25 Reasons Not To Trust Your Therapist

  1. She gets paid to be your therapist, so she can’t REALLY care.
  2. Probably she’s heard it all before, so you are just boring her.
  3. Probably she has never heard a case like yours before, and she is appalled and disgusted at what you are telling her (even though she will try to hide it).
  4. She probably thinks you are just dealing with your issues too superficially and are not willing to go deeply into hard things.
  5. She probably thinks you are just making a mountain out of a molehill and should just get better now, for heaven’s sake.
  6. She probably thinks you deal with your issues for too long and dwell on them and when the hell are you going to make some progress?
  7. She probably thinks your problems are insurmountable but feels bad to tell you this, so she’ll pretend you can get better when you know it’s hopeless.
  8. She might not believe the painful story you tell her.
  9. She might believe the painful story you tell her.
  10. She probably wishes you would stop calling and emailing her so much.
  11. She probably wonders why you never make use of the addition phone and email support she offers you; she thinks you are failing to connect appropriately.
  12. She probably thinks you are incredibly needy and asking too much of her.
  13. She is not able to read your mind.
  14. She is a human being and might make a mistake.
  15. She might hurt your feelings when she doesn’t fully understand what you need.
  16. She might hurt your feelings by using words that have a painful connotation to you.
  17. She might say or do something that reminds you of your mother/father/spouse/ex/former best friend/crazy aunt.
  18. She might mess up her schedule and not be on time for an appointment.
  19. She might mess up her schedule and not be able to see you on your regular day.
  20. She might not be available for as much time as you feel you need.
  21. She might go on a fucking vacation and leave you on your own for weeks.
  22. You might have to go on a fucking vacation and she wouldn’t go with you.
  23. She knows everything about you, and you know very little about her.
  24. God forbid she might get hit by a bus, and then you would die, too. Really.
  25. It’s scary to be so vulnerable.

50 thoughts on “25 Reasons Not To Trust Your Therapist

    • I really like your list BTW. I’ve been thinking about what else would be on my list:
      – She is probably sick of you coming in all depressed week after week
      -She probably will want you to actually speak, respond, open up, etc
      – She might want you to do something really hard like be nice to yourself
      -She might be nice to you and like you and still be there for you even when you push her away
      -She might ask you to try something different

      Like

    • Exactly, yes. I do think at different times we fear all of these things, but when you lay them all out, I find it funny. (Also sad, a bit, because in spite of recognizing that many make no sense, I have still felt them.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • @Quemada, seems like you let loose with that post. Had some pent-up feelings. Did you feel better after you wrote it? My first impression was that something happened that upset you. I hope you’re ok, and that we’ll hear back from you soon.

      @Eleanor, no doubt many would relate. In fact, one of those is a therapist, lol. This is an excerpt from the About page of a site called “Therapy Consumer Guide”:

      I am Marina Tonkonogy, Therapy Consumer Guide’s creator and the author of major portion of the website’s content. Therapy Consumer Guide reflects my opinions, ideas and visions about psychotherapy, psychology, mental health and life in general as well as the opinions, ideas and visions of my guest contributors. I am both, a licensed mental health professional and a former consumer of mental health service a.k.a a former psychotherapy client, and, as both, a provider and a consumer of service, I have grievances with the mental health profession as a system and its ways of functioning. While being in training, many times I voiced my concerns about the ways in which the mental health profession operates, but those concerns were never properly addressed.[…]

      Liked by 1 person

  1. All of these are so true. I like the going on vacation and she can’t go with you. We don’t really go on vacation, but I’ve had that thought. I was really glad to see it listed, I feel less crazy. It is so scary to be vulnerable.

    For my own list, I’d add:
    —she wishes you would start talking instead of writing everything
    —she might not be able to handle my story, she might believe me, she might not believe me

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Meditation and Mental Health and commented:
    This is the way some people feel about therapists sometimes. While it may be uncomfortable for some people to hear, and may spark a fear that it will discourage others from getting therapy, not talking honestly about tough topics can be harmful. If the only messages people receive are that therapy can be helpful, but then encounter significant obstacles to getting help, they will often feel disillusioned and negative, which can be as bad as refusing therapy because of hearing people’s negative feelings about it.

    Some wonder why people choose not to get help or call a crisis line – this is one reason.

    We hear it’s important to talk about mental illness to end the stigma, so I think it’s important not to silence people when they do talk about, and recognize that sometimes what will be heard may not be pretty with a coating of sugar.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really like these reasons to not trust your therapist. I’m pretty much with you right now on the dwelling on stuff and taking too long to heal. I’m really afraid that my therapist thinks that I’m wallowing in this stuff and just don’t want to let go. But she says know, but that’s the feeling I get.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know! Really I know! But I also think it’s kind of funny if I put all the different fears together in a list like this and see how contradictory they are. Ultimately #25 says it all, but that one gets articulated through the other 24.

