I Don’t Like My Therapist Anymore | What To Do?
When I told people I was going to therapy for my depression, I was met with skeptical and unbelieving looks. I was told, constantly, that therapists are nothing but shams. And I, unfortunately, went to therapy with the same words ringing in my mind. I let others’ words and beliefs cloud my judgment and that was a learning experience.
I realized after talking to my therapist and other people who’ve been in therapy that what we all experienced during our time in therapy was a unique and personalized experience. What matters in a therapy session isn’t what you go in thinking, it’s what you come out having.
Each therapy-client experience and relationship are different. There are many types of people; some don’t like their therapist, and then some form an unhealthy attachment with their therapist.
And isn’t that a common concern? While you may have a healthy therapeutic relationship with your therapist, many people don’t feel connected to their therapist (even go so far as to hate them). This is what we’re exploring in this article.
We’ve always seen through media representation that whoever the protagonist is, they like their therapist on site. But is it true?
Well, if you’ve been wondering lately, “I don’t like my therapist” or “I don’t feel connected to my therapist”, then let’s find an acceptable answer to this query, shall we?
I Don’t Like My Therapist: Do You Have To?
Well, going on principle, yes you have to like your therapist. I know, I know; you might go in thinking you’ll like your therapist (you’ve chosen them, after all) but halfway through your sessions, you may realize that you might not like your therapist anymore. Trust me, it’s a normal question.
Therapy, whether you like it or not, brings you to form a relationship with your therapist. It’s an intimate and vulnerable space where you need to find solace in the company of a person you see once a week.
So, you need to like your therapist, at least, if you need your therapy to work. Working with someone who helps you open your vulnerable side to them, helps you bare your emotions with them; well, you need to at least feel connected with them to do all of the above.
Coming from experience, I can tell you that it can be super challenging to feel a connection with your therapist. And if you fail to like your therapist, then you’ll fail to establish the connection with them that you need.
However, it doesn’t mean that you should keep going to therapy (or the same therapist) if you dislike them. It is extremely important to acknowledge when you begin to feel a disconnection with your therapist or when you realize that you don’t like your therapist anymore. Any kind of antipathy in the therapeutic relationship can cause a “rupture”.
Now, there could be many reasons why you might not like your therapist anymore. One is that you have a difference in opinion with your therapist, or maybe they fail to provide a safe, non-judgmental space for you to feel comfortable. Another reason is that you feel like you are not heard, and your feelings are not validated.
If this happens, then you can speak about this dislike with your therapist and your therapist can help settle the conflict and make you feel comfortable.
However, it might not happen all the time. Sometimes, the best course of action is to change therapists.
How Much Like Is Too Much Like?
Well, just like in every relationship, there need to be boundaries. Your therapist isn’t your friend. Legally! You can have an amicable relationship with your therapist, but they cannot be called a friend. A therapist’s ethical duty prevents them from engaging in any kind of “dual relationship” with their clients.
This dual relationship can include friendships, business relationships, and even romantic relationships adding to your existing therapeutic relationship. This is unethical and can unsettle the dynamics of the therapist-client relationship. Not only this, but a dual relationship, can also hinder your therapeutic goals and treatment.
If you begin to like your therapist too much, then it can be referred to as transference. Transference is any feelings you may have for your therapist that may be related to your emotional trauma or experiences.
For instance, if you have had a traumatic relationship with your mother and if you feel maternal affection from your therapist, then it could make you want to have a maternal-like relationship with them. This is what transference is.
Transference can happen romantically or platonically too.
What To Do When You Don’t Like Your Therapist?
If you don’t like your therapist anymore, then first think about why that is. What happened to change your feelings? Were they judgmental? Did they behave unprofessionally towards you?
Check out all the red flags: 10 Warning Signs Of An Abusive Counselor (PS: You Deserve Best)
If they meet your red flags, then it is a sign you have the wrong therapist, and that you need to change therapists. Don’t worry, even this is normal. Therapy is all trial and error.
You go to therapy, you meet the therapist, you work with them toward your goals, and if you like them, you continue, or you don’t like them and change therapists. So, no need to feel disheartened.
If you don’t like your therapist because of a person in your life, then think about the relationship and see what they remind you of. Is it something you can share with your therapist to work it out?
Try to talk to your therapist about your feelings of dislike towards them and see where that conversation leads. If you still don’t like your therapist or can’t connect with your therapist, then it’s a sign that you need to change your therapist.
Find The Right Therapist
If you don’t like your therapist, then it’s OK. All you need to do is figure out the whys and what’s. When you know why you don’t like your therapist or what happened that made you dislike your therapist halfway through therapy, then you’ll know what needs to change in your next search for the right therapist.
Many online directories can help you find the right therapist or you can connect with a therapist through BetterHelp. The best part of BetterHelp is that if you don’t like your therapist, the switching process is seamless. You won’t need to worry about other things when you switch to a new therapist.
If you don’t like your therapist anymore, then you have the right to switch to a different therapist, but it is not a reason to quit therapy. So, no matter how many therapists you need to change, don’t quit your treatment.
You’ve already taken a step in the right direction so all you need to do is see the path through. Barriers may still arise but they shouldn’t be the reason you quit.
I hope this blog helped you learn more about what you can do when you don’t like your therapist anymore. For more, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us on social media.
You can also share your tips on what to do when you don’t feel connected to your therapist in the comments below.