What to do if you hate your therapist

Contrary to how they can sometimes be represented, counsellors and psychotherapists are human. As such there are going to be some that you like and some that you would really rather not be in the company of. So, what do you do if you feel that you really do not like your therapist?

The answer depends quite a lot on how long you have been working with your therapist. At the beginning most will offer a discounted or free initial session. Some coaches detail their initial sessions as ‘chemistry sessions’, saying that they like to make the first session about whether or not both parties click and feel able to work. In affect it acts as a sort of ‘getting to know you’ session.

Yes, there may be many reasons for initial negative feelings that could be worth exploring, but frankly you are going to be investing money, time and yourself. If you get the feeling that there is something not quite right, go with that feeling. Your therapist will be more than able to deal with you honestly explaining that you don’t feel they are the right person for you. In fact, if they are any good, they will probably know that themselves already. Chemistry is about all the components.

Now, if you start to have difficult feelings towards your therapist after you have been working together for a while, there is going to be valuable awarenesses to be gained if you can be brave enough to be curious. It may feel like the most unnatural way in the world to respond but I urge you to speak out authentically about these feelings with your therapist. He or she will be able to help you explore the feelings, where they have come from and what you would habitually do with them. This will give you a better understanding of yourself, the way you relate and the way to respond to discomfort. It will also give you a choice. Do you want it to always be this way? Does being let down by a person always signal an ending of a relationship or is there an alternative solution?

The best outcome from this scenario is that your therapist takes responsibility for their part in the relationship and that together you work through the difficulties. In most cases this will lead to a deeper and more meaningful understanding of each other and of yourself.

If, however, you do feel that you can’t reach a resolution, that you do not feel heard or that you feel that you are no longer emotionally safe within the therapeutic relationship, do not be afraid to end it. Doing so mindfully can also be a brilliant learning opportunity. Remember that ultimately you decide.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Annabelle Hird, MBACP

Annabelle Hird is a counsellor practising in the Richmond area. She also facilitates peer support groups for women with postnatal depression with Cocoon Family Support in Camden and is a counsellor with Off The Record, youth charity in Twickenham.

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Written by Annabelle Hird, MBACP

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