Maybe you have gotten all they have to give or perhaps you feel as though they don’t understand you or worse… they never did.  It may be time to end things.

How do you know?

My goal for all of my clients is for them to get to a place in life where they feel so solid and secure in their own skin, that they feel proud and empowered to tell me they don’t need another session.  And of course they could leave knowing that the door would always be open to them should their needs ever shift.

That said, I’m not the best fit for everyone, no therapist is.  There are gifts that I simply do not have that some people need and there is not thing wrong with that.  So the question becomes, how do you know?

While I have not yet found a perfect litmus test, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you dread going andfeel just as bad when you leave?
  • Do you feel as though your therapist is judging you?
  • Do you feel as though you have identified clear goals? And if so, do you guys address them?
  • Does you therapist spend big chunks of the session talking about themselves?

90-10 Rule

I have told you about it before but I think this is a really important time to mention it again.  A lot of people expect to do 90% of the work towards their goals in their session with their therapist and 10% on their own.  Sadly, that doesn’t work.  It’s actually the opposite.  I feel lucky if we are able to get 10% of the work done in session but I know that the client has to 90% (or more) on their own.

As a cognitive behavioral therapist (CBT), I’m a big fan of homework. It can help clients get an idea of whereto even start with the overwhelming amount of work it takes to do that 90%.

While you think about the work you have done with your therapist and what you aren’t getting that you need… I challenge you to also think about what you are putting in.  Are you doing your 90%?  Are you doing your homework?  Or are you expecting to get all of your problems solved in 50 minutes or less?

Ebbs and Flows

Keep in mind that change is really difficult.  If you could have just decided to make that shift (whatever it is) and make it happen, you would have already done it and there wouldn’t be a zillion different self help books available and I wouldn’t have a job. Turns out, life can be a little difficult and complicated sometimes.

There are times when change is necessary and there are times when change does not feel possible.  It is totally normal to ebb and flow in the work you do with your therapist.  Be patient with yourself and talk about how frustrated you are.

It’s so hard to say goodbye…

But sometimes it’s what is best and there is no shame in that.  If you have done the work and your therapist has given you what they have, it may be time to look for a new solution.  Get clear about what you want and need and go find it.

As always, I’m here.  If you are ready to live your best life, call me and let’s get started!

What do you do when you are mad at your therapist?  Normally, when you are really upset and you don’t know how to solve it, you would talk it out with your therapist and figure out how you want to handle it… But now theyare the person you don’t know how to resolve the issue with.

Just like any other relationship, there is likely going to be a time when you feel let down by your therapist.  Maybe they said the wrong thing, maybe they didn’t remember an important detail or maybe they forgot about your appointment!  


Transference is a clinical term for when you project feelings, emotions or beliefs onto your therapist.  It’s totally normal and in some cases even necessary for things to work.  Sometimes you know you’re doing it and other times you don’t.  But it can heighten the intensity of a mistake your therapist has made and make things hurt more.


There are times when your therapist may even intentionally upset you in order to elicit a certain reaction out of you.  For example, for a person that struggles with anger, creating a safe place where they can get upset and not be attacked in response can be really useful.   But also really uncomfortable!!

And, in couples work it can be really powerful to allow a couple to get upset and learn how to de-escalate together as a team.  It may not always be helpful for the clinician to jump in and do it for them.

NOT cool

If you ever feel like your therapist is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, coming onto your or falling asleep, that is totally unacceptable and you should not tolerate that.  And you should probably consider filling a complain against them.

If however, the offense is smaller (like the offenses listed at the top), it can be very powerful – even healing to be able to address it with them.  I know it’s scary but most of the time we build it up to something it doesn’t need to be.

Ugh... humans

Keep in mind that your therapist is human and fallible and messes up too.  There are almost literally a million reasons they just said the wrong thing.  Going to grad school doesn’t give you the perfect answer for everyone, every time.

And his/her job is not to solve the problem for you but to help you arrive at solutions for yourself.  If your frustration stems from your therapist’s refusal to ‘just give you the answer already!’ then that is a different problem.  An important thing to discuss but a different problem.

Tell your therapist what they did (or didn’t do) and how it impacted you.

If, for example, s/he was late for your appointment and you found yourself upset about it even after the session.  Bring it up at the next session! Allow your therapist to know that it bothers you and why.  They can’t address material that you don’t present.

Keep in mind that anger, frustration and hurt are all normal, healthy human emotions and if you can’t talk to your therapist about your feelings then you probably aren’t getting what you need for your time there.

As always, I’m here.  If you are ready to live your best life, call me and let’s get started!

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram