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How do I tell my therapist I don't want to see her again?


sapphirerose

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This year, I started seeing a therapist again after not having seen one for a year. It's generally for my depressive feelings and some anxiety. 

I've been seeing this particular therapist for the past month and a half or so. She's very nice, but I don't feel she's helping me. She mainly focuses on breathing and mindfulness activities. I'm trying to incorporate more of this into my life, but it's just not doing much for me right now.

I don't feel that I need medication, but I want to actually change my thoughts rather than just concentrating on breathing.

During sessions, I feel on-edge the whole time, and like I cannot fully open up to her. She's very nice and sweet, but she actually looks (and sounds) uncomfortable with me. There are so many really awkward, silent moments where she just looks at me and I have no clue what to say. Sometimes she reads information to me from sheets that she has simply printed from the web. Every time I leave, I feel more anxious than I did before going in.

Is this what therapy is about? I don't want to see her again, but I don't know how to end this on a good note. I have her email address, so I was thinking of writing to her. 

Any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.

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Looks like she s not the therapist that is best suited for you. Is it possible for you to get another one? If it was me Id probably just say that I dont have time to see you anymore and Id go ahead and find another one. If you need the therapist to sign you off to another one or need her to get another one than I guess you have no choice but to tell her that you think theres a personality clash and that youd like to try another therapist. If you tell her exactly how you feel she could turn out to be a valuable asset in helping you  find one thats best suited for you.   

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You don't really owe her an explanation, no need to fret about this. Like @jay89 already pointed out you can simply tell her you don't have the time to meet with her or alternately you could tell her that right now you have to focus on other things and aren't really benefiting from therapy. Don't worry, it's not gonna hurt her feelings. Some people have to go through a dozen therapists before finding one that is a good match since their personality and approach has to meet the needs of a patient, nothing unusual about this and therapists know that too. 

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It sounds like, as nice as your therapist is and as much as she is trying to help, she isn't the right fit for you. Therapy can be difficult and anxiety-provoking sometimes, but if it's making you more anxious every time and generally not helping, it might be worth trying another therapist who has a different approach and can help focus more on your thoughts rather than mindfulness (for example a CBT therapist or psychotherapist.)

It is not wrong of you at all to choose no longer to see her if she is not helping you, but I understand how it may be difficult to tell her that.

I told my latest therapist that I would no longer be going to see him over e-mail, and explained why; it was increasingly difficult to get to his office (some way away from here) and I had been finding the therapy too overwhelming at the time due to various factors and felt I needed to take a break from it.

To end things on a good note, you could be honest and simply say that you don't feel the therapy is helping you at this time and you need to work on other things at the moment (even if that may simply be a different kind of therapy), but thank her for her help and for trying it with you.

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Ok, let's see.  The others made some good suggestions, but I'm going to explore some other things here, just to give you something else to think about.

A month-and-a-half is not a long time to see somebody - that's what? 4 sessions at most?  If you hated her or she were doing something seriously weird, that would be one thing, but it often takes awhile to establish rapport and trust in a therapeutic relationship, so it could be that that's what's going on here, on both ends.

Have you actually discussed what it is you want/need from therapy? Set goals? Talked to her about her particular approach? My therapist does extensive mindfulness work, but he gave me that option when we first met. I chose to incorporate it in every session (and, in fact, in everything I do, but that's a whole 'nother story), but we moved in a gradual sort of way from the start.  And I, too, want to change my thinking, but what I've discovered is that I first have to accept and explore my way of thinking now in order to begin to make changes to it.

Mindfulness takes practice. It also takes some time to adjust to a new therapist. If you really think this one is not a good fit, then just contact her and tell her so.  But remember that it sometimes takes time to "click" with a new therapist. 

Best to you.

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On 2/1/2017 at 9:06 AM, rhyl said:

Ok, let's see.  The others made some good suggestions, but I'm going to explore some other things here, just to give you something else to think about.

A month-and-a-half is not a long time to see somebody - that's what? 4 sessions at most?  If you hated her or she were doing something seriously weird, that would be one thing, but it often takes awhile to establish rapport and trust in a therapeutic relationship, so it could be that that's what's going on here, on both ends.

Have you actually discussed what it is you want/need from therapy? Set goals? Talked to her about her particular approach? My therapist does extensive mindfulness work, but he gave me that option when we first met. I chose to incorporate it in every session (and, in fact, in everything I do, but that's a whole 'nother story), but we moved in a gradual sort of way from the start.  And I, too, want to change my thinking, but what I've discovered is that I first have to accept and explore my way of thinking now in order to begin to make changes to it.

Mindfulness takes practice. It also takes some time to adjust to a new therapist. If you really think this one is not a good fit, then just contact her and tell her so.  But remember that it sometimes takes time to "click" with a new therapist. 

Best to you.

This is an excellent answer!   Totally agree. I would add...

I spent a 3 year period with my first therapist. It took a long time to get used to therapy and how the conversations would go each session. He set some goals but not many. He was more observation and respond. Initially he brought me back from the edge and I'm thankful for that. I got past where he was helping. I told him honestly how I felt because he deserved that at the very least. Be respectful of this therapist and tell her exactly how you feel about her approach. She is feeling you out to see where to go with you. You might actually give her what she needs to adjust direction. Maybe not.

I switched from a male to female therapist and got a different view from the therapist and female point of view. Yes, women and men see the world and relationships differently. It was helpful, but short lived. She was all about CBT and the here and now. Fine initially and gave me some tools but ultimately wasn't helpful enough. I bought a book on CBT and got the gist of where she kept going. I told her briefly that I didn't think we meshed well enough. She said she understood. That was that.

I'm seeing someone now for about 2 months. It's just the beginning. He is very much about goals and measuring how we are doing towards them. He is about tools to help. Mixing mindfulness, CBT, and other methods. He specializes in several areas that I fall into. So we are discussing all those areas briefly then deciding which part we tackle first and so on. It is very interactive. So far so good. I will continue with him until I feel it isn't working. That's how it goes. 

When you get tools or whatever you want to call them. You have to practice them. It's like homework. Do it. Even if it it seems weird, dumb, or meh... See how it goes. There is no one method that works. A therapist that mixes them based on your needs and which problem we are trying to address now is more important to me. They look at the big picture but can break it down into its parts and address each.

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