When Changing Therapists is Necessary

August 13, 2015 Tracey Lloyd

It's important to know when changing therapists is necessary. The relationship with your therapist can be more important than any other. After all, you trust your therapist to listen to all of your thoughts and feelings, and then to give you counsel on improving your life. In spite of the closeness of this relationship, there may be times in life when changing therapists is necessary. There are several reasons why seeking a new therapeutic relationship may be good for you.

Look for a Personal Connection When Changing Therapists

If your therapeutic relationship is no longer working, you might consider changing therapists. Read more for tips on when changing therapists is a good idea.Although the patient-therapist relationship is professional rather than personal, there should be some kind of personal connection between both parties. I'm not suggesting a romantic attraction or a need to hang out at the bar after sessions, but rather a comfortable, personal rapport.

You should feel comfortable in the presence of your therapist, like being with a friend with whom you enjoy talking. If you are comfortable, you're more likely to engage in your sessions and, perhaps, get to the deeper issues that are most helpful to you.

When the relationship with your therapist is less than friendly, it can impact your progress (Rating Your Psychotherapist).

Recently, I changed insurance providers which meant that I needed to change therapists. Having made my selection based on availability rather than rapport, I wound up with a therapist that I didn't like. From the first session, I just didn't feel comfortable with her. She interrupted me when I talked. And something about her demeanor just rubbed me the wrong way. I found myself avoiding and cancelling our sessions because I didn't want to be in her presence, let alone talk to her.

I decided that rather than derail my therapy, I would seek another social worker in the same practice. Fortunately, I adore my new therapist. Her face is very open, making it easy to connect with her. And her demeanor is positive even when we talk about difficult topics. I'm also glad that while she's in the same practice as my former therapist, they work on different days so I don't have to worry about uncomfortable meetings in the waiting room.

If Your Therapist Can No Longer Help You, Changing Therapists Is Necessary

Another good time to consider changing therapists is when you need treatment that he or she can no longer provide. For example, you may have read some articles on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) but your therapist is not a practitioner. While you and your therapist must agree that the new type of therapy is the best thing for you, choosing a new therapeutic methodology would justify changing therapists.

In this case, look for a new practitioner that suits your personality, but also one who has the most experience in the new therapeutic method, whether it's CBT or Freudian analysis (Different Types of Mental Health Therapy). If you still respect and trust your current therapist, he or she should be able to recommend a colleague to suit your needs. Alternatively, in order to preserve your existing therapeutic relationship, you might seek outside workshops to provide your new treatment in addition to your current therapist.

There are many valid reasons to consider changing therapists, some of them personal and some professional. The main criterion for selecting a new treatment partner, other than professional competency, is your ability to maintain a healthy relationship with the person so that you can continue treatment and get the help that you need.

See Also:

How To Find A Therapist Who Is Right For You


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APA Reference
Lloyd, T. (2015, August 13). When Changing Therapists is Necessary, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 15 from

Author: Tracey Lloyd

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