How do I know I've chosen the right psychotherapist for me?

Posted by lsittll @lsittll, Oct 31, 2021

I have a topic regarding a medical matter that I talk to my psychotherapist about. She says I am not the person to talk to about this. She listens a few times is very cold while listening and eventually says I am not the to talk to about this. That makes me feel like she does not want to listen to my feelings. It would be nicer if she would say I'm sorry I think it would be better if you talk to or you should talk to so and so about this. I tell her her she focuses on one thing and she will not admit it, so says no you do. I mention it once or twice in therapy because she started our sessions that way (I have only seen her for 2 months). She then says list 3 goals of therapy. I can only list one. Other things come up intermittently. I am beginning to wonder in some ways have I chosen the right therapist?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Depression & Anxiety group.

My hunch is your therapist is concerned about continuity of your care, and is seeking (by calling) assurance that you are in fact under adequate care. Doctors in other disciplines don’t seem to be held to that same high standard.

I had a neuro problem arise when younger in therapy but under different circumstances. My question concerned my birth. My therapist sent for my birth record & showed & reviewed it with me.

Later on I asked the therapist to show me the record again. I felt I was not shown the same record because the print was now large, not small as I had seen before. He insisted they were the same record & was not open to discussing this point of disagreement any further. It felt dismissive.

My situation differed in that I already had an established relationship with the therapist which I valued greatly so I was able to overlooked this bone of contention. Although it bothered me at the time.

I thought & still do think this therapist was magnificent, God sent, so in my view, even with the greatest therapists you can still push some Freudian button. However “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” (The therapist actually brought cigars because his wife had had a baby!). This therapist suited me, but they were my second try. I wish you good luck.

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You could tell her you're taking a break and you would call when you are ready.

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@lsittll

Hello Ginger!

I have stopped seeing her but last week she called me I didn't make an appointment and today she called again. Today the phone rang and when I looked at the caller ID it was my therapist. it happened that I did not have my answering machine on so I let the phone ring and ring. It rang12 times. I am not making appointments yet she's calling. I'm come on lady bug off! How can I get this lady to stop? I'm surely not calling her.

@lsittll

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@lsittll If you have decided to not see this therapist again, I think you owe yourself and her, the closure of saying you will work with someone else. This gives you an endpoint to her work with you. Perhaps try writing about it, and see what comes up? Or record into a voice to text program if that suits you? I would like to think she has your best interest at heart, and wants the best for you, even if it is not her! Have you sought out another therapist, yet?
Ginger

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@gingerw

@lsittll If you have decided to not see this therapist again, I think you owe yourself and her, the closure of saying you will work with someone else. This gives you an endpoint to her work with you. Perhaps try writing about it, and see what comes up? Or record into a voice to text program if that suits you? I would like to think she has your best interest at heart, and wants the best for you, even if it is not her! Have you sought out another therapist, yet?
Ginger

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@gingerw
@isittll
I don’t believe the therapist deserves that courtesy. I don’t think her motivation is to give Laurie the help she needs when she needs it most and thereby ends up causing Laurie more destress than comfort.
Jake

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@gingerw

@lsittll If you have decided to not see this therapist again, I think you owe yourself and her, the closure of saying you will work with someone else. This gives you an endpoint to her work with you. Perhaps try writing about it, and see what comes up? Or record into a voice to text program if that suits you? I would like to think she has your best interest at heart, and wants the best for you, even if it is not her! Have you sought out another therapist, yet?
Ginger

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Hello Ginger!

I have her cell phone number. She calls me from it every time she wants to have a session. I'll just text her a message thanking her for her for the support she's given me (only in finding a boyfriend) and that I do not feel we are a good match. I have sought out names but before calling them I must check with Cigna first to see if the therapist takes my specific plan. Most of the therapists have answering machines or focus primarily on treating certain ethnic groups.

Laurie

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@lsittll

Hello Ginger!

I have her cell phone number. She calls me from it every time she wants to have a session. I'll just text her a message thanking her for her for the support she's given me (only in finding a boyfriend) and that I do not feel we are a good match. I have sought out names but before calling them I must check with Cigna first to see if the therapist takes my specific plan. Most of the therapists have answering machines or focus primarily on treating certain ethnic groups.

Laurie

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@lsittll Laurie, Your idea of texting her a message is not only good closure for you but lets the therapist know you won't be returning and why. This allows her to "discharge" you from her practice and not continue to contact you for sessions. Here is how I think about this.

In the past I just sort of disappeared and did not return. That suited me but didn't let the person I was working with know I wasn't coming back and why. It's an interaction between two people in whatever the setting is so now I tell myself to close it all off by writing, texting, or whatever works why I won't be back. It's really emotionally difficult for me to do this but I feel better afterward. If they want to refer me to someone else, even better. I may or may not act on that referral but that's my choice.

