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Changing psychologists

Hi everyone

I've been seeing the same psychologist off and on for almost a year, but i wasn't finding it very helpful. I was worried it was my own fault for not trying hard enough, but I tried talking to somebody new and already I can tell it's a much better fit. The new psychologist is also at a very low cost so I can afford to see her often without having to worry about only having 10 sessions with Medicare. But because I don't have a very trusting relationship with the old psychologist, I'm having so much trouble letting her know that I want to stop the sessions. I don't want to disrespect her or the work she's put in to help me, and I feel guilty. For some reason I'm afraid she'll be mad at me. does anyone have any advice? thank you Smiley Happy

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Re: Changing psychologists

Hello @lemurien, thanks for sharing your story with us. I am sorry to hear that you were not finding the sessions with your psychologist to be too helpful, but it is really great to hear that you are getting better support from a new psychologist. In addition to the better fit, it sounds like it makes a bit more sense to see the new psychologist instead! I imagine that the idea of telling your psychologist that you wish to no longer see them is very daunting. It is easier said than done, but the best thing for you to do is to be honest when you tell your psychologist. You can choose to tell them everything or only little things, such as that it suits you better to see them as they suit you more financially. I am sure that your psychologist only wants what is best for you and will not take it to heart that you will no longer be seeing them. Hopefully that makes you feel a bit better Heart
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Re: Changing psychologists

Thanks Sophia Smiley Happy I tried to have an honest chat with her today but it really didn’t work out! i started saying that I wasn’t sure our sessions were helpful and she said “what do you mean not helpful, didn’t we just figure something out?” and had me repeat back to her the advice she had just given. maybe she just thought i was getting discouraged for no reason so she was trying to get me to focus on what we’d done in the session, but it made me feel dismissed. in the end I just asked for a break from sessions so i could have some time to think.
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Re: Changing psychologists

Hi @lemurien , it sounds like a bit of an awkward situation for you - sometimes we just don't 'click' with mental health professionals, and it sounds like you've found someone who you can communicate with much more easily and openly which is great - do you think it would be easier for you to communicate in writing with your old psychologist, maybe you could try writing them an email? 

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Re: Changing psychologists

hi @Janine-RO , that’s a good idea. I currently don’t have an email address or phone number to text her but i’ll see if my GP or someone can give it to me. thank you Smiley Happy

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Re: Changing psychologists

Hey @lemurien, it sounds like there was a little bit of miscommunication going on with your psychologist. Sometimes it can be difficult to set things straight, although hopefully getting her email address or phone number will help sort things out. Let us know how you go Smiley Happy
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Re: Changing psychologists

Hi @lemurien ☺️

 

That's so great that you've found a psychologist who's a better fit and so much cheaper. It can be so disheartening putting time and energy and money into seeing someone and not getting much out of it.

 

I'm sorry your psych didn't listen to you properly when you said you didn't think it was helping ☹️ They're supposed to be professional and manage their own feelings about it and focus on what you need, and it's unfortunate that isn't always what happens.

 

One thing I just wanna add is that you're not obligated to give the old psych an explanation about why you don't want to see them. Unless you want to of course. But there's always the option of just canceling appointments and not rebooking

 

I hope it all works out for you, you've got this 🙂

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Re: Changing psychologists

Thanks for your thoughts everyone Smiley Happy I do hope that people who are feeling disheartened by not making progress with a mental health professional may come across this thread and know that it's okay to decide something isn't working for you, and look into making a change. I wasn't sure about looking for a different psychologist in the first place because I thought it might be difficult with referrals and such, but I'm really glad I did, even though I'm struggling to explain it to the old psych.

a couple weeks ago when I tried cancelling without rebooking, she said it sounded like I was disengaging from therapy and urged me to make another appointment. I felt touched by her concern and it made me feel guilty so I just said okay! Of course, seeing a psych is about my feelings and not the psychologist's feelings, so it was a bit silly of me. The replies here have helped me feel a bit better about it all so thank you, I'm sure I can work it out!
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Re: Changing psychologists

Hey @lemurien 

It sounds like you have had a good experience with changing psychologists and that you've really clicked with your new one. 

 

It seems like you really care about how other people feel including your psychologist which is very compassionate of you <3 It can be hard to separate how you feel about your new psychologist and not wanting to hurt your old psychologists feelings, especially in the moment and when they are right in front of you. Would it be helpful if you worked out some main points or prepared something in writing to help you explain what you mean? 

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Re: Changing psychologists

@lemurien Hi there! 

 

I'm really sorry to hear that you're having trouble with disengaging from your own psychologist Smiley Frustrated It sounds like they are being a bit difficult making you feel guilty about leaving and trying to make you think they're good for you. I really don't like the sound of them making you repeat advice back to them- it sounds a bit insecure on their part! It may just be a miscommunication and they think that you're trying to stop helping yourself, which is not the case!

 

I had a think about some things you might want to say. It would be nice to say that you're getting help elsewhere and thank them for their time. As @hellofriend said you don't owe your psychologist an extra explanation, but seeing as you two have known each other for a while it could be nice to say that you're still seeking help as peace of mind. Some things you might want to add that are quite neutral could be that you're trying a different type of therapy (if this is true or not might not matter Smiley Tongue) or that you have found a practitioner that fits your budget and schedule better. It's also fine to say that you just didn't find that you were getting what you wanted out of the sessions, this is a really common reason people leave and honestly, your psychologist really needs to respect that (it's kind of part of their code of ethics not to keep forcing a client to come when they're not getting anything out of it). If your psychologist becomes pushy and starts asking for details etc. then you can just say you prefer not to disclose any further information and they need to respect that. Remember that it's your psychologist's job to help you, not the other way around!

 

I hope this helps Smiley Happy