Beware of Therapists Who Do These Three Things Beware of Therapists Who Do These Three Things Beware of Therapists Who Do These Three Things Michele Hart Law

Date: March 21, 2024 | Author: Michele Hart


If you’ve been struggling and find it difficult to manage day-to-day, you may have considered therapy to help.  A good therapist can make a big difference and help you significantly in moving forward.  But a bad therapist can make things much worse or be downright harmful.

In my experience, both personally and in working with clients who are in therapy to help them during divorce, I’ve come across some alarming behaviors by therapists.  The ones below happen often enough that it’s worth cautioning about.

Beware of the therapist who does these 3 things:

1.        Labels, diagnoses, or repeatedly criticizes your partner or others without ever meeting them.  

There have been many times when a current or potential divorce client relays to me that their therapist said their spouse is a “narcissist” or is “bipolar.”  This is a therapist who not helping.  He or she is making assumptions about your partner without knowing anything about them.

And if you’re in the midst of a divorce, especially when you have children, it is generally far better to settle out of court, which can save you much money and minimize emotional pain.  This can be difficult when you are stuck in bitter hostility towards your spouse.

By the same token, when the therapist focuses only on what your partner does without helping you understand your role, it can lead to feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness in your relationship.  A good therapist will instead focus on your personal growth.

2.        Frequently cancels or reschedules appointments.

Your therapist should be someone you can consistently rely on.  If he or she frequently cancels or reschedules appointments, take it as a sign that you should move on.

3.        Doesn’t seem to be paying attention or talks about themselves and their problems.

A good therapist will fully listen to you and make you feel heard and understood.  They will be respectful of you and what you have to say.  I once had a therapist who began texting while I was in the middle of talking!  Talk about a red flag.

If your therapist engages in any of these behaviors, or even if you get an uneasy feeling during sessions, you should always trust your gut.  It’s important to recognize these signs after the first few sessions.  Because while the right therapist can make a world of difference, the wrong one can cause significant harm.  And your safety and well-being is too important.

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