Everyone can benefit from therapy, but you most certainly cannot benefit from all therapists. The sad fact of the matter is that there are some truly crappy ones out there. Some reasons for this sad reality could be poor training, lack of training, or just simply the person not having that natural knack or skill. Finding the right therapist is at the core of a good therapeutic treatment. Without the right therapist, one could argue that the therapy will not work at all! Unfortunately, finding the right therapist can be difficult as it can take time, and a bit of assessment. Most people are not willing to put in that effort, as actually going to therapy requires effort itself! Hopefully, my brief list can assist the process!
Your therapist is a douchebag if…
1) He or she has nothing of importance to say.
Aren’t therapists there to just listen? NO, therapists are not there to just listen. Sure, they are not the ones who should be talking the whole time, but they do have to speak sometimes! Some therapies revolve around the therapist being more active, and some revolve around the therapist being more passive. With that said, if the therapist is clearly trying to say very little, then the times he or she speaks are of even bigger importance. Think about it: this person is consciously trying not to say much, so when he or she speaks, then it must be really important. If what he or she is saying is not even interesting then, well, it is time to move on.
It’s not me…it’s you, bucko.
2) He or she makes you feel judged on a regular basis.
It is kinda the basic role of the therapist to make you feel validated, to make you feel as if the person cares, to make you feel he or she understands. If you feel judged, well then they are not doing any of the above! Sure, therapists are human, and they sometimes show what they are feeling, or get a bit judgmental. However, the therapist should not struggle with this problem on a regular basis. He or she should be on your side! If you feel judged by your therapist all the time, then it will be hard to build trust with him or her.
3) He or she forgets important details of your life.
Aren’t you being a bit harsh? Um, no. The therapist should remember important crap about your life! He or she should know your boyfriend’s name, and the fact that your parents are divorced. Yeah, he or she might not remember the name of that friend you hang out with occasionally, but the important stuff matters! If the person has a poor memory, then he or she should be taking notes! It is not rocket science! My aunt once had a therapist forget that her dog had died. There is no excuse. That behavior is not only unforgivable. It is damaging. It is abusive. You do not have to put up with that bull! Get in the car, and pin the pedal to the metal.
4) He or she makes you feel uncomfortable.
If your therapist is licensed (which he or she may or may not be), then there are laws in place to protect you. For instance, a licensed therapist whether he or she is a social worker, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist can never sleep with a client. He or she could lose his or her license over this behavior! However, laws have never stopped people from acting inappropriately before, so of course there are people out there who are willing to break them. In addition, if your therapist is not licensed, her or she may have different ideas about what is and is not appropriate in sessions. Perhaps, your therapist is unlicensed because he or she disagrees with some of these restrictions. Either way, if you feel uncomfortable, you should speak up!
If the therapist does not respect your wishes, you really need to get the heck out of there.
5) If you just simply do not like him or her.
Okay okay. Yeah, he or she might not technically be a douchebag simply because you do not like him or her. However, if you do not like your therapist, then it really is a waste of time. You will not want to go to therapy, you will not trust his or her opinion, you will not take the treatment seriously. You might not like your therapist all the time, but you should like them some of the time. You might not love your therapist, but at the very least, you need to like them. And hey, you should trust your gut. Maybe you do not like your therapist because he or she is actually a douchebag.