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Practical Advice Advice on switching therapists?

#1
My current therapist isn't really a good fit for me. I've given her a chance for several months, and it just isn't working out. Any advice on what to say when contacting potential new therapists and on how to bring it up to my current therapist if I do find one?
 
#2
Sorry that things haven't been working out with your therapist
Any advice on what to say when contacting potential new therapists
A lot depends on the reasons why your current therapist is not a good fit. Do you feel like saying more about that?
how to bring it up to my current therapist
A therapist is really supposed to be there for your benefit, so if it's not working out, you can just not schedule more appointments. It may be nice to give some explanation to them, but really you don't owe them your time or your money. If you start with a new therapist, maybe you could send an email or a letter if that would make it easier. You wouldn't necessarily have to go into detail if you didn't want to. Something like "I've found a new therapist that I prefer and I plan not to make more appointments. Thank you." is sufficient, imho.
 

sinking_ship

woman overboard
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#3
Hi! Welcome to SF :)

All you have to tell your therapist is that it's not a good fit. They will understand. Fit is the most important thing. If you trust their judgment at all you might want to ask them for recommendations, especially if you're looking for something specific in your next therapist.

For new therapists, you should think about whatever questions you might have based on what you *don't* like about this therapist. Like, ask them if they do a certain type of therapy you are interested in, or if they will challenge you when you need it, or whatever it is you're needing. A lot of that kinda stuff should come up in the first session anyway.

*hug Good luck. It's a pain to do this search but it's worth it when you find a good fit.
 
#4
A lot depends on the reasons why your current therapist is not a good fit. Do you feel like saying more about that?
Sure.

A little background is that I started seeing her a few weeks after I was hospitalized, and she was recommended to me by the hospital I stayed at. I was a little bit wary intitially because hospitalization was a really bad experience for me, but I tried to be charitable and give her a chance.

But, I can't shake the feeling that she wants to "win" some argument against my symptoms rather than understanding me. For instance, early on, she gave me a list of "thinking errors" and asked me to go home and consider them, and when I told her that just trying to think about all the ways my thoughts and feelings are irrational made me feel stupid she told me it was irrational for me to feel stupid because she thought I probably had a high IQ.

She seems super uninterested in learning more about the overall context of my life (for example, last session she asked me if there was anything I wanted to talk about, I said "my past" hoping to help establish that context, and she said something along the lines of "okay, you've done well in school in the past, so let's talk about whether you should apply to graduate school.") And I get that therapy isn't just a soapbox for me to vent and that just talking about problems without working on strategies to cope with and work towards overcoming them isn't necessarily going to be helpful in the long run, but at the same time I feel like there needs to be at least a baseline of mutual understanding especially in regards to working on problems I've been facing for years.

I feel like part of the problem might be with CBT as an approach, but I'm not sure what other modality would necessarily work better.
 

sinking_ship

woman overboard
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#5
Sure.

A little background is that I started seeing her a few weeks after I was hospitalized, and she was recommended to me by the hospital I stayed at. I was a little bit wary intitially because hospitalization was a really bad experience for me, but I tried to be charitable and give her a chance.

But, I can't shake the feeling that she wants to "win" some argument against my symptoms rather than understanding me. For instance, early on, she gave me a list of "thinking errors" and asked me to go home and consider them, and when I told her that just trying to think about all the ways my thoughts and feelings are irrational made me feel stupid she told me it was irrational for me to feel stupid because she thought I probably had a high IQ.

She seems super uninterested in learning more about the overall context of my life (for example, last session she asked me if there was anything I wanted to talk about, I said "my past" hoping to help establish that context, and she said something along the lines of "okay, you've done well in school in the past, so let's talk about whether you should apply to graduate school.") And I get that therapy isn't just a soapbox for me to vent and that just talking about problems without working on strategies to cope with and work towards overcoming them isn't necessarily going to be helpful in the long run, but at the same time I feel like there needs to be at least a baseline of mutual understanding especially in regards to working on problems I've been facing for years.

I feel like part of the problem might be with CBT as an approach, but I'm not sure what other modality would necessarily work better.
That definitely sounds like a her problem and not a CBT problem. But maybe better to find a therapist that pulls from a few different modalities so they can take the time to figure out what fits for you?
 

Innocent Forever

Still innocent!
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#6
My current therapist isn't really a good fit for me. I've given her a chance for several months, and it just isn't working out. Any advice on what to say when contacting potential new therapists and on how to bring it up to my current therapist if I do find one?
You don't need to discuss it with your current therapist.
The best way to find a therapist is to just call some up. Speak about where you are at, what you want from therapy and ask whether they think they can help you and how they would.
Just speaking to a number of different therapists may help you make that clearer in your head, and see what you want.
What I've learned is that it's not so much what modality the therapist uses, because they can learn and train more for you - which a good therapist will do - but about the connection, understanding and relationship.
Sometimes both client and therapist are great but just aren't a personality match.
 
#7
I feel like part of the problem might be with CBT as an approach, but I'm not sure what other modality would necessarily work better
While in principle CBT might be helpful, it sounds like she's very aggressively focused on employing CBT techniques without doing some basic things like building trust, understanding, and a good rapport.

It's really no wonder that you feel invalidated by her if she tells you your feelings are irrational, and avoids any discussion about your past.

Any advice on what to say when contacting potential new therapists
It's ok to tell a therapist whatever it is that you want from therapy and how you want it to proceed.

It sounds like you want to begin by building some trust, and getting some empathy and understanding from the therapist. I think it's perfectly reasonable to want that.

You might want to call a bunch of therapists and try to get a sense of what they're like, or try to get some recommendations. If you find someone you like, they should respond positively if you tell them what you want.

I feel like part of the problem might be with CBT as an approach, but I'm not sure what other modality would necessarily work better
CBT is supposed to be one of the best styles of therapy for treating depression, so if you have depression, I hope you won't rule out CBT. It just sounds like a therapist needs to do some listening first, rather than just trying to shove CBT techniques on you.

I hope something can help
 

Walker

Admin
SF Social Media
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SF Supporter
#8
While CBT works great for certain issues it's also not a catch-all for anything going on in your life. What is it that you're trying to accomplish? (rhetorical) If you need someone who *really* understands Y and Z thing then call and ask then ask when you're there if they also can feel around W and X things too as a plus.

Your current therapist is used to being canned. Sorry but it's true. People just aren't a good fit sometimes and it's like being broken up with over and over again and they're used to it. It's nothing personal - it's literally just "we're not meshing in style here".

According to your example it sounds like you two are speaking two different languages.
 

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