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What to Do When You Have a Bad Experience with a Mental Health Practitioner

A bad experience in therapy can make you want to avoid going to counseling or seeking treatment for your mental health. However, it is essential to be open-minded about treatment and not allow negative experiences that don’t break ethical rules to put you off from the entire therapeutic process

When seeking treatment from a mental health professional, many people trust their qualifications and expertise. Unfortunately, for some people, bad experiences can happen with a mental health practitioner. This can make things even worse when you’re getting mental health treatment, which can negatively impact your recovery.

If you have had poor luck with mental health practitioners, here are some things you can do.

Find the Right Treatment

If you aren’t getting the desired results or don’t feel the therapist is a good match, it could be due to the treatment itself. This treatment may not be the right one for your needs.

If you decide to find a different therapy or treatment option, you can always look for resources in your area. At LGBTQ and ALL, we have an extensive database that provides access to mental health care providers in your area.

Request a Consultation with the Mental Health Practitioner

If you aren’t happy with the mental health services you received, you can always find a new counselor but request a consultation with them first. However, if your counselor is violating professional standards, then you can report them to a regulatory agency in your area.

Determine your Role

In every situation, it is essential to reflect on what role you played during your negative experience. For example, were you open and honest about your concerns when you were talking to your therapist? It’s essential to remember that no one is perfect, and even counselors can be fallible (as long as they’re not breaking ethical standards).

Another aspect to consider is that if you were ready to pursue therapy. There’s nothing wrong with not being ready for therapy, and it’s essential to take your time, but keep it in mind for how it contributed to your experience.

Learn More About Types of Therapies

Certain types of therapy may not work for your individual needs. You can continually educate yourself and learn about all the different types of psychological treatments. See what types of treatment speak to you, and request a consultation to see if it’s the right fit for you.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Many people seeking therapy can be nervous about inquiring about the therapeutic process. However, asking questions is important, and learning more about our therapist’s background and experience can be an excellent way to determine if they’ll be a suitable match.

Bring Up Your Bad Experience with the Mental Health

Practitioner to the Therapist

Therapy can be an excellent way for clients and their clients to collaborate. After all, it is a type of relationship. If an issue comes up, you can always communicate your concerns to the therapist. In addition, addressing any problems can help you better manage the issue at hand.

Request a Treatment Outline

To have a better picture of what your time in therapy will look like, you can always request a treatment plan. Essentially, this outline can provide you with a snapshot of what skills you will learn, what will occur during therapy, and what goals will be met.

Do a Trial Run

You don’t always have to commit to a therapist for an extended period if you aren’t sure. In essence, you can ask for a trial run of three to six sessions to see if there is a good rapport and if the client/therapy relationship is right for you.

Reflect and Process the Therapy You Received

After a bad therapeutic experience, you can always process how it went. People reflect on their emotions by journaling or finding a mood tracker or other therapeutic apps. After you’ve reflected on your experience in therapy and have identified the concerns, you can bring them up in your next session or move on to someone else.

All in all, reflecting on the therapeutic process can help you identify negative experiences, and you’ll be better equipped to cope with them.

In Summary

A bad experience in therapy can make you want to avoid going to counseling or seeking treatment for your mental health. However, it is essential to be open-minded about treatment and not allow negative experiences that don’t break ethical rules to put you off from the entire therapeutic process. The previously mentioned tips should help you cope with a bad experience with a counselor.

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Billie Olsen

AUTHOR: Billie Olsen

Billie Olsen (she/they) is a lifestyle writer, disability justice advocate, and cozy femme located in Kelowna, BC, Canada. Their works have appeared in Metro News, Discorder, Sophomore Magazine, the Post-Feminist Post, DINE Magazine, and NerdReader.

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