How to tell if your therapist likes you?

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In this blog we will discuss a few signs that show that your therapist likes you.

We will also briefly discuss why we tend to want our therapist to like us, how we can stop worrying about it and how one can choose a good therapist. 

How to tell if your therapist likes you?

Here are some signs that your therapist likes you:

Attentive

If you start noticing that your therapist is listening and they tend to be with you when you are pouring your heart out, this is a sign that they like you as an individual.

An ethical therapist knows how to listen to you and is attentive to the conversation to find an underlying message.

They dont judge you

Another sign of an ethical therapist who likes you is that they don’t judge you or shame you for what you might have said or decisions you have made etc. 

They don’t cross boundaries

When you are working with a therapist, and you notice your therapist does not take advantage of your vulnerability and are respectful of your boundaries, they are ethical and they value you as a person. 

Protects confidentiality

This means that your therapist should not be sharing any information about you unless they think you are an immediate danger to yourself or someone else. 

Any therapist that respects you and values you as a person, will protect you. 

If you recognize any of these signs in your therapist, it is very likely that they are being respectful of you. 

Why do we want our therapist to like us?

Now, if you have been wondering if your therapist likes you or not, let us start by acknowledging that it is completely common and normal to feel that way because being well-liked is a good feeling.

You probably want your therapist to like you for the same reason you want anyone to like you— because it makes you feel good and because it lowers the potential of you being rejected. 

The fear of rejection is a major issue for most and it causes much distress in people, especially for those who are already being vulnerable and bare to someone else.

We also feel more confident of our progress in treatment when we perceive that our therapist likes us because we believe that the therapist will give us better care and help when we are liked by them. 

Another major reason is that because we cannot read a therapist’s mind nor because we are trained to read their behaviours etc- it becomes harder for us to understand their attitude towards us which can leave us wondering. 

How To Stop Worrying If Your Therapist Likes you?

You have to understand that while it is normal and common to worry about your therapist liking you, however if you remain preoccupied with this it is unlikely that your sessions with your therapist will be fulfilling. 

Your therapist usually wants to know who you really are- even the “ugly” bits and what you need. If you remain focused on their validation, it is unlikely that you will be vulnerable and bare with them because of your fear of being rejected by them.

Here are a few things you can do to stop worrying about this:

Talk about it with your therapist

If you have been worried about your therapist liking you and your need for validation, it is important that you take a look at this need closely. 

This means that you could talk about it with your therapist along with other anxieties you have in therapy with your therapists in order to uncover patterns of anxiety in relationships.

It is likely that if you worry about your therapist liking you, it is also likely that you rely on this particular pattern in your other relationships. 

Take a session, sit down with them and discuss this particular issue in depth- this can be the most direct and helpful thing that you can discuss. 

Get used to the discomfort. 

Remind yourself therapy feels awkward and uncomfortable because you are doing something new and unfamiliar. 

Take the step to share details that you have kept hidden and if you have been untruthful about something, clarify it with your therapist- it is likely that they will help you work through it.

Be mindful of your goals and intentions

In therapy, you are working on a particular thing and not just whether the people like you or not. 

This means that you have to be honest about your actions and feelings, so that you can work through problems efficiently and effectively.

Hiding various things just to be liked by your therapist can delay your progress in therapy and also cause harm. 

Know the ethical codes 

You have to understand that your therapist is supposed to be helpful, supportive and non judgmental no matter what you present to them. 

Knowing these codes of conduct should help you understand the orientation by which they work and also something that you can count on when you start worrying about your therapist liking you. 

Consider finding a new therapist

You should consider seeking a new therapist if you feel like you are being judged and that they are not addressing your anxieties of being liked efficiently and professionally. 

Here are some other signs that you need to look out for:

  • If you start noticing that your therapist is not listening and they tend to have a blank stare when you are pouring your heart out, or they seem distracted and uninterested, that is a dangerous sign. 

An ethical therapist knows how to listen to you and is attentive to the conversation to find an underlying message, if this is not what they are doing- it could be a sign that they are unethical. 

  • Another sign of an unethical therapist is that they judge you or shame you for what you might have said or decisions you have made etc. 

An unempathetic therapist is an unethical one, so if you feel like your therapist is judging you, you should consider moving on from this therapist. 

  • When you are working with a therapist, and you notice your therapist is starting to take advantage of your vulnerability, you need to find yourself a new therapist immediately. 

This could manifest in ways such as, they ask you out for dinner or they tend to make sexual suggestions or romantic propositons etc. 

  • When you attend a therapy session, and your therapist spends part of the session talking about themselves, that’s usually not the professional you want to work with.
  • If you find that your therapist has not been mindful in their responses via email, chat, or calls nor have they helped you feel safe, heard, and supported and the non responses continue- it is possible that your therapist is breaching ethicality and it is best for you to move on to someone else. 

In such a case, you can let them know that you would like to terminate the sessions with them and be direct in your feedback while doing so. 

  • Therapist confidentiality is a major ethical aspect of the mental health professional field. 

This means that your therapist should not be sharing any information about you unless they think you are an immediate danger to yourself or someone else. 

If you have any reason to believe that they have broken confidentiality, for example your details with someone else who they are not supposed to consult with, you have the right to terminate and move on. 

If you recognize any of these signs in your therapist, it is very likely that they are being unethical. It is best that you choose to change therapists and that you find someone else to work with. 

Trust your gut

The moment you feel something is off with the professional you are talking to, choose to withdraw. A person who is ethical will not blur the lines between providing the help you seek and other interests. 

If you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in spite of what they may be telling you, it is best if you stop the correspondence and seek out help elsewhere. 

Conclusion

In this blog we will discuss a few signs that show that your therapist likes you.

We will also briefly discuss why we tend to want our therapist to like us, how we can stop worrying about it and how one can choose a good therapist. 

FAQ related to How to tell if your therapist likes you

What do I do if I can’t afford therapy?

Here are a few things you can do if you cannot afford therapy:

First, check your insurance and if it covers mental health services.

Ask the service provider about sliding scale options or discounted rates. Being open about your financial situation with your therapist can help both of you come to a point where both your needs are met. 

Some therapists might offer probono work or they might offer to start your sessions on a sliding scale basis. You can also consider community mental health centers that provide pro-bono sessions.

Why am I afraid to open up in therapy?

You probably want your therapist to like you for the same reason you want anyone to like you— because it makes you feel good and because it lowers the potential of you being rejected. 

The fear of rejection is a major issue for most and it causes much distress in people, especially for those who are already being vulnerable and bare to someone else.

Why am I so anxious in therapy?

In therapy, people do get anxious because it is something new as well as because of the fact that you will have to discuss major issues that make you vulnerable and bare- this can be extremely uncomfortable for most. 

Remind yourself therapy feels awkward and uncomfortable because you are doing something new and unfamiliar. 

Take the step to share details that you have kept hidden and if you have been untruthful about something, clarify it with your therapist- it is likely that they will help you work through it.

References

5 things your therapist wants you to stop freaking out about, according to a psychotherapist. Business Insider. https://www.businessinsider.in/science/health/news/5-things-your-therapist-wants-you-to-stop-freaking-out-about-according-to-a-psychotherapist/articleshow/76856357.cms

Why You Want Your Therapist To Like You So Badly. Huffpost. Retrieved on 13th May 2022. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/want-therapist-to-like-you_l_6228e587e4b047f85a444335

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