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20 Surprising Reasons People Stopped Seeing Their Therapists

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People change therapists for a lot of reasons. Some people find their therapist isn’t the right fit for them. Others may realize they can’t afford their therapist’s rates anymore. Some might need to find a new therapist when they move.

Sometimes though, people leave their therapists for somewhat uncommon reasons. We wanted to know what surprising reasons people had for leaving their therapists, so we turned to our Mighty community to share their experiences with us. Some of the reasons below are surprising, not because the person left their therapist, but the fact that a therapist engaged in these behaviors at all.

That said, it’s worth mentioning that therapists are people too and make mistakes sometimes. Try to give your therapist the benefit of the doubt or talk to them about behaviors that would make you feel more comfortable. If after talking to your therapist you still find it’s not the right fit, it’s more than OK to make a switch. We recommend using this handy tool for finding a therapist in your area.

Here are the 20 surprising reasons people stopped seeing their therapists:

1. Therapist Kept Trying to Sell Them Things

“I had a therapist who knew I was struggling financially. I even had local church helping me pay my rent, but she kept trying to sell her herbal medication to me and also trying to get me to believe in The Law of Attraction and had me read a book on it.” — Megan M.

2. Therapist Would Get Upset If They Didn’t Take Their Advice

“I had a therapist who would get angry if I did not do what she asked. She later refused to continue seeing me. I think I triggered her own issues somehow, but now that I am older, I see how unprofessional and detrimental that was to my own process.” — Pamela P.

3. Therapist Called Them the Wrong Name

“My therapist called me the wrong name. I lost all trust in her.” — Kelli M.

4. Therapist Started Falling Asleep in Sessions

“She started falling asleep. Every session.” — Rebecca W.

“She feel asleep during a session, then thought I cancelled an appointment without proper notice, but I hadn’t.” — Beth S.

“She kept falling asleep on me.” — Morgan F.

5. They Had a Crush on Their Therapist

I started crushing on him when he was the first person to ever show me compassion, patience and validate my feelings and experiences. Thankfully, I realized this myself and discontinued services with him for no other reason.” — Candice K.

6. Therapist’s Mannerisms Bothered Them

“He kept rubbing his nose and sniffing. Fed my anxiety like a buffet.” — Andrea C.

7. Therapist Always Agreed With Them

“She was always agreeing with me. Anytime I’d come to her with a problem, she would say I was right and the other person was wrong and could never be objective. It actually caused a lot of strife between my husband and I. I now have a new therapist that supports me, but calls me out and holds me accountable for my actions.” — Keela K.

8. Therapist Disclosed Private Information to Others

“My mom started asking me about things I had only told the therapist. I later found out they’d worked together previously.” — Michele U.

“He was employed through the church I attended. I found out he was openly discussing our sessions with people in the congregation. When I confronted him about it, he denied that he’d done that (even though multiple, independent sources approached me about the things he’d told them). He would also steer the sessions to topics we’d already covered ad nauseam, and wouldn’t listen when I would tell him I needed a break from those topics. Would also hug me without my consent, regardless of the fact that my issues dealt with sexual abuse and being touched without consent. All around horrible experience. Made it really difficult to open up to future therapists.” — Kara D.

9. Felt Pressured by Therapist to ‘Admit’ They Wanted Kids

“I felt pressured to declare I wanted to have children. I only saw this therapist for a few months and each session she would bring up whether or not I wanted to have children. At first it was a logical question due to my age and the age gap between myself and my partner but, after I had assured her multiple times that I would not feel unfulfilled in life if I did not have children, she continued to push the subject. I felt she wouldn’t be able to move on and help me in the ways I needed.” — Susan K.

10. Therapist Was Always Late

“I recently started seeing a new therapist. I have a three strikes rule because of her. She was late to the first two appointments and canceled on me the third time. I am struggling so hard just to force myself to get help and be on time that I expect more from someone who’s job it is to help me.” — Angie H.

11. They ‘Outgrew’ Their Therapist

“I absolutely loved my therapist and learned so much. But, he told me I was doing so well that I had the tools I needed and there were many more people in need of his services. I was very sad to stop therapy.” — Michelle W.

12. Therapist Believed All Their Mental Health Struggles Were Due to Their Sexual Orientation

“I stopped seeing a therapist because she believed my anxiety and depression were solely due to the fact that I identify as a lesbian. That it wasn’t a result of my childhood trauma. I’m now a social worker. Always meet the client where they are at… not where you assume they are. If a client says they are comfortable with their sexuality, believe them unless it comes up as an issue. Don’t make assumptions.” — Ashley C.

13. Therapist Barely Paid Attention 

“She wasn’t very attentive at all. But who would be when you’re busy texting and eating your lunch while your patient is in session with you?!” — Lily F.

14. Therapist Was Fired

She was fired. I was devastated. I had seen her for years and had built a trusting relationship. Then to top it off, the clinic somehow lost years of records of my appointments with her. This was extremely detrimental to me in a custody case.” — Laila R.

“I finally had a ‘breakthrough’ on an big issue and the next week I found out he’d been fired. Turns out he was having an affair with a patient/client. It was so upsetting to me — I didn’t see another therapist for years.” — Tracy P.

15. Therapist Wanted to End Sessions in a Hug

“He wanted to end the sessions with a cuddle.” — Bianca M.

16. Therapist Wouldn’t Let Them Talk About the Past

“She wouldn’t let me talk about the past… like the reason why I have problems. [She would say], ‘The past is in the past, what is going on today?’” — Kelsey M.

17. Therapist Said Client Was ‘More Qualified’ Than They Were

“I’m a therapist and my therapist pointed out that I am ‘much’ more qualified to deal with trauma and PTSD than she is… Alrighty then, got up and walked out. For the record, I guarantee you she is making far more money than I am and is working at one of the largest practices in the state.” — Bryce A.

18. Therapist Told Them to Send ‘Blessings’ to Their Ex

“He told me I should send five blessings to my ex husband every day. What????” — Nancy M.

19. They Didn’t Know How to Express Feelings to Their Therapist

“I couldn’t put how I felt into words. I was a young teenager and was afraid of everything so my answer to anything was, ‘I don’t know.’ It was still my anxiety clutch. I still sometimes do it!” — Maddy P.

20. Therapist Cried During Their Appointment

“She cried on my first visit while I was going through my life timeline and my life wasn’t bad at all. I just got up, grabbed my backpack and left. I found out later she was pregnant though, which explains everything.” — Lexi S.

If you’re struggling to find the right therapist for you, you’re not alone. Below are some stories from our Mighty community that will hopefully help you on your therapy journey:

GettyImages photo via Big_and_serious

Originally published: October 23, 2019
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