WRPA top banner
Western Reserve Psychological Associates, Inc.Empowering change for over 40 years
> return to archived articles >

Archived Article

Help....I Don't Like My Therapist!

When you first call our office to ask to see a therapist, our staff members do their best to match you with the best professional for the type of problem or need that is presented. Usually the matching process takes into account insurance coverage and the schedule availability of you and your therapist. We hope that you are a good fit with the therapist selected for you. It usually works out just fine, and you feel good about who you see. At a large group practice, such as Western Reserve Psychological Associates, we have fourteen psychologists who are available at various times to see people. The psychologists all have differing strengths and expertise.

There are times that your therapist may notice, after a session or two, that he or she is not the best qualified for your particular situation or presenting problem. In these instances, your therapist may recommend a colleague see you. You should not feel badly about changing therapists. You are not being rejected or abandoned. Rather you are being re-directed to someone who has specialty credentials to work with your issues or problems. Hopefully, the transition is a smooth one, and you are soon working with the therapist who is best able to meet your needs.

There are some times that the fit is not a good match. Perhaps the therapist's style or therapeutic orientation and expertise are not conducive to a good working alliance. You don't have to "love" your therapist to get better, but it helps if you feel that you have a compatible working relationship. You need to feel understood and valued. You need to know that your treatment goals are being addressed and that you are making positive progress. If you don't think you are getting the help you need, what do you do?

First, talk to your therapist directly about your concerns. You may be able to work through the problems that are getting in the way of progress. On the other hand, it may be that your therapist will agree to refer you to someone else.

Secondly, if you cannot work things out with your therapist, you can initiate a change to another therapist on your own. Just inform the office personnel at WRPA that you need to see a different therapist. It is important that you give feedback to your therapist if things did not work well. It helps to be very open about your reasons for a change. Therapists learn from failures as well as successes.

In situations where a couple is being seen for counseling, or the whole family is involved in sessions, one or more of the people being seen may not like the therapist or may feel things are not moving forward. In those instances, talk with the therapist about options. There are times that two therapists work as a team with couples or families, especially when issues are complex. Or it may be helpful to have people see different therapists for some individual work and then return for couples or family work. Again, be honest in acknowledging when therapy is not working for you.

Problematic situations do not happen often, but when they do, they need to be talked about honestly and openly with the goal of making therapy a success. You really should like your therapist!

Suzanne Hetrick, Ph.D.

> return to archived articles >