A good therapist is a valuable asset in recovery. While meetings are great for social support, introspection, and inspiration, they aren’t really intended to provide help for specific mental health issues. However, about half of people seeking treatment for addiction have a dual diagnosis, often depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, ADHD, or schizophrenia. Clearly, these issues require specific intervention. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with any of these conditions, most people who struggle with addiction typically have some painful issue to work through. Clearly, a good therapist is a big advantage in recovery, but like any other relationship, a therapist is sometimes not a good fit. How do you know when to find another one?
Your therapist crosses a line.
If you therapist does something unprofessional or unethical, or asks you to do something unethical, you should probably find a new therapist. Maybe your therapist broke confidentiality–yours or someone else’s. Maybe she’s not respecting boundaries. Therapy is sometimes uncomfortable in that you often have to confront unpleasant truths about yourself or others, but it shouldn’t be uncomfortable because your therapist asks you to do something you consider unethical.
You’ve reached a plateau.
Maybe you made a lot of progress in the beginning, but now you’re just sort of stuck. Maybe you’re having cravings or anxiety that just aren’t improving after several months. Maybe you keep recovering the same ground, always ending up where you started. Maybe going to therapy feels more like a chore or an obligation rather than something you feel is actually improving your life. It may help to get a fresh perspective. Your needs change as you grow. Therapists, like anyone else, have different strengths and expertise. A different therapist may have more insight into whatever problems you face now.
You don’t like your therapist.
Your therapist shouldn’t be your best friend, but she should be someone you like well enough to get along with. It’s hard to be open with someone you dislike, even if it’s for some reason you think is petty. Maybe she reminds you of an especially nasty teacher you had in school. It’s not her fault, but you just feel like you can’t talk to her. Sometimes people just don’t get along. Maybe you feel like she doesn’t like you, that she doesn’t listen, or that she judges you. It’s hard to make any sort of progress without a basic level of rapport.
It’s normal for therapy to be challenging, emotional, and occasionally painful, but the point is to help you grow. If you’re no longer getting anything out of therapy but you feel you still need help, it may be time to consider changing therapists.
Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.