July 19, 2018

When is time to get a new therapist?

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!

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