My therapist is avoiding me: What should I do?
In this blog we will discuss what are a few things that you should do if you feel like your therapist has been avoiding you.
We will also discuss some possible reasons as to why your therapist could be avoiding you and whether you should change your therapist or not.
My therapist is avoiding me: What should I do?
Here are some things you can do if you feel like your therapist is avoiding you:
- Bring it up in sessions
- Explore your feelings
- Develop objectivity
- Evaluate if they are being ethical or not
- Consider seeing someone else
Before we discuss a few things that you can do if you feel like your therapist is avoiding you, we must first confirm that your therapist is actually avoiding you or if you are making assumptions without actual evidence which can happen sometimes.
If your therapist is actually avoiding you and is behaving unethically, it is possible that the Therapist is being flaky.
What this means is that your therapist tends to run late, cancels last minute, takes calls and responds to messages and calls during your session, always reschedules and pushes your sessions back- could all be a sign that your therapist is tired of you and is avoiding you.
If this happens, this is a sign of unethical behaviour- and they are avoiding you for some reason.
Another possible sign along with flakiness is that your therapist does not seem to be communicating with you.
If you’re experiencing communication issues, and your therapist is making no effort to communicate any changes in schedules or missed sessions and missed messages etc, it is quite likely that they are avoiding you and it is not a coincidence or mistake.
When therapists miss calls or sessions, they do inform the clients and make efforts to compensate the sessions which is ethical on their part, hwoever if you find that your therapist is not making any efforts to do so- it is likely that they are avoiding you or they are being unethical in their practice.
If you think that your therapist is avoiding you, for whatever that might have occurred in the sessions or out of the sessions for you to believe so, here are a few things that you can do:
Bring it up in sessions
When you are able to meet the therapist or talk to them, bring up your concerns and let them know that their behavior has been stressing you out.
You have to understand that therapists are people too and they cannot always correct even if they try very hard to be ethical, there are moments that their human side can get the best of them.
Bringing it up in the session can help you and your therapist develop mindfulness as to what is happening in the case of the other person, build empathy, and eventually more trust.
It is best that you talk to them directly, bringing up your concerns and how you feel when they avoid you or when such issues occur.
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.
Explore your feelings
When your therapist does not seem to be engaged and has been avoiding you, you might feel anxious and also a sense of alienation and loneliness. The feeling that you are alone in your struggle can be very scary and heartbreaking.
What you can do is that you take this chance to deal directly with all these feelings either with the same therapist, provided that the therapist has been ethical and has corrected their orientation or clarified the situation or with a new therapist.
It is important that you work on these feelings because not believing your struggles can be an extremely traumatic experience and it can hinder your healing and therapeutic journey as well.
Another important thing for you to consider is that you might be reading too much into it. For example, if your therapist misses appointments or does not respond to messages in a few hours- it might not be because they are avoiding you but because they are caught up in something else.
Evaluate if they are being ethical or not
If you start noticing that your therapist not only does not believe you but also seems to not be 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.
It is important that you make sure that your therapist is being ethical and some of the ways you can discern that for yourself includes:
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.
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.
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.
In such a case where your therapist is exhibiting unethical behaviours, 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.
Consider seeing someone else
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 after you have addressed the issue to them, 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.
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.
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.
Why is my Therapist is avoiding me?
Here are some possible reasons as to why your therapist might be avoiding you:
Your therapist shares an existing relationship with you or people around you. This is often an issue of ethics and therapists always seek to avoid dual relationships — especially where they have a pre-existing relationship with you in a non professional situation such as friends of a friend, or a cousin, or socialising in the same country club etc.
Your therapist is also the therapist for someone close to you which could become troublesome unless they are specifically doing family, child or couples counseling. Most therapists try to avoid seeing people who know one another due to the issue of confidentiality and other issues.
You have a specific trait that the therapist does not choose to work with because they are human too and they also have various issues. While they do make an effort to leave these issues out of the therapeutic room, a good therapist will identify that there are certain traits that they cannot work with early on and refer them to someone else so that neither you nor your progress will be negatively affected.
Irrespective of whatever reason as to why your therapist might choose to not work with you, an ethical therapist will never seek to avoid you irrespective of what uncomfortable situation you might be in with them.
An ethical therapist will choose to infrom you as soon as possible if they have any reason to not work with you and refer you to someone who can do a better job at it then they can with these existing limitations.
If this particular therapist is avoiding you without any reason to, the best thing you can do for yourself is to understand that they are being unethical, you do not deserve such treatment, and that you need to move on to someone else- dont give up on therapy- there will be someone out there for you who can give you the help you need.
In this blog we have discussed what are a few things that you should do if you feel like your therapist has been avoiding you.
We also discussed some possible reasons as to why your therapist could be avoiding you and whether you should change your therapist or not.
FAQ related to Therapist avoiding me
Should silence be avoided in therapy?
No, Silence is a powerful tool for a therapist and the client- as it allows both the client and the therapist to reflect and assess what is being discussed in the sessions.
What does it mean when your therapist yawns?
If your therapist yawns in session it can mean various things like they are tired or their blood sugar is running low or they are bored in the session because the client is not engaging in the sessions or is being too evasive or making no effort to be authentic in the sessions.
5 More Reasons Your Therapist Won’t See You Now. PsychCentral. https://psychcentral.com/blog/5-more-reasons-your-therapist-wont-see-you-now#1