It’s not even that you need to find a good therapist, it’s more that you need to find one that is good for you.
I’ve gone through a number of therapists over the years; some I saw for a long time, others a short. But it can be hard to find a therapist that you actually gel with. I talked a few posts ago about how hard it was for me to find a psychiatrist that I was actually comfortable with and worked well with. The absolute same can, and should, be said about your relationship with your therapist.
I’ve had therapists that have interjected their own personal opinions or biases into sessions, I’ve had ones that dismiss what I’m talking about out of hand as unimportant, I’ve had ones that I swore never listened to a word that I said. You need to be able to trust your therapist, to talk about what’s going on with you and what’s really bothering you without fear of judgement or reprisal. It should go without saying that your relationship with your therapist should be, in some respect, sacred. It’s entirely possible that your therapist knows more about you than your spouse. Things that you would never say to them, you speak of ad nauseum to your therapist.
My own relationship with my therapist is interesting. I trust him, I really do, but since he works for a faith-based, Christian group, occasionally religion slips into our sessions. I gently remind him that, as an atheist, using God or faith is not helpful to me at all. He apologizes, and we move on. It’s not often enough that it’s a problem, but it is often enough that it irritates me each time.
So, based on that, should I find a new therapist? I’ve thought about it, seriously thought about it. But on the whole, I like him and he and I tend to work well together. Might I have a better relationship with a different therapist? Sure. But I also might have to go through ten crappy ones to find them. And honestly, I go to therapy maybe three times a year at that point, and I don’t think that it’s worth it.
Now all of that being said, I know someone who is having a real problem with their therapist. They feel as though they can’t talk about specific things that are bothering them because they have let slip that they have a different ideology than they do. And now that someone is uncomfortable seeing that therapist. My first advice was immediately to find a new one. We see the same doctor, and I know that he has therapists in his practice, what about seeing one of them? Or seeing if he has someone that he can recommend? I’m all for loyalty, but if it isn’t working for you, it isn’t working for you.
At the end of the day, my point is this: if your relationship with your psychiatrist or therapist just isn’t working for you, it’s time to find a new one. And keep looking until you find one that works with, and for, you.
Stay safe, friends.