When Your Therapist Makes You Angry
Therapy is a place where you come to grow, but sometimes growth can be painful. When your therapist points out behavior that isn’t serving you well, you might become angry, and that anger can also be painful since anger is generally unpleasant, and many people would rather avoid it than confront discomfort. However, coming to terms with those growing pains helps us to evolve. If you stayed the same, you wouldn’t be able to accomplish goals that have evaded you in the past. A competent therapist can guide you through that metamorphosis. Being mad at your therapist isn’t necessarily a negative thing; it can help you change for the better.
To change, you need to examine what isn’t working in your life. Though you might have an idea about what that is, maybe you’re stumped on to how to fix it. That’s one of the reasons your therapist is there: to help you develop strategies to switch up the ways you handle your emotions. You may be seeing a therapist if you’re feeling depressed, and you may feel that you won’t want to try anymore and crawl into bed. If your therapist simply just sympathizes with you and coddles you, you might think it’s OK to do exactly what you’ve been doing and wallow. It’s, of course, OK to have moments like that, but it may not help you in the long-run. Instead, your therapist might say, “You need to address this and take action.” While this may anger you in the moment, it could also prompt you to take action.
A therapist who wants to see their client grow is more likely to point out what needs work rather than only pointing out their positive behavior.
Modulating emotions is something that takes practice. Sometimes even with the most skilled therapist, you’ll find that regulating your emotions may prove almost impossible. There are cases when psychiatric medication can assist clients with emotional health. Whether you’re working with a therapist, a psychiatrist, or both, your treatment team wants you to be able to grow. A psychiatrist can provoke uncomfortable feelings in you just like your therapist. If they’re managing your medication for mental illness, and they notice you’re more depressed, anxious or agitated, they might say something to you about these symptoms. You might become defensive about someone else pointing out that you’re acting differently, but they probably don’t mean to hurt your feelings. Your psychiatrist’s goal is ultimately finding the right medication that helps provide you with relief.
When you’re in a romantic relationship and there’s open communication between you and your partner, you’re likely to share what’s going on with you in therapy. These anecdotes may include a time when your therapist upset you. Your partner might take your side hearing the story, or they may tell you that they understand where your therapist is coming from, which then (in turn) could make you angry. You may think that your significant other should always side with you. However, if your partner sees your potential for growth like your therapist does, they’re probably trying to help you.
Remember that like you, your therapist has feelings. You’re allowed to feel your emotions – however, be mindful of how you express your anger to them. You can express your anger without being explosive. Be truthful about your feelings but mindful of how your therapist experiences them. They may react to your strong feelings. Maybe they want to understand where you’re coming from better, and that can make for a productive therapy session.
If you’re thinking about starting therapy, there are many options for treatment. You can find a therapist locally or work with an online mental health professional depending on your preferences. Getting help isn’t always easy, but you can do it. Take the first step and begin researching therapists – your mental health matters.
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