I had an amazing therapist in Virginia, and I was so sad I couldn't go to her anymore when we moved to Ohio. I didn't try to find a new one for a while, but in June we got a new health insurance at work where we get access to free therapy through their app!
Unfortunately, I didn't feel quite comfortable with my therapist. I had five sessions with her, and she was very nice and had some really good insight in certain matters that really helped me. But it's like she didn't think I have enough problems to need therapy, if that makes sense?
Sure, I have spent years working on myself and dealing with my issues, through therapy and on my own, and I am quite self-aware. But just because I mostly want someone to talk to where I know things won't go any further, doesn't mean that it's a waste of time or that I don't deserve her attention and respect.
One day I was talking about being homesick (I haven't been home to Sweden for over two years now) and suddenly she said "If you don't have any more things to talk about, we can stop here?" And I was just stunned, because we were only thirty minutes into the hour-long session and I was literally talking as she said this
I stammered okay, sure, feeling very put out, but thinking that maybe something had come up. I still felt that it was very unprofessional -- if something had happened she could have just told me and apologized and rescheduled.
I honestly didn't really want to talk to her after that, but I figured I'd give her the benefit of the doubt since I had put in some time with her. But then it happened again!
The next session I ended up cancelling, and then I never rescheduled. Until two weeks ago, and when my request got declined because she's on vacation/not working right now, I honestly felt relieved that I had an excuse to try someone else!
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez
Where is this guilt coming from?
It's exactly like changing hair stylist -- why is it so hard to do?? You're paying for a service (well, I pay my insurance premiums anyway), and if you're not getting what you want, why do we feel so guilty about going somewhere else? (That's actually a great question for a therapist . . . ha!)
Even if you build up a rapport, they aren't actually your friend. But still there's this huge feeling of guilt about changing professional. I'm guessing it's because it is so built in us, especially women, to not hurt other people's feelings.
The second woman I tried I didn't really like either -- it felt like she wasn't listening to half of the things I said. She made me feel a bit better, but she's not someone I see myself working with long-term or telling more of my story to.
In 2021 I want to have monthly sessions, just to have an outlet and safe space to talk about things, and also to get an outsiders view. So in January I will try out someone else and really try to build a good foundation the first session and find out if our personalities match.
Photo by Christina
This time I won't feel bad if I want to keep looking. Feeling comfortable and respected by your therapist is so extremely important for them to be able to help you, and valuing yourself enough to find a good fit is just another lesson to learn. I'm very fortunate right now that I don't have to pay for my sessions, so I don't have to feel like I'm wasting money in this process. But when I first started out with therapy, back when I lived in Ireland, I paid full price for trying out two different people before deciding on who I wanted to continue with. Which was no small dent in my wallet! (Neither were the monthly sessions, but I was determined to invest in myself.)
Still, it felt easier declining the services of someone when I was openly just trying them out. "Breaking up" with someone is a different experience. But you deserve to have a great relationship with your therapist, so don't be afraid to search for the perfect fit if it doesn't feel right!
Hi, I'm Erika!
I know what it's like living with anxiety and depression, but living and living are very different things. I believe in practical tips and methods, and I will use them to help you be the brave, daring, darling individual you are.
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