Looking for the best, unbiased solution that’ll help you with your mental health journey? Nothing beats pursuing therapy to work through your condition and better yourself. But what if the therapist you’re working with is the reason why you’re not making any progress?
Maybe you’re not the reason why your therapy isn’t going well — it’s your therapist. When seeking therapy, here are telltale signs you’re working with an ineffective individual psychologist or therapist (and you should find a new one).
1. Talking more than listening
You’re paying the therapist to listen to you, understand the situation, and give professional advice. You’re not there to listen to their vent, about their own experiences, or never-ending speeches out of their own opinions. If you don’t feel like you’re not being heard, that’s a red flag.
A good therapist is someone who’s genuinely interested in listening to you. They hear you out, even if you don’t feel like talking. They’re willing to try and understand your frustration and body language too.
2. Stating too much jargon
When you’re already confused with what’s going on, hearing terms like “ psychodynamics” and “catharsis” and what they’ve got to do with you, aren’t helpful. You need a straightforward, no-nonsense piece of advice on how you can deal with things.
A good individual psychologist is skilled enough to translate complex terms to points that are easier to understand. They can guide you through whatever you may be dealing with without resorting to word salads you don’t understand.
3. Passive or giving vague advice
While you don’t want therapists who make things too technical for you, you also don’t need someone who’s too passive and gives vague pieces of advice. If that’s the case, you may be better off saving money by ranting to your best friend, right?
You’re in therapy because the things you’re doing on your own or even with a support group aren’t working. You want to understand your unique mental health needs, and the factors that may have contributed (or are contributing) to them. You need a goal-oriented treatment to improve your life, and your psychologist should be proactive enough to guide you through the process.
4. They’re judgmental or culturally insensitive
While some therapists aren’t judgmental, they hold stereotypical views of people who don’t share their religious, racial, gender, or class backgrounds. If they’ve made derogatory remarks about your racial background, religion, sexual orientation, tattoos on your skin, or other aspects of your identity, that’s a sign that they’re not the right provider for you.
5. Inserting personal opinions and experiences
The best therapists hold back from expressing their personal views and experiences during a therapy session. It’s not their role to be an advocate for anything while counseling. The focus should be on you, what you’re going through, and what you two can do the resolve the issues that hinder your recovery.
6. Claiming they can do everything for you
A good therapist is transparent about what they can and cannot do. If your therapist recognizes a mental health issue that’s beyond their expertise, they may refer you to someone who can help – like an expert specializing in the condition.
Find out your provider’s specialties. Some therapists specialise in trauma disorders, while others focus on personality disorders. If the therapist claims they could handle it when they’re not qualified to do so, they’re crossing boundaries that aren’t just unprofessional but also harmful.
7. Always unavailable and unreliable
Sure, their track record shows that they’re the best individual psychologist in town. But if they frequently show up late, reschedule, cancel, or even forget appointments, then you might want to consider seeing a different mental health provider.
Such actions imply that you’re not prioritised and they’re not committed to your care.
8. You just can’t feel comfort and connection
During therapy sessions, you allow yourself to bare the beautiful and the ugly parts of your identity and life. That said, it’s crucial to hire someone you’re comfortable sharing intimate details with.
It’s the therapist’s job to build a therapeutic relationship with their clients and make them feel safe and comfortable in sharing If you’ve seen this therapist a couple of times now and you can’t feel the connection due to certain red flags, find another.
Whether they’re incompetent or you just don’t get along, you’re under no obligation to stick to an individual psychologist that’s not helpful for your healing, recovery, and growth. A therapist who uses any of these ineffective techniques can set back any healing progress you were hopeful of making in the first place.
When seeking therapy, you have every right to hear it from trained and competent professionals who are fully committed to your mental health needs and personal development.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the writers for Relationship Room, an Australia-based institution that specialises in psychology services for individuals, couples, and families. She loves sharing her insights about individual psychology and personal development.