment approach might be what you need!

The bottom line

Locating the right therapist for you can be a difficult task; However, if you find someone compatible, it can be a rewarding experience. Nevertheless, if your current therapist is not helping you grow or see things differently, breaking up with them might be a necessary action. 

If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing therapy in Chicago, please reach out to the intake specialists at Symmetry today!

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