Good plans, Laurie. I hope you find someone who is a better match for you.

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@lsittll

Hello Ginger!

I have decided that change is most definitely needed and I will do so. The other week I did not change my clocks so I didn't make the bus. I couldn't make therapy. Last week she wanted to do teletherapy because she was away. I missed the messages. So what? I'm looking for someone else. No teletherapy for me with her! She is colder than a rock in winter then. I have told her the most traumatic things during teletherapy and she cannot be empathetic about them. I only need someone to listen to me about the problem my doctor is giving me, help me write a note to a hospital advocate to resolve an issue with my doctor. But this social worker wants to do none of those things.

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Hello Ginger!
I forgot to send her a text this weekend telling her I would be discontinuing seeing her. She did not call today. I think she got this message. I certainly hope she and her friend ( my nurse practitioner) were not talking and it was mentioned by my nurse practitioner that I wouldn't be seeing her again.
I had a session with my nurse practitioner this week and she asked "when did you last see Priscilla?" I just said she lacks many qualities that I need in a therapist. I feel most uncomfortable when my nurse practitioner and my psychotherapist personally know one another and that is reason enough for me to stop seeing her.

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@lsittll

Hello Ginger!
I forgot to send her a text this weekend telling her I would be discontinuing seeing her. She did not call today. I think she got this message. I certainly hope she and her friend ( my nurse practitioner) were not talking and it was mentioned by my nurse practitioner that I wouldn't be seeing her again.
I had a session with my nurse practitioner this week and she asked "when did you last see Priscilla?" I just said she lacks many qualities that I need in a therapist. I feel most uncomfortable when my nurse practitioner and my psychotherapist personally know one another and that is reason enough for me to stop seeing her.

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@lsittll It sounds like you made a good decision. To be sure, please consider texting her, thank her for the time spent with you [even if you did not find it productive!] and let her know you will be seeking support via other venues. I bet you will heave a sigh of relief once you have done this, and closed that chapter. It will have you ready for what you decide to do next!
Ginger

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@gingerw

@lsittll If you are perhaps discussing feelings about a medical situation, how it makes you feel, and how to work through things, it seems your therapist would be open to that. It also seems wise if your therapist is expected to discuss particular medical details she may not be versed on, that she would refuse to go there.

But, as @jakedduck1 mentioned, if you are not comfortable, then change. Not every therapist is the right fit. And you sometimes have to experience them to know they aren't the right fit.

Let me know what you decide to do, and how we can help you?
Ginger

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Hello Ginger! I stopped seeing this therspist months ago. However, my psychiatric nurse practitioner (her friend) says to me when I see her monthly are you still seeing Priscilla? I am tired of telling her no. I said she lacked important qualities that I need in a counsellor. What can I say and how can I say to my nurse practitioner that I am no longer seeing her and never have to repeat myself again!

Laurie

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@lsittll

Hello Ginger! I stopped seeing this therspist months ago. However, my psychiatric nurse practitioner (her friend) says to me when I see her monthly are you still seeing Priscilla? I am tired of telling her no. I said she lacked important qualities that I need in a counsellor. What can I say and how can I say to my nurse practitioner that I am no longer seeing her and never have to repeat myself again!

Laurie

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@Isittll Laurie, this is my thought.

If you have told your psychiatric NP "no" more than once, she might be hoping you expand your answer to include what you have done to move on from that therapist. She might be wanting to hear you have another therapist in place who is helping you. She may need to document in the chart notes that you are [or, are not] seeing another therapist. Has she asked you a follow-up question when you say "no"?

You could always ask her, "Why do you ask me this every time?" to see what she says. How do you feel about that idea?

And for my own benefit, have you found another therapist, either virtually or face-to-face, who is more to your liking? I hope you are doing well!
Ginger

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@lsittll
Why not tell her exactly that.I would probably tell her something like “I have answered that question over and over and I’m not comfortable talking about her and I’m not going to discuss it now or in the future. Please stop asking if I’m still seeing her. Don’t you take or read your notes.”
I might ask “why do you find it necessary to ask me this question so often.” It may be an uncomfortable conversation but it seems to me she isn’t giving you much of a choice. Doctors and medical personnel, in my opinion are only entitled to as much respect as they show their patients.
You may need to go on the hunt for a new therapist. I’ve had numerous confrontations and most of the time our relationship improved. Other times I knew that wasn’t the doctor for me and left avoiding a conflict other times I told them off in no uncertain terms and then left.
It’s too bad you've been having problems with these people.
Stay strong stand up to them. It's difficult at times but worth it in long term provided they aren't egomaniac's.
Good luck,
Jake

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@lsittll
@gingerw
I think if the nurse wants to know something specific she should ask it in a direct manner. Not only to prevent repetitive answers that may not give her the information she is seeking it may end up wasting valuable time that could be utilized more productively.
Jake

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