It’s Not Me, It’s You.
Maybe It’s Time to Break up with Your Therapist
It’s not an uncommon situation: You’ve been in therapy for a very long time, going around and around the same issues with no momentum and no end in sight. It’s unfortunate, but many people wind up in therapy relationships that have this kind of inertia.
Was the problem solved long ago, and no one realized it was time to end therapy work?
Is the kind of therapy you’ve been getting not evidence-based?
Is your therapist just not very good?
Is There a Therapy Mismatch?
There are many kinds of therapy practiced today, and only a few are actually based in contemporary psychology research. There has been a great deal of scientific study into what treatments are best suited to different problems. We know what works. Unfortunately, the average person doesn’t have access to this information, so they end up in an outdated kind of therapy with little hope of achieving their therapy goals.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an evidence-based brief treatment that works best with people who want to make specific changes in their lives. These can include:
Eliminating sleep problems
Improving assertiveness and relationship skills
Reducing addictive behaviors
Starting healthy habits
The research is clear: if you’re in therapy to make changes, CBT is the treatment of choice. For example, a landmark study conducted in 2000 showed that people in cognitive-behavioral therapy for anxiety improved at more than double the rate of people in traditional talk-therapy.
Is There a Therapist Mismatch?
Let’s be real: Not all therapists are created equal. Some therapists are truly gifted, and others tend to struggle much of the time. If you have a therapist who fumbles around in session or you don’t have a lot of confidence in… It’s unlikely that person can do much to help you achieve your goals.
Other indicators of therapist strength and weakness are easier to suss out:
Did they attend a doctoral program that lasted six years, or a master’s program that lasted two?
Does your therapist have specialized certification and training in what you want help with, or do they list every kind of therapy technique and problem on their website?
Are they providing a therapy that is evidence-based, or do they do… something else?
Each of these factors are worth considering when choosing a therapist, and they are worthy of discussion with your therapist if you have a concern.
Breaking up Isn’t Hard to Do
If you feel you’re with the wrong therapist, it’s a good idea to discuss your concern with your them. A second option is to shop around to determine whether there is a therapist better aligned with your needs. Sometimes people see as many as three therapists for an initial visit, kind of like a second, third, and fourth opinion, getting fresh perspectives on an issue that has felt stagnant. It may be easier to explore with a new therapist what hasn’t been working, and as a result, find new solutions you hadn’t considered.
If you’ve read until this point, you’re probably looking for some kind of a change. We are a therapy practice that specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy for specific problems, such as anxiety, depression, and relationship issues. If you want to try something new, click here to learn more about how we might be able to help you find a new direction.