In October of 2017 I began seeing a therapist who I thought was great. She knew what she was doing, She knew how to fix me, I thought. The sessions would go as follows:
I would go to my appointment and she would allow me to talk about my last two weeks for a total of 10 minutes. I would cry and tell her it wasn’t good, and then she would promptly change the subject. She never made me feel as though I could just vent. She constantly looked at the clock and would always tell me to just practice my breathing for homework.
When I told her that I practice these exercises daily at my job and at home, when I told her that I do guided meditations and listen to rain before bed, when I told her that I knew all about these practices that she was spending my sessions explaining, she would tell me “it’s good to have insight” and then continue wasting time explaining things I already knew.
All I wanted was to have someone in my life I could vent to. Someone I could tell all my irrational thoughts without any judgement. When I told her that I didn’t feel like this was helping she said, “well we have a shortage on psychiatrists so if this isn’t working I can put you on a list, but you’ll be waiting up to two years”.
So, I never made another appointment, and I ignored her calls. I went full on fuckboy and ghosted her.
Now don’t get me wrong. CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) can be and is a very effective method, if done by a therapist who is good at what they do. However, if they aren’t great or you don’t feel comfortable with them, it’s totally okay to ghost them, and find a new therapist.
Here are a few reasons you may want to “Ghost” your therapist.
- You feel uncomfortable/unsafe in their care
A therapist sees you in some of your most vulnerable moments. They hear you talk about your traumas, your feelings, your thoughts. Bad people exist in many forms, and therapists aren’t exempt. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in your sessions, find a new therapist.
- You just don’t feel up for it.
If you struggle with mental illness, some days you just don’t feel up to socialize. Now, it is no secret, you feel a lot better after a good session with a GOOD therapist. But I am not one to tell you that it’s always easy to get out of bed and talk to someone. I, of all people, know the struggle. In this case, I wouldn’t suggest “ghosting” your therapist. If you feel able, send them an email letting them know it’s a bad day and reschedule. Although, if you can’t even email, chances are your therapist will understand when you do get back to them.
- They just aren’t helping
The fact is, therapists are people too. If one isn’t helping you, another may. It’s not like a therapist plans to be more harm than good. If you feel like they just aren’t helping, find a new one. There are plenty of counselors, social workers, and therapists around and someone will make you feel better instead of worse.
You are not stuck with your current therapist. Just because they are supposed to help, doesn’t always mean they can. That being said, don’t give up on therapy, unless you really feel like that’s what you want. I am not one to tell people what is best for them. If you truly feel like you aren’t benefiting from therapy, it’s okay to call it quits for now.