How to Change Therapists and Find the Right One | How to Change Therapists and Find the Right One

How to Change Therapists and Find the Right One

Mental Health

Tamika Lewis March 5, 2022

Deciding to go to therapy is a big step, usually for a reason. Because it can be a defining moment in someone’s life, having the right therapist is crucial. If you feel like your counselor doesn’t help or understand you enough, you can learn how to change therapists and find someone who’ll adequately support you and your mental health.

Before Learning How to Change Therapists, Learn Why It Can Be Good for You

Before you even learn how to get through a change in therapists, it’s crucial to know when a change is necessary. Having a good feeling about someone should be the first step to deciding whether a person deserves your time. You can employ the same method with a counselor for women, too.

It’s not enough for counselors to share self-care ideas. They have to identify your recovery goals with you, help you replace potential unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones, and work your way to getting better after each session.

If you don’t feel these things or simply don’t like how your counselor communicates with you, it’s okay to ask for someone else. Avoiding hurting someone’s feelings and continuing the cycle in which you’re dissatisfied is a high cost of keeping everyone happy.

Signs That Your Current Therapist Doesn’t Help With What You Need

Seeing progress after many women’s counseling sessions is vital in the relationship with your counselor. Not seeing it could make you doubt counseling and wonder if therapy even works.

Here are some more signs you have to change your therapist:

  • You feel unsafe in the counseling sessions, not so much physically, but more mentally – this person must instill confidence and provide a safe space for every discussion,
  • You aren’t encouraged to share things. It could stem from simply having a bad feeling to a more significant thing, like not feeling accepted or respected,
  • Their style of counseling doesn’t seem appropriate, or they make comments that don’t seem to fit a counselor,
  • It doesn’t seem like they listen, just sit there for the sake of it,
  • Even if they check many boxes, your gut feeling tells you it isn’t right.

While counseling can cause discomfort in terms of facing the truth and one’s unhealthy behaviors, counselors aren’t supposed to make you uncomfortable in any other way. The ache you go through to get to the bottom of a problem is normal, but being uncomfortable without experiencing progress and healing is another thing.

Ways to Tell Your Therapist You No Longer Want Their Help

You may be in therapy because you lack boundaries and assertive communication styles, which would be a double-edged sword in the case of changing counselors. It’s important to muster the courage and cut ties with your current therapist so you can move on to one more understanding and fitting to your needs.

It will be challenging to deal with the stress of breaking up with your counselor, but it’ll be an ultimately great decision for your mental health. It is better to leave a session hopeful than think that therapy doesn’t work for everyone.

If you’re too terrified to tell this person the truth face-to-face, opt for an email, a phone call, or a text message. Written communication has become pretty normalized, so sending a text is no longer considered rude or indirect, but that mostly depends on your and your therapist’s point of view.

If your counselor got anything from your sessions together, they shouldn’t be surprised you chose to walk away from the relationship in a way that fits your mentality the best.

Be Honest, Open, and Don’t Make Excuses You Don’t Mean

The best way to start a difficult conversation is by being honest. The person you are talking to will appreciate it, and you’ll get everything out in the open and make it easier on yourself.

If speaking candidly seems challenging, write what you want to say on a piece of paper and read it out to your counselor. After that, you can discuss your reasons, identify what was missing from the counseling sessions and what you need from the next therapist. This will give you closure.

A girl looking at a clipboard and reading
If you're too nervous about speaking honestly with your counselor, write it on a piece of paper and read it

Tips on What to Look for When Changing Therapists

Feel free to ask the counselor for advice on how to choose a therapist to work on your mental health with. They can transfer your records and share tips on looking for a new counselor.

For POC, counselors that are also POC will be an excellent fit because there’s a base level of understanding that you may not get with someone else. The same goes for any LGBTQIA+ people who need counseling and healing.

Being a woman and looking for counselors for women isn’t wrong. Some of us simply feel more comfortable discussing our mental health with other women since it is easier to talk about closely related issues.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation from your previous counselor. When they understand why you want to leave and look for a new one, they may just be able to redirect you to someone closer to your preferences.

State Your Counseling Preferences Clearly

Some people don’t have time to visit counselors because of work or other obligations, so they opt for online counseling. If you are one of those people, look for flexible counselors to work with online.

Budget restrictions can also limit your search, so look for a counselor that has a so-called sliding scale or income-based hourly rates. One that accepts your insurance plans would also be great. There are many options since counseling’s become normalized and widespread lately.

A woman on her therapist's couch
Your previous counselor should be able to understand your motivation for leaving

Ensure Your New Counselor Understands Your Recovery Goals

When looking for a counselor, more important than having a similar background to yours is clearly setting goals for your therapy sessions. If that’s something your previous counselor failed to do, you could just vent to a friend and get similar results.

While researching, find the difference between a therapist and a psychologist and choose which one will impact your mental health and changes. If you are anxious and are facing misconceptions about anxiety from the people around you, a therapist might be enough to help you find ways to cope with those around you and your limitations.

If you are experiencing mood swings and body changes and need someone to talk to about them, try a psychologist since they’re licensed to diagnose disorders and problems, and know the proper treatment.

Therapy for Women Can Help You Imagine What the End Result Will Be Like

Trained counselors start with new patients by discussing what they need out of therapy and how they see themselves improving. Some may even ask the question: “If you woke up one day without all the problems you currently face, how would your life be different?”

When you establish a good relationship with your counselor, they’ll know how precisely to help you get better. Not only that, but they’ll also share their opinions and discuss with you in ways that make you comfortable yet push the boundaries of your issues.

The greatest misconception about mental illness is that the person helping you heal must be strictly professional, objective, and detached. While being professional is highly important, the person you share your intimate relationship and life details with is allowed to speak from an understanding and sympathetic perspective, too.

A counselor is meant to be a collaborator in your improvement, not an authority figure who sets and imposes behavior rules. They should respect your background and beliefs without making assumptions and make you feel like you are talking to a compassionate human being.

A woman smiling and typing a text to her counselor for women
Ensure you find a counselor that understands and respects your background and issues

The Most Common Reason Counseling for Women Is Challenging Is Understanding

Understanding someone who isn’t sure if they should see a therapist is vital. If you come to women’s therapy with suspicions and reservations, you shouldn’t be dismissed but convinced otherwise. We find it essential that every woman who books her first therapy appointment feels as if she’s made the right choice from the start.

Counselors for women at WOC Therapy offer emotional support, anxiety and mental health workshops, and other therapeutic services. Whatever option you choose, you can contact us and start your mental health journey with our counselors as early as today.

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