Tips & Techniques, Wellness / Self-Care

7 signs to tell if you have a bad Therapist

They may not be you.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Apr 8, 2022

We all know the telltale indicators of a lousy therapist, but some signs are more challenging to discern than others. These indicators will surely stymie your therapy progress.


Because of the past 2 years, many people have relied on therapy as one of their healthy coping mechanisms, and a lot more have started therapy for the first time. Here, we wanted to show you how to recognize all of the warning signs of a bad therapist. That way, you’ll be able to avoid substandard therapists and find the high-quality treatment you need.


Before we dive in, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Consider whether or not the therapist is a suitable match for you. Signs that a therapist is bad differ from signs that he or she isn’t the proper fit.
  • It’s critical to recognize warning flags, but remember to give your therapist a break. They’re only human, after all, and they’re sure to make mistakes.
  • Consider speaking with your therapist if you only see one of these indications and it doesn’t upset you too much. You two might be able to work on it together. It would be a shame to leave your therapist for something you could work out.


So, now we can get to it. Here are the signs that you may need to find a new therapist:


1. Failure to listen or respond

This is by far the most noticeable. Therapists must pay attention to what you’re saying and respond appropriately. It’s time to move on and find someone better if they are clearly not making enough effort to understand you and provide assistance.


2. If they are judging you

It’s harmful to judge clients in a way that shames them and it stymies therapy progress. You shouldn’t have to go through this.


3. Making decisions on your behalf

If you ask for advice, it’s fine for therapists to give their opinions, but they shouldn’t be ordering you around. Therapy is supposed to empower you and equip you with the cognitive skills you’ll need to make wise decisions—but they’ll be your own. Telling you what to do kind of defeats the point and falls into an ethical gray area.


4. Instilling religious, spiritual, political, or social beliefs in others

Your religious, spiritual, political, and social beliefs should be respected by therapists. That means they shouldn’t force their beliefs on you.


5. Ignorance of your own beliefs or background

Therapists must be aware of their own and their clients’ unique beliefs and background. Their advice should take into account your values.


6. Breaking confidentiality

A therapist is legally obligated to keep your information private. They can only divulge sensitive information if it is absolutely necessary to save a life. If your therapist breached confidentiality, this is a big red flag.


7. Encouraging you to place blame on others for your problems

You want a therapist on your side, but if they encourage you to blame everything on others, they won’t be able to help you. Therapy is designed to provide you with the tools you need to take charge of your life and make it better.


If you feel that your therapist is doing any of these things, it may be time to have a conversation about it. Therapy is incredibly important, but you have to find the right fit for you.


In related news, Ted Lasso is helping people embrace therapy.