5 Signs You Are Seeing a BAD Therapist! psychology & mental health with Kati Morton

5 Signs You Are Seeing a BAD Therapist! psychology & mental health with Kati Morton

Just like any job, some people are good at it, while others are not. Many of you have told me that you either didn’t click with a therapist or they did (or didn’t do) some things that really left you feeling bad or hurt. Today I would like to offer up 5 signs that you are seeing a bad therapist or that your therapist isn’t a good fit.

1. You feel like you have to prove things because they act like they don’t believe you. I have heard from some of you that when you expressed what you were struggling with, your therapist said things like, “oh that’s not too bad,” or “are you sure it’s really that hard for you?” If you feel that you have to prove just how sick you are or how hard something is for you, you need to find someone else. A therapist is supposed to be there to support and help, not minimize and invalidate.

2. They don’t remember anything you have said from previous sessions. Do you always have to retell them things? Do they never remember what it is you do for a living? Or do they give you homework and never follow up on it? As a therapist I know how easy it is to take 5 minutes before a sessions to read through the homework I gave last session and where we left off. If they can’t do that for you, time to find someone else.

3. They allow you to text, email, call, etc anytime you need….and they reply quickly. Unless this is part of a safety plan because we are struggling with suicidal thoughts, they cannot be reachable at all time. This not only causes therapists to burn out, but it also stops you from practicing any of the things you are working on in therapy. A therapist should be a support, not a crutch.

4. You just chat like friends, and don’t really do any therapeutic work. If you have done a lot of work in the past and now you just feel like you don’t have anything to talk about, YAY! That means you don’t need therapy anymore, and can slowly stop coming! In truth, that is the whole goal of therapy! Go you!
If you haven’t ever worked on anything together, but the conversation is just so easy and friendly that you keep coming back to chat, you need to find someone else. Therapy isn’t a social experience. I know that sounds bad to say, but therapy is hard and is supposed to challenge us and help us grow. If we are just talking like we are old friends, that doesn’t achieve any of that. Time to find someone who can help us move forward.

5. They talk about themselves, A LOT! This is YOUR time, not theirs! They should be in their own therapy, so that they have a place to talk about their issues. Using your hour to do that is wrong, and you should find someone else to see immediately!

I know it can be hard to find the right therapist, and someone that we click with. My hope is that these red flags can help you better find a good therapist who is going to be there for you to work on the stuff you need to work on. Remember, therapists are people to, and some are great at their jobs while others are not. I want each of you to be able to find someone you can work with who is going to challenge you and help you grow. xox

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December 26, 2016 / 32 Comments / by / in
  • 1&2 is my first therapist and 4 is my second one. Hopefully this new one will be a good fit!

  • I'm on my first therapist. Seen him for eight weeks now. The first four weeks was about me and anxiety, since that was a huge part of my life. As soon as I felt like I had the tools for it, I had to push my therapist to help me with depression. And I feel like we're constantly talking about the same stuff. I hear what he's saying, but I've pointed out how these tools won't help. I'm scared if I stop seeing him he'll get upset, but I also don't know how to be honest with him. 🙁 counterproductive I know

  • I'm on my third female thesphis.. The first two had more education.
    Then they both came up with the big biggie " Mary, you really don't believe your mother would do or be, so and so whatever ". no Had to leave. The therphis l have now. has a facial twich does that mean anything? other than that she
    seems okay. any thoughts.
    Thank you

  • bad therapist????? wish i could see one

  • I had a horrible therapist one time. I was having horrible anxiety (pre diagnosed GAD and depression) and agoraphobia due to starting college. I couldn't leave my dorm. All she said was "it's normal" and gave me a fill in the blank workbook for the next time I have anxiety, for me to basically figure out on my own why I was so "stressed". Ugh I didn't pay you just to get a coloring book -__-

  • Every therapist that I've gone to as just told me that I just have a case of low dopamine in my brain so take some antidepressant pills but I actually have quite a high dopamine count in my brain it's just the fact that I literally hate everything about life because I am a nihilist now I don't go to therapy because I know it's pointless

  • When I see my therapist, it is like I'm hanging out with her. We have NO goals and she talks about herself more than I do about myself. I really like her, but I'm getting no where. How do I "break up" with her??

  • Love the video. I have a question? is it bad to give the therapist a Christmas present like for example a coffee mug? Thank you.

  • I had one that would talk about herself for like 50 minutes and I never had a chance to talk and it was like we were paying her to talk about her. And she'd deny it but she told me she expected me to wear make up the next time I saw her and when I did she didn't even say anything about it. And now thank goodness I,have a new therapist who actually good

  • Thank you for making this, before I stopped going to him my therapist made me feel like I was making all my problems up. He figured since I was able to talk to him then I mustn't have any social problems, and that I was just lazy because I felt uncomfortable driving. He asked me the same questions every time we met too "do you drive yet?" "Are you still in school?" "Do you live around here?" and even on our last session he asked the same things. He also liked to remind me that I was often his last patient like I was a burden and he just wanted to go home. I figured this was all normal at first but soon got sick of the 0% progress we were making and left.

  • OMG #4 was totally my therapist. So glad I left her!!

  • Omg the whole reason I became a therapist was due to the really bad counsellors I had encountered. I love the tips and tricks point. Good video thank you.

  • Wow! My last therapist was a chat session where they talked about themselves often and never gave me anything to do.

  • I am Guilty of #4!

  • My therapist and I chat a lot. Sometimes I feel like I have to keep her on topic lol. I don't mind too much as therapy is difficult. I feel like because I'm one of her more well put together clients (I'm guessing because she's always amazed that I'm doing research and actually working on myself) I'd like to help her do better too. In fact, just today I told her about you, Kati, and she's going to check out some of your videos. I'm sure she'll like them and find them interesting.

  • My therapist told me that this past week we could take a break from reprocessing for one session since school was beginning and I might need to talk about that since school is a huge stressor.
    She agreed and then forgot about it and I had to convince her about what she agreed to. -_-

  • I think these are great basic and general tips to find a professional therapist. But as a therapist myself, I also find that some clients don't know what therapy is and they come into the session not knowing that a treatment plan and goals would be established, but instead they come in thinking it's a place to just vent and vent. Some people only come in when they think they have a "crisis." Of course this may be different in private practice since, but my experience working in an outpatient medical facility feels like a factory system. It would be nice if clients understand more about what therapy is and I usually psychoeducate them. Hoping to have my own private practice someday.

  • I've had 3 fucking therapists to help with my anger issues and depression, all of em new and they all did at least half of these
    Pretty fucking good ay?

  • I had the WORST THERAPIST in the history of therapists. I had rejected her once, early on, and years later, they sent me to the same person, and she had not improved, and was in fact worse!!!

    I've been through therapist after therapist, and it has taken me decades of my life to get control and finally understand how to manage my difficulties. This is because I needed to overcome two hurdles:

    First and foremost, nearly every lay-person on the planet believes that a "psychiatrist" is a person who performs the therapy. In the modern medical system, they tell me this is NOT so. As they tell it, a psychiatrist is one who manages the medication you may need for the most part, as well as recommending who you should go to for therapy. "Psychotherapy" is not even on the radar. "Therapy" per se, is handled through "social workers" first. I will tell you right now that this goes against everything I know about mental issues and therapy. To me, an average person, a "social worker" is someone who helps a person deal with problems in interpersonal relationships or circumstances, NOT a person that diagnoses and handles actual mental disorders. A "social worker" is the kind of person I went to see in high school if I got into a minor fight, not because I had deep-seated mental issues.

    That brings me to the second issue. In my mind, I'm waaaay past the difficulty of "social worker" and just a few feet from rubber room. I needed real, substantive, and intelligent help. But twice, I get sent to someone who was below the level of my issue. Her first face-to-face go-to was not an introduction, but a questionnaire that I had to fill out while she's sitting there. This questionnaire was some 20 questions long, and so general, that if I answered the questions as written, the answers would not get to the heart of the problem quickly. To facilitate speed, I added comments all over the page to clarify and to define my answers. To be honest, the questionnaire was like a overly simplified set of questions for a specific and difficult problem that I'd dealt with for years.

    The therapist who is the topic of this message, then looked over the answers I gave, and asked a few more questions, so again, I tried to be as complete as I could, laying my issue out as neatly as I could. Her response?

    "Wow. You certainly like to hear yourself talk." W the literal F?

    Aside from how insulting that comment was, it should have tipped me off as to how bad it could be, because she then proceeded to recommend that I purchase a selection of "self-help" hypno-therapy tapes, which would not be paid for by my insurance. I DO NOT have the temperament for hypnosis, since I believe personally that hypnosis is junk science. Oh, and I'd have to pay for it too?? Again, what the literal F? When I turned those down, she asked that I follow her, which I did. She led me out of the therapy office and up to the front desk where she told the receptionist to schedule my next appointment. Then she left. I had been dismissed without a word; not given even an indication that the session was over. I went from 0 to 75 in the pissed off zone at once. I was not only dismissed like an errant child, I had also wasted my time. I was irate to say the least. Never again will I suffer such an indignity and insult.

    So I offer this as your potential sixth sign you need a better therapist: Make sure that your therapist shows you a minimum level of respect, on a level you and your mental issue demand. Do not settle until you are confident that you will be treated well, and that your problem is treated with respect as well. If your therapist is not giving you credit for your attempt to get the help you need, or engages in self-serving insults or comments, then it's time to file a complaint with the head office, to cancel all future appointments, and find someone who can really help!

  • I have a 73 year old neighbor with very clear signs of Schizophrenia. Two years dealing with screaming all night at voices I finally convinced him to seek therapy. The problem is the therapist seems to be going along with his delusions instead of referring him for meds. Chris thinks everyone is trying to fight him all of the time because they are jealous of his boyish good looks. Despite all indications that he's a high school drop out he believes himself to be a retired scientist and has been writing about physics for the past 7 years. He says the book hasn't been published because the publishing companies aren't smart enough to understand the content…..in reality it's a bunch of rambling. It's now been 16 months of therapy and I'm wondering how much longer this can go on.

  • Thanks for sharing this. I believe the last therapist I had was kind of bad. She would talk about herself a lot. It was annoying.

  • I've been in and out of therapy like since I was 5 (I'm 28 now). I live in a really small town in upstate NY so mental health options are limited. People are always coming and going from the clinic I go to, so in the past two years I have had like 5 different therapists and 2 psychiatrists.

    I've had a lot of what would be "inappropriate" occurrences, however I guess I didn't really understand what's ok and not ok.
    So here are a few examples (all different people mind you)
    1-when I was in High school I started going to see a woman. It was a really damaging experience…like as you said, she made me feel like I had to prove myself on a very sensitive issue (I'm gay). I remember her suggesting that maybe I wasn't really and like just making it up for attention or something. I refused to go back to see her after that appointment.
    2- a different therapist I started seeing years after that first experience would like tell me her whole life and her boyfriend troubles etc. like even that he called the police on her for not leaving his place. I kid you not. I was actually thinking about this the other day, because finally I just got someone that I feel is helpful, and I was wondering if I should tell her about the experience with what is now her coworker. It happened years ago but the woman is still there. I don't really want to get her in trouble though….
    3-the next therapist would just sit typing in her computer for like 90 percent of the session and always got pissed when I would tell her I needed paper work to be done for insurance purposes. In that final session she basically said she didn't want to help me and ended the session after like 15mins, if that.
    And lastly…this one was at the psychiatric hospital…the psychiatrist literally told me to "paint your nails and try to fit in"
    Need I say more?

  • I have BPD, professionally diagnosed by a psychiatrist I used to visit for about a year. That is on top of a diagnosis from a mental hos that basically stated I might have some personality disorders but I'm too young to officially diagnose those (I'm under 25). Now both of my psychiatrists and therapist were really annoying me with a "diagnosis is not important we need to focus on your problems" but…none of them really addressed my BPD, which besides some depression episodes, is the main problem. The psychiatrist gave me meds which, surprise, did nothing bc BPD is not treatable with meds. The therapist obviously didn't know how to work with me, she basically said she doesn't think I need her help and just pointed me to the door. I'm all on my own now and it's hard but in my country there aren't many places or therapists who know how to work with people with PDs, specially BPD so at this moment it's the best I can do.

  • My therapist didn’t help me at all. I kind of just went along with my life and figured out how to calm myself down when I was gonna have an anxiety attack or when I felt I couldn’t talk to someone. My therapist wasn’t necessarily bad but I just don’t work well with people in general.

  • Having to prove something is wrong with you. This was a problem I had with a particular male therapist who has a big ego. Well, I guess the fact that I wasn’t sheepishly picking up what he put down didn’t sit well no matter how my husband had been the one to do the hurting, continue to lie and withhold, rant and rave, blameshifting and gaslight

  • I've seen therapists who: gaslight people in their sessions, fail to treat them like a human being and just play various mind games with them and abuse them psychologically, victim blame the client if the client was ever bullied in school, exploit the living shit out of the clients fears and vulnerabilities to the point of scarring them for life and then people who were abused by therapists are either suicidal because of therapist abuse (sadly no therapists are EVER held accountable for their actions) or they become violently homicidal and have endless thoughts on wanting to kill the therapist for the psychological abuse.

  • Oh by the way Kati, therapist abuse can have long lasting effects on clients. Mental abuse is the worst and the most heinous of them all.

  • The point about not working towards goals is interesting. I've talked a lot about things that bother me in therapy, but there's never really been a coherent plan of how to improve my wellbeing, it's just chatting. I wasn't sure how helpful it was and was feeling a little down thinking this is the only treatment option, but if that's not what's meant to happen in therapy then really, that's useful to know.

  • 1:44 99.9% of all modern therapy. Even when theres a "plan" in place its often superficial.

  • Is it wrong to send an email to my therapist when she is unavailable (neck injury) for a while? Does this in general also create a negative or too close of a relationship with her? What do?

  • I am in a group and we have several therapists but none of us like one in particular. She never actually gives any advice. She on a weekly basis just brings in packets of printed out websites and reads off of them. Whenever we try to bring up anything serious she just says "I understand what you must me going through" and that's it. She calls on people and forces them into uncomfortable situations, sometimes accusing people of things and just making things worse. She will cut people off and say "I don't want to hear this" and force them into silence/changing the subject. She purposely triggers patients (she has plainly stated she does this with no regret). I remember a couple of times she straight up insulted a patient. So I would qualify her as a bad therapist.

  • Is it possible that my therapist is trying to get me to stop therapy with him and finally be on my own?  I have worked with this particular therapist off and on for half a century.  He has been hinting around at my last sixty sessions that I am fine now and to take baby steps and begin to live a normal life.  He even has told me to do some homework.  So I do.  It is to watch the movie,  What About Bob……….so I watch it and takes notes on how to be normal.  But when I ask him  what normal means,  he only tells me to look up the word in the dictionary.

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