|Is It Time to Reevaluate Your Therapy? Warning Sign: Therapist Frequently Falls Asleep in Session|
Consider Reevaluating Your Therapy Under the Following Circumstances:
- Your therapist misrepresented his or her skills, which you discover after you begin therapy.
- Your therapist lacks the professional skills to help you and is working outside the scope of his or her expertise.
- Your therapist lacks empathy for your problems.
- Your therapist doesn't respect your ethnic, religious, racial or cultural background.
- Your therapist talks too much about him or herself in your sessions.
- Your therapist hardly talks at all and you feel alone.
- Your therapist frequently falls asleep during your sessions.
- Your therapist can't remember basic information about you from one session to the next, and you have to keep repeating your story.
- Your therapist tries to be your friend instead of your therapist.
- Your therapist doesn't like that you're developing other sources of emotional support among healthy family members and friends.
- Your therapist frequently takes non-emergency calls during your sessions.
- Your therapist often misses appointments or shows up late.
- Your therapist has a belittling or dismissive attitude towards you.
- Your therapist uses your sessions to try to get advice from you during your sessions (e.g., you're a financial advisor and therapist tries to get financial advice).
- Your therapist thinks that his or her method of doing therapy is "the only way."
- Your therapist doesn't continue to develop his or her professional skills at seminars, workshops or online.
- Your therapist pressures you to confront family members when either you're not ready or you know it would be dangerous to do so.
- Your therapist promises you that you will be "cured" of your problem by seeing him or her.
- Your therapist breaks confidentiality by naming other clients.
- Your therapist breaks confidentiality by providing information about you without your permission or without a mandate.
Recognize even more serious "red flags" about your therapy under the following circumstances:
- Your therapist crosses boundaries by being seductive or trying to initiate a sexual relationship with you (see my article: Boundary Violations and Sexual Exploitation in Psychotherapy).
- Your therapist's license has been revoked.
- Your therapist has no license at all and never had one.
- Your therapist tries to borrow money from you.
- Your therapist appears to be emotionally unstable.
- Your therapist appears to be impaired on alcohol or drugs during your sessions.
- Your therapist attempts to push his or her religion on you.
- Your therapist becomes too emotional when you talk about your problems.
- Your therapist is frequently late or doesn't show up for your appointments.
|Serious "Red Flags" in Your Therapy: Sexual Boundary Violations|
Under the first category of items, if you've expressed your concern and your therapist hasn't changed his or her behavior or attitude, it's your right to tell your therapist that the therapy isn't working for you and you'll be seeking other help.
Under the second category of items, the "red flag" items, these problems in therapy are serious enough for you to discontinue therapy and look for someone else, especially in cases of serious boundary violations.
It's not always easy to recognize these problems, especially when you're in a vulnerable state, which is why I hope this article will be helpful to clients who aren't sure if they need to reevaluate or leave their therapy.
I have been a psychotherapist for over 20 years and I've known many therapists. I believe that the vast majority of therapists are caring, qualified and ethical professionals. Most therapists enter the field because they feel a calling to help clients and use their expertise in an appropriate and professional manner.
But, just as there are unethical people in any profession, there are cases where some therapists shouldn't be in the profession.
Even if none of these circumstances apply, if you think you're not making progress in therapy after a reasonable time, you've discussed this with your therapist and you still don't know how your therapist is going to help you to overcome your problem, consider that you and your therapist just might not be a good fit or your therapist lacks the skills to help you.
Making a change in your therapy can feel daunting, but continuing to work with a therapist when the therapy isn't right for you is a waste of your time and money.
If you find yourself in one of these unfortunate circumstances in your therapy and you're not sure what to do, it might be wise to have a consultation with an experienced, objective therapist to talk over your concerns so you can make a decision about what to do.
|Finding the Right Therapist Can Make All the Difference For Your Emotional Healing|
Once you've found a psychotherapist that is the right therapist for you, it can make all the difference in your journey toward healing.
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR and Somatic Experiencing therapist who works with individuals and couples.
To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.
To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me.
Also, see my articles:
The Therapist's Empathic Attunement in Therapy
Asking For What You Need in Therapy
Empowering Clients in Therapy - Part 1
Empowering Clients in Therapy - Part 2: Clinical Issues
Beyond the "Band Aid" Approach in Therapy
Ruptures and Repairs in Therapy
Psychotherapy and the Erotic Transference: When You "Fall In Love" With Your Therapist
What is EMDR Therapy?