May 24, 2024

Breaking Up With Your Therapist?

It’s a little twisted how breaking up with your therapist is one of those things it would be really nice to process with. . . a therapist. Most of us don’t like to hurt other people’s feelings, and having to break up with a therapist might make you worry you’re doing just that.

Think of it this way: Breaking up with your therapist releases both of you from a situation that may no longer be productive, Tamar Chansky, Ph. D. , psychologist and author of Freeing Yourself From Anxiety, he said.

“As much as therapists are absolutely human beings and can have their feelings hurt, [you can] shift the frame of what this is about,” Dr. Chansky says. “It’s not about hurting that person, it’s about what you need. ”

Below, you’ll find some indicators that you should consider breaking up with your therapist, plus some tips to make it as painless as possible for everyone involved.

Here are a few signs that it might be time to break up with your therapist.

1. Your sessions aren’t making you feel better overall.

Ideally, you would always walk away from therapy feeling like your therapist has lifted some of your burden, not added to it. In reality, it’s normal to sometimes leave therapy feeling upset due to the emotions the process can stir up. That’s different from feeling distressed every time (or nearly every time) you leave because your therapist isn’t listening to you, isn’t sensitive enough to your needs, or isn’t helping you practice using some tools to deal with this exact kind of emotional discomfort.

“If you’re routinely leaving a session feeling worse than when you arrived, that’s a red flag,” Dr. Chansky says.

2. You don’t feel as though you’re growing.

After entering therapy, you’ll hopefully see some kind of change in yourself over time, Marni Amsellem, Ph. D. , a clinical psychologist at Smart Health Psychology, tells SELF. It’s not an instantaneous thing; it depends on the kinds of issues you’re trying to work through, the form of therapy in which you’re engaging, how dedicated you are, how proficient your therapist is, how often you see them, and more.

There’s no hard and fast rule for how long it takes for therapy to feel like it’s working, but Dr. Amsellem says that generally “you should see some growth or change from therapy rather quickly. ” It might even be the encouragement of knowing you’re working on yourself with a professional you click with emotionally. If you don’t feel like your therapist is motivated or capable enough to help you progress, it might be time to move on.

Rachel B. , 28, had been seeing her therapist for a year and was craving actionable advice that she wasn’t receiving. It was one of the reasons she eventually dumped her therapist. “She would let me talk through things on my own without reacting much,” Rachel says. “In comparison to other therapists [I’ve had], it didn’t really feel like the best approach for me. ”

3. You don’t trust your therapist.

One of the main points of therapy is to open up. If you find yourself holding back from telling your therapist about your thoughts or behaviors, it can impede your mental and emotional growth and create an ill-fitting dynamic, Dr. Chansky says.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *