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Changing therapist etiquette


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Old 24th January 2018, 11:22 PM   #1
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Changing therapist etiquette

Hi all,

I wanted to ask opinions/advice on changing therapists. I have been seeing my therapist for the past year or so, a little over. He is the first therapist I have been to. I can't say he was ever really helpful and even less so recently, but I have a hard time opening up and at that time in my life, with a lot of family drama, it was good to have someone to talk to, without feeling like you are burdening them.

So now that I have decided to stop seeing him, what is the etiquette? Do I tell him I want to take a break? Do I explain that I don't think I am getting as much out of these sessions as I would like? Do I tell him the name of my new therapist? I wouldn't think I really owe him a long-winded explanation on the basis of our relationship (and degree of help/impact that he has provided), but I would like to ask if anyone has experience with this or opinions.

Thanks!!
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Old 24th January 2018, 11:47 PM   #2
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If they are even the slightest bit professional they will understand that some people will click/relate/get along with others too. Different strokes for different folks. If they get offended by this than I'd say that's not someone you wanted to talk too anyway. As far as wording goes I might say "I got some thing to think about with our time and I think It would do me some good to talk to someone else as well and get their perspective on this. I think that's going to help me the most right now but thank you very much"
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Old 24th January 2018, 11:55 PM   #3
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I just told them I didn't wish to book another session.

I don't think you owe them any explanation.
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Old 25th January 2018, 2:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
I don't think you owe them any explanation
Exactly.
You're the client and you have the choice as you're the one paying.

If you feel compelled to give an explanation just say that you're sorry but "I don't think this is working for me right now" and leave it at that. A good therapist will accept that and not pressurize you into continuing.
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Old 25th January 2018, 12:11 PM   #5
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Thank you all. I thought the same explanation-wise, as in I didnít believe I owed one, so very helpful to hear.
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Old 26th January 2018, 2:30 AM   #6
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If you don't click with your therapist and he isn't helping you it's totally fine to go looking for another therapist who you connect with and can open up to. You don't owe him any long explanations, you paid him for his services and now you no longer want his services.
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Old 31st January 2018, 1:08 PM   #7
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Transitioning

Itís common practice in the field fo counseling for a client to want to change therapists. For a variety of reasons, it may be time to investigate other modalities, or just change for changeís sake. Your therapist may indeed want to recommend someone in her/his immediate practice after consulting with the unified therapy team. You issues stay in house, your records are contained (even billing is organic). Be as up front as you can and egos will stay intact (a professional therapist wonít be shaken at all).

Good luck in your growth and advancement.
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Old 31st January 2018, 1:13 PM   #8
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Same as with any other professional. When the time comes to schedule the next appointment, usually at end of session, just thank them for their help and announce you're ending therapy.

If it's a personal difference, meaning you'd like to continue therapy just not with that therapist then announce that you're not feeling like the process is beneficial and would appreciate a referral. Therapists usually know a large circle of fellow professionals and part of their skill is discerning a good match. If none comes to mind they'll share that.

Once you separate out the content from the professional association, next steps become easy and fluid. That's actually good practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes and the more confident you'll be in the process and those you choose to assist you.

Good luck!
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Old 1st February 2018, 11:11 AM   #9
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Just switch over. It's np.

Last edited by Cookiesandough; 1st February 2018 at 11:36 AM..
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Old 1st February 2018, 5:59 PM   #10
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I imagine therapists would know better than anyone else that people have preferences when it comes to relationships of any nature (friendship, romantic, and professional where it is possible). If one client isn't 100% satisfied with their sessions they often understand that the best thing for that client is to go elsewhere. It's no big deal, that client may not be "clicking" as well with that therapist as they might with another.

Just say you won't be needing another session. If asked, say you've gone elsewhere. As long as you're polite then it's all good.
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Old 1st February 2018, 6:43 PM   #11
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I can imagine a situation in which you want to give the therapist an explanation: e.g., you think her therapy is helpful and you have built some sort of rapport, but you have to find a new one because (say) you're moving to a different area. Since you don't feel she's doing a great job to your situation, I wouldn't ask her for a referral. You can easily find a good one using the internet (just do a bit of homework on their reviews and their background).
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Old 2nd February 2018, 10:15 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RecentChange View Post
I just told them I didn't wish to book another session.

I don't think you owe them any explanation.
Exactly. This is your head they're working on. If it's not working find another one. That's what I did.
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Old 3rd February 2018, 3:14 PM   #13
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Thank you, all. Many very helpful suggestions here and you helped ease my mind about this. I suppose because itís different from a regular doctor and you build an emotional connection of sorts with a therapist (though of course one-sided), made me question how to do the switch. All of your responses and shared experiences are very helpful!
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Old 5th February 2018, 3:27 AM   #14
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Last fall, I decided I wanted to stop seeing my therapist of three years. I wanted to seek out an intuitive eating coach/nutritionist, and based on several comments that my therapist had made over the years, I knew that he was not the person I wanted to work with while dealing with body image and eating issues. I was upfront with him, but still kind, and he was quite happy that I was making a positive decision for myself. He did want to know why I felt I didn't want to get into food and body issues with him, and I let my guard down and told him. He was very grateful for the feedback, and it was a very close, positive note to end on. He wished me luck and told me I was welcome back any time.

Anyway, long story short, and as others have mentioned, a good therapist will welcome your desire to stop sessions.
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Old 5th February 2018, 11:47 AM   #15
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You're back!!!! I missed you here.

Yeah, the thing is therapists/doctors/trainers etc - are service people. They act as friends (business tactics) but they are not. Changing them for a better suited service is not wrong and should NOT feel like a betrayal / break up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by losangelena View Post
Last fall, I decided I wanted to stop seeing my therapist of three years. I wanted to seek out an intuitive eating coach/nutritionist, and based on several comments that my therapist had made over the years, I knew that he was not the person I wanted to work with while dealing with body image and eating issues. I was upfront with him, but still kind, and he was quite happy that I was making a positive decision for myself. He did want to know why I felt I didn't want to get into food and body issues with him, and I let my guard down and told him. He was very grateful for the feedback, and it was a very close, positive note to end on. He wished me luck and told me I was welcome back any time.

Anyway, long story short, and as others have mentioned, a good therapist will welcome your desire to stop sessions.
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