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Feeling worse after seeing a psychologist?

I just had a 'first session' with a new psychologist and coming out of it I feel absolutely terrible. The more I think about the session the worse I feel. In my experience, after seeing a psychologist I usually feel a sense of hope/positivity coming out of the session. I've booked in to see her again next week but after today I am really not looking forward to going back. However I feel like I have to at least give it a shot and try to resolve the negative feelings I'm experiencing now.


Wondering if anyone else has gone through a similar experience before? 

Re: Feeling worse after seeing a psychologist?

@May_ This can happen yes. I've had it happen too. I think you have to be honest with yourself and ask - is it a style clash? As in, do we just not mesh very well together? Or is it that the session raised a few raw feelings that need processing and it might be necessary to face them. In saying that, you need to feel safe with who you're talking to in order to do that anyway. I'm sorry to hear that happened because I know it's a really crap feeling. I hope that helps. 

Re: Feeling worse after seeing a psychologist?

@May_ I've definitely had this happen. It still happens sometimes with my psychologist who I've been seeing over a year now. You are so right that you need to give it a shot to try and resolve the negative feelings. Can you give yourself a reward of some sort after your next appointment?

@TOM-RO has mentioned some good points, especially at figuring out why you're not feeling great. If it's a case of personality and style clash it may be worth talking to them about it and see what can be done or if you should change. However, if it's more a case of feeling overwhelmed or confronted by the idea of counselling then I'd recommend to stick it through. It can be incredibly hard, I know. And speaking from experience sticking it out will eventually be something you're proud you have done.

After I see my psychologist or psychiatrist and even my GP sometimes, I like to take time out for myself to unwind and process things. I find that if I then try to jump back into something which requires a lot of brain use I'm not very focused. So my time could be spent reminding myself that what I am feeling IS OKAY! It's always ok to feel feelings. (This is something I've had to work on)

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: Feeling worse after seeing a psychologist?

hi @May_ i have been in this situation more than once. its not a nice feeling at all, wondering what the heck to do next.

do you think its worth telling your psyhologist at the next session how the last one made you feel?

theres no shame in that..

or see how the next session goes and if it happens again then bring it up.

**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**

Re: Feeling worse after seeing a psychologist?

Thank you so much for all of your responses Heart I've postponed my next appointment until late November as I didn't feel up to going back around exam/assignment time


@TOM-RO yeah that's a good point - it's hard to decipher after only one session whether it is a style clash or I just struggled with being challenged a bit by her. Thanks it did help Smiley Happy


@Bee I think I will brace myself a bit more for the next session and make sure I have nothing on for the rest of the day so I can just chill out and process things. She's already the second psychologist I've seen at the clinic so I feel a bit weird changing again plus I only have two more sessions covered with Medicare so I kind of feel like I need to stick with her. Did it take long for you to decide if you wanted to stick with your current psychologist?


@scared01 yes I think that would be a good thing to do and I will try to let her know Smiley Happy She wanted me to book a double session for the next appointment so we had more processing time/time to take things more slowly

Re: Feeling worse after seeing a psychologist?

@May_ that sounds like a great idea. Hopefully it works out.
In regards to this being the second person you've seen there, that's fine. Sometimes it can take a while to find someone who clicks for you. With the Medicare sessions that makes sense though. How many have you used thus far? I think that after the 10 you can get another review from your GP to get another 6.... (@Ben_RO please correct me if I'm wrong) (At least I think that is what it is, I could be wrong)

Honestly, I'm not sure how long it took me. When I started seeing my psychologist I was also seeing a clinician at headspace in between. What I do know was that I liked how calm and gentle the psychologist was, which is what actually drew me to continue trying after the first couple appointments. I was quite unwell when I started with her so my first few appointments were her talking and asking LOTS of questions because I just couldn't communicate! So I guess because she knew how unwell I was and because she worked so well with me it really helped me feel better about her. So I guess you could say I knew within maybe 3 sessions? I'm really not sure because I was quite unwell at the time, and really struggled to talk to her much at all! I stay with her now because while she knows me quite well, she pushes me when I need it but she's still so calm and empathetic.

If I think back to the other people I've seen I knew after 1 or 2 sessions it wasn't going to work... When I first saw my mental health nurse back in 2015 I knew after the second session I wanted to continue with her.
When I started with my GP I knew after the first appointment that I wanted to stick with her.
I guess for me it's based on feeling. How comfortable do I feel with this person. Does this person make me feel comfortable and safe? And when I apply that to previous people I've seen the people who I felt comfortable and safe around I let in and opened up to (Sometimes this took longer than others) and those who I didn't feel comfortable or safe with I didn't go back.

I have rambled a bit here @May_ but I hope this has helped you. Also remember that different people will take longer or quicker to know when something is right. So if you don't know after the next visit that is totally okay. You are incharge of you. Smiley Happy

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: Feeling worse after seeing a psychologist?

@Bee thanks for sharing that Smiley Happy

Hmm when I reflect on people who I have 'clicked' with after the first session I knew pretty much straight away that it was going to work well. Whereas with this person I felt extremely uncomfortable and unsafe. Which makes me think maybe I shouldn't bother with this place in general. Something has just seemed a bit off-putting about it from the beginning if I'm being honest.. Just a shame I have wasted four sessions with them...ahh well. I guess I will just wait and see how I feel in the week leading up to the appointment I have booked in.

Oh ok I was unaware about the extra 6 sessions after having 10 - I thought 10 was typically the maximum for some reason but that is good to know Smiley Happy

Re: Feeling worse after seeing a psychologist?

Hey @May_ Here's an article that my old Clinical Supervisor wrote. She said it much better than i could, but i definitely share her views. That being said, maybe sticking it out for you is the right choice i just worry, particularly around not feeling safe Smiley Sad

Re: Feeling worse after seeing a psychologist?

Thanks @Ben-RO that was a really helpful article Smiley Happy

Re: Feeling worse after seeing a psychologist?

@May_ That makes sense. I guess ultimately it is your decision and you should make it based upon what you think is best for you Smiley Happy

I tried to google it to find a link for you. But I cannot find anything, everything says a max of 10 sessions, with the review after 6 sessions. Which doesn't make sense because I had 11 sessions with my psychologist last year, and I've had 12 this year and haven't paid as she bulk bills me, and have another 2 booked still. I'm so confused then. (Yes I just scrolled through 2 years work of weeks in my calendar as weekly gives me all my appointment dates! Smiley Tongue )

Can anyone help clear this us? @Ben_RO ???

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart