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How do you know you need to change therapists

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God morning Sweetsara,

You're exactly the kind of client every beginning therapist should see... this is where very real learning takes place and when the glazed look "I just wanna help people and save the world," is replaced with a more realistic assessment of what a therapist can and can't do, and what they're responsible for in their client's life.

I remember this stage 30 years ago, struggling with a client who presented with Borderline Persoanlity Disorder (and kept adjusting her breasts in front of me-- she was stunningly beautiful and seductive, talk about being in a tough place), followed by one with Bipolar Disorder and then the impossible assessment to determine whether someone was malingering or not. Supervision was a frightening nightmare and I kept walking away thinking I'd never be successful, always anxious that I was a failure--- now I have a long waiting list!

As for you, you change clinician's when you believe or know or feel that your needs are no longer being met. Before you do tho, discuss this with your current therapist and see if possibly jointly you can develop a plan of action to remedy the situation. If you still believe you're not benefiting, then request a referral to a COMPETENT therapist, one the referring clinician would send their family to.

It's much harder to fool and manipulate a seasoned, mature, experienced and competent therapist. Many clients do not seek competent therapists out, preferring to play and pay as opposed to work at getting better. Some of us need our "games" to stay afloat and a good therapist will not always challenge you, recognizing that the "game" is essential until new coping skills are developed to replace the need for "games".

I hope this helps and good luck!

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My first experience of therapy was with a student, and unfortunately it wasn't a positive one. The sessions were not taped so I presume the supervisor was told by the student about the session.

The student was quite abrupt with me and tried to force me into doing things before I was ready. She asked me why I wasn't making eye-contact ,and kept adjusting the seating so I would have no option but to look at her.

I only had 5 sessions with her when I decided to stop, she spent a long time trying to convince me to continue - it turned out she needed me so she could clock up her hours.

My next experience was with a counsellor, I used to get so distressed after my sessions that my Psychiatrist asked me to stop the therapy (I was a day patient in a mental health centre at the time).

My current therapist is excellent, I spent a long time researching and looking for a cbt specialist, he is a Counselling Psychologist, who came recommended.

I know students have to learn, but maybe the methods of supervision need revising?


Edited by goose
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