      Like

  4. I’m not happy knowing what’s set all this off. And I can tell you no longer feel safe with your therapist. That’s got to feel particularly bad; it seemed to me like the two of you have worked well over time. It’s also got to make you feel like you were wrong for sharing your secret, wrong for trusting someone. You weren’t wrong. You were incredibly brave. ❀

    Like

  5. She might think you have PTSD and that you’ve experienced trauma. She might be mindful and ask what you’re feeling in your body. She might bring you back to present and tell you that you aren’t crazy for feeling what you are feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True, she might be relentlessly kind and supportive, she might get it, but those aren’t the reasons you don’t trust her. You don’t trust her because you fear she will think all kinds of bad things about you of run out of patience.

      Like

    • Thanks for reblogging. Thanks, too, for getting it. I had been thinking I took the wrong tone or something, because people read it in so many different ways. But maybe that’s just a reflection of where different people are in thinking about their relationship with their own therapists.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lol. Quite an interesting list, although I have to disagree with a lot of it. I’ve had TERRIBLE, rude and unethical therapists that fit these descriptions. But there are many therapists who genuinely do care that I’ve met; pay or no pay. But it’s definitely a well thought-out list and valid for some people as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Mike, thanks for commenting. You know what is really surprising me about this post is that so many people are taking it much more seriously than I meant it. I never intended it as a real critique of therapists. (I mean, I have had a couple of bad therapists too, but that’s another story.) I really meant it as a list of all sorts of the fears and anxieties that make it hard to open up to a therapist, even a good one. But people have read it many different ways.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I hear that! Haha. Some people take it a bit too seriously, but I can understand your reasoning behind it. I myself don’t take it that seriously, because I knew the voice, or at least I could assume its attention. It happened to me with one of my posts and some people misconstrue the whole point of my post. Nevertheless, your post is actually awesome and I find it interestingly valid. I’m guessing people who took it differently have their own anxiety about therapy in a different way.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing this – it’s really interesting, and I can see some of these things have come up for me in different therapy experiences.

      But really I didn’t mean this particular post to be serious reasons not to trust a therapist (serious reasons would be: she doesn’t question herself about how we are working; she encourages me to be dependent on her, etc.). These reasons are for the most part things we project on our therapists out of our own fear.

      Like

      • Quemada, if I had to guess, I’d say that many people have interpreted your piece literally, and related to it, is because it’s something so many people have experienced: distrust of a therapist. It kind of strikes at the core of a basic element of the therapist-patient relationship.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Well. perhaps it Is best for the author to look in the mirror. She has created the image of a psychotherapist as uncaring, narcissistic, or worse. But where is the evidence for this in the therapist’s behavior? Nowhere to be found.

    Like

    • I really do not get this comment. This post is not even about my therapist (or any other particular therapist). It is completely about the FEARS that clients have about being full open and vulnerable with their therapists. And as the combination of contradictory items is supposed to suggest, these fears are not particularly rational, though they may be powerful.

      Like

  8. Pingback: We All Know How Successful Resolutions Can Be | la quemada

  9. Your list is great. I’m having some major trust issues with my psychologist at he moment, so this resonates with me. Mine went away for five weeks over Xmas and did not discuss any crisis plan, or tell me I could email him if I needed to. Recently I did email him about the fact that I was self-harming again. He didn’t reply for two weeks, and only because I pestered him with follow-up emails & text messages.
    26. He uses a one-size-fits-all approach to his clients, and doesn’t listen to your specific problems.
    27. He loves to talk, and interrupts you constantly, making each session a battle to be heard.
    28. He still spells your second name wrong after nine months.
    29. He frequently shares stories of other clients with you, leaving you wondering what he is telling others about you.
    30. You did some recording work for him, so he is also your business client.
    31. He mirrors your body language so intensely that it becomes distracting.
    33. You talk to him about Brene Brown and you realise that he’s never heard of her
    34. But he quotes you lyrics from Pink Floyd instead, and you can tell he thinks you will be impressed.
    32. He is a bit of a knob.

    Like

    • Ugh, he sounds hopeless! Do you have any options to go to someone else. There are a couple of especially red flags here: 1) mixing business with a therapeutic relationships and 2) telling stories about other clients. But also his whole way of interacting, spelling your name wrong, not responding to your email… all that also screams: run away!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s