My therapist blew me off: What should I do?

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In this blog we will discuss what you should do if your therapist has blown you off. 

We will also briefly discuss what are some other signs that your therapist is unethical and what you should do about it. 

My therapist blew me off: What should I do?

Here are a few things you can do if your therapist has blown you off or have to shown up for therapy or not responding to you:

Reach out to them

If your therapist has blown you off, stood you up for a session, or not responded to your messages or emails for more than two or three days, call them up directly.

Sometimes, it is possible that they forgot about the session,  missed your emails or that they have simply forgotten to respond to your text. 

So what you can do is to call them up. However if they are not responding to phone calls or not calling you back, you can choose to go to their office directly.

Sometimes direct contact is the best thing you can do so that your needs are addressed, so make your way to the office to see what is up. 

Peak into their humanity

You have to understand that your therapist is also a human being, meaning that they probably have other things going on in their lives as well. 

While it is not fair that they have not responded to you or they have stood you up, it is possible that there is a perfectly logical explanation as to what has happened. 

If they are ot responding to your calls and messages, make a note of their working hours- most therapists don’t respond to calls outside of working hours. They will probably get back to you when they start their working day. 

If they are not showing up for the session, call them up. It is very possible that this incident could be a result of a schedule mix-up, a miscommunication, or a total brain fart.

Therapists are humans too flaws just like everyone else- this can be discussed in the next session where you both can work to break the myth that therapists are perfect and make no mistakes. 

Be direct

When you are able to meet the therapist or talk to them, bring up your concerns and let them know that their no show and nonresponses has been stressing you out. 

You have to understand that therapists are people too and they cannot always be at your beck and call nor can they read your mind. It is possible that the therapist works with a delayed time and they are not aware of your need for urgency. 

It is best that you talk to them directly, bringing up your concerns and how you feel when there are delayed responses. 

It’s perfectly okay to leave it at that. However, if you’re comfortable you and your therapist can work a way around the issue and discuss what each of your boundaries lie as therapist and client. 

Free sessions

Another thing that you and your therapist can consider is, ask for a free session for the session that was missed by your therapist. 

While it might not be a common practice, you can discuss with your therapist how this can be compensated, which could be that they give a free session. 

Explore your feelings

When your therapist does not show up or they are not responding, you might feel anxious and also a sense of abandonment. What you can do is that you take this chance to deal directly with all those abandonment feelings in the next session. 

What are some signs that you should change therapists?

For every therapist, there is a certain ethical guideline that one has to follow. Therapists that are unethical pose the threat of harming a client. 

While in some cases therapists mind forget to respond or that their delays are due to the way they work, it is also possible that your therapist might be neglectful and unethical. 

So once you have had the conversation, pay attention to how they are accommodating of your needs while you also respect their boundaries as your therapist. 

Pay attention to how they are dealing with your crisis needs and your anxieties, make sure that you feel safe and that you trust your gut. 

Some of the signs of an unethical therapist include:

Non attentive, not listening

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. 

They judge you

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. 

They cross boundaries

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. 

They focus on themselves

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.

Non-responses

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. 

Broken confidentiality

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. 

If you find that your therapist has not been mindful nor have they made adjustments and accommodations to help 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. 

You have every right to change therapists if you find that the way this therapist works is not the kind of support you need or require. 

How to choose a good therapist?

Here are some things to pay attention to if you want to be safe when you connect with a therapist online:

Credibility

A credible online therapy service that allows you to speak with a professional should have the details about their professionals on their site with links for further cross checking- such as links to the professionals place of work. 

It is very important that you check out their credibility by looking into this information and perhaps even check the reviews left by other clients. 

Chatting with a “professional” online who doesn’t fully understand how to help you improve your mental health can do more harm than good. 

Professional guidelines

Pay attention to whether the service providers you are talking to are adhering to the five principles of ethical counselling that most mental health professionals stick to.

They should focus on you and stick to the ethical principles. If they aren’t and you feel unsafe, it is best to withdraw from these services. 

Look into the therapists’ credentials

It is possible that when you are matched with a particular therapist, you can look up their credentials and experience online. 

This means that you might have to do a little background check independent of whatever information BetterHelp has provided on their website. 

This is for your own mental health and wellbeing, so take some time to cross check the credibility of the therapists that have been assigned to you. 

Trial mindset

You have to understand that when it comes to therapy, it takes time to find the one that you are able to connect with. So go into each session with each therapist with a mindset of getting yourself comfortable and being open to new people. 

Just because one therapist does not fit well with you does not mean that all therapists at Betterhelp are the same, take time to get acquainted as well as open yourself up to the possibility of changing therapists and trying out new therapists when one does not click with you. 

Conclusion

In this blog we discussed what you should do if your therapist has blown you off. 

We have also briefly discussed what are some other signs that your therapist is unethical and what you should do about it. 

References

Stood Up by Your Therapist. Psychology Today. Retrieved on 13th May 2022. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-therapy/201107/stood-your-therapist

Signs Of A Bad Therapist: When to Move On. Betterhelp. Retrieved on 4th April 2022. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/therapy/signs-of-a-bad-therapist-how-to-know-when-to-move-on/

How to tell a therapist it’s not working. Zen Care. Retrieved on 4th April 2022. https://blog.zencare.co/how-to-tell-a-therapist-its-not-working/

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