Your Guide To change The Therapist | When, How, and Why To Change Your Therapist
I guess you will agree with me when I say that “No relationship is perfect.” (Right?) Well, trust me, therapeutic relationships are no exception to it. Your relationship with your current therapist might not be going well. And that is completely fine. What matters at this point is to switch the therapist. But people generally can’t comprehend when is the right time to switch the therapist.
There are two reasons why generally people don’t consider changing the therapist:
1. You are not aware of the fact that there is a need to change the therapist.
2. The change of therapist is linked with personal incompetence
In this write-up, we are addressing both the issues and providing doable solutions for the same.
So, let us review our therapy and the therapist in the right light!
Section A: Do I Need To Change My Therapist?
Let us address the big question that is likely to pop into your head!
When do you know that it is time to switch the therapist?
There are two ways through which you can find an appropriate and unbiased answer to this question.
1. Ask yourself the four basic and important questions.
2. Look for the signs in your therapeutic relationship
Now, let us check these questions and the signs.
Questions To Ask Yourself And Check “Is It The Time To Switch The Therapist
1. Are you comfortable sharing your concerns with the therapist?
If you click with your therapist and feel comfortable while sharing your issues stick with the therapy. Remember two things here:
It is okay to feel discomfort during the first few sessions of the therapy.
Set professional and good boundaries with your therapist so that you don’t develop codependency.
2. Has your therapist shared the goals and plans related to the therapy?
If yes then stick with the therapist. If not then you should ask your therapist about the same. Every therapist will have a different style to create goals and plan to process the therapy. You as a client should be aware of these goals.
3. Are you making any progress in the therapy?
Even after being one or two into therapy do you think that you are still on the same point where you started from? If that is the case then you might want to talk to your therapist about the same and give your therapy a little bit of more time. If you still feel being at the same point then it is time to consider changing the therapist.
4. Is your therapist giving you feedback?
Feedback is central to any therapy. It tells you how well you are progressing on your goals, where is more work required, and more. So, make sure that you get frequent if not daily feedback from your therapist.
If the answer to all these questions is YES then you are doing great in your therapy with the help of the amazing therapist by your side. But, even if there is a single no to these questions you should consider the following signs that will guide you further.
Signs That You Should Switch The Therapist
1. Your Therapist Gets Too Personal
Your therapist might be trying to establish too much contact with you with frequent calls, social media contact, and texts. Unless you are in text-therapy or online therapy, this will be different. By doing so the therapist might actually be crossing the professional boundaries.
2. Your Therapist Shows No Interest
From the above sign, one thing is clear the over-involvement of the therapist is a red flag. Well, even the opposite/ flip side of it is a point to consider here. If the therapist is showing no interest in what you have to say or your concerns then the therapy goals will go unmet. Along with this, if the therapist doesn’t revert you when you raise concerns outside the therapy that might be a red flag too. So, it is advised to switch the therapist in either case.
3. You Have Confidentiality Concerns
Your confidentiality is a major concern in therapy. If you have any concerns about it, ask questions. Make sure that the therapy dialogues remain between you two only. If it is being tempered at any point consider looking for a new therapist.
4. You Feel That The Treatment Is Stuck
You can’t really see much progress happening in the therapy or you might feel stuck at the same point from where you started. Well of course change takes time so you might be able to see a massive change. But despite the failure of an intervention in achieving your goal if the therapist still revolves around it and applies you should consider trying a different therapist.
5. The Listening Aspect is Missing
Is your therapist talking more and listening less to what you have to convey? Wondering why it matters? Well, at the heart of therapy lies its skills, and one such skill is- active listening. The therapist must give undivided attention to your concerns, thoughts, and feelings. As poor listening might make you feel unattended and further lead to bad decisions. So, if the therapist is busy swiping through his phone or yawning while you have your heart on the sleeve, just change the therapist.
6. You Are Being Imposed With Therapists Value and Beliefs
Therapy is an evidence-based process that aims to help you integrate beliefs that are already there (backed with evidence). If your therapist is right for you he will never attempt to “convert” or “replace” or belief system and values to adapt his social values. Especially if that is not even an area of concern for which you are seeking therapy, you should start your search for a new therapist as these are the red flags. Remember, a therapist is a fellow traveler in your healing journey and not a master.
Short summary: Be aware of your need to change the therapist.
Section B: Is It Okay to Change The Therapist?
If you feel like you are not getting what you initially expected and needed from the therapy just switch the therapist. This in itself is a reason enough to look for a new therapist. If a therapist and you don’t work well together, it is neither a sign of incompetence for you nor for the therapist. You are actively involved in the therapy and so is your therapist but if you don’t click together then the therapist is not the right match for you. So, don’t take up this breakup personally.
You can actually think of it as finding your perfect birthday dress. You will definitely shop around a bit before finalizing your dress that you look best in. The same applies here. You have to find the therapist that fits perfectly with your needs and expectations so that you can heal completely. And looking around a bit before you find your perfect therapist is completely fine.
Short summary: Normalize the switching of the therapist (read the first line again).
Special Section: How To Switch Your Therapist?
Ok! What after relating with these signs? Well, then comes the time where you switch your therapist. The main mantra for you to abide by is: Don’t Ghost Your Therapist Talk To Them!!! Here is what you should do instead.
Discuss it with your therapist. Instead of abruptly ending the sessions and leaving your therapist with prior information, discuss your concerns with them. Share your decision with them and make sure that you end on a happy note.
Here are some phrases that you can use:
1. “I want to end our work together because I have different goals right now.”
2. “I really appreciate the work we’ve done together. I’m realizing I need something different now, but I appreciate your willingness to help me.”
3. “A few weeks ago, I mentioned [insert concerns here]. I don’t see enough of a change for it to make sense that we continue our sessions.”
Look for a new therapist. Start your search for a new therapist. You can ask your friends, look for them online, or even book an online appointment.
Take all your papers along with it. Don’t forget to take your paperwork with you. This will help you talk about your last progress with the former therapist or staff.
When this relationship with your therapist ends, do not feel guilty or bad about it. Therapy is a process with its own ups and downs. The ultimate goal should be healing.
So, if you’re looking for a new therapist go for it.
PS: Remember That Therapy Is For You and it is you who should benefit from it.
More power to you.
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