That’s really gotta suck to spend good money on a therapist and then realize they’re not helpful…or that they’re just bad at their job.
But, unfortunately, it happens.
And these AskReddit users shared their stories about it.
Take a look!
1. A mess.
“I was 39 and had unearthed my wife’s affair only a week previously. Was just a total heartbroken, shattered mess.
His recovery plan was to “make a man out of me” and that video games were “for children.” He was well into his 70s.
Fired. Since remarried.
I still play the video games.”
2. Not compassionate.
“The one I went to after my s**cide attempt at 16 had some…not so compassionate opinions.
My very first session, one thing I told her was that I was bullied a lot at school. Her response was, “well, suicide attempts are usually done in order to manipulate others. So since you were capable of that, did you ever consider maybe you were the bully?”
I really never spoke to her again. I had to go weekly because of my attempt, but I just sat in silence every session until I could stop going. Equating my suicide attempt to me being a manipulator after knowing me for probably less than 20 minutes was just…no.”
3. Thanks a lot.
“When I discussed my depression and anxiety, both relating to chronic medical issues and very little hope for the future, both my own and the planet’s, with a new Psych, I got told this wonderful line:
“But what if everyone felt like that? Nothing would get done.”
Oh really? Thanks, now I feel more worthless.”
4. Misplaced guidance.
“Essentially it started sounding like they were giving answers they wanted to give. It didn’t sound like they were saying what was needed.
Also they didn’t quite understand my complex issue, they gave out solutions and worksheets day 2. Didn’t take any time to actually know me, made me feel like some run of the mill case. It didn’t help that their worksheets basically didn’t pertain to any of my issues.
They were nice, courteous, and genuine, but their guidance was very misplaced.”
5. Two bad ones.
“I’ve been through 2 in the last year. I’m a 29M.
One told me I was doing everything right and I should be proud of myself. She was out after 3 visits.
The second told me there wasn’t much he could do for me but he’d listen if needed to talk. He also wasn’t very supportive of trying to live an active lifestyle while still being a parent. He basically said “that’s what happens when you have kids, you get fat and sit on the couch.” He lasted 2 visits.
I have not found a replacement.”
6. Try harder!
“I had a long report written by a psychologist who had given me a thorough assessment.
The therapist on the third appointment told me the report was probably wrong and I should just basically try harder.”
7. Just staring at you…
“Mine wouldn’t really talk to me, reflect, or provide any input. He claimed he wasn’t supposed to say anything, that it would be bad for our session.
He just stared an me quietly and never really seemed to help or care- no emotion or engagement. I understand this is clinical- I’m not looking for a friend! I left after a few sessions, but the nail in the coffin was when he matched me with me on Tinder and hit me up on apps.
I finally told him I was his patient (only a few weeks prior) and he acted all surprised and apologized. Gross dude.”
8. Suffering in silence.
“Mental illness runs in my family.
When I told my mom at 15 I was feeling depressed, she immediately got me into the doctor who referred me to a therapist. The therapist was not a good fit, to say kindly. She had my mom sit in on my first session and asked me about self harm. I had been self harming on a nearly daily basis at this point.
I remember looking at my mom, who was sitting there crying, and I straight up lied. I don’t remember the rest of the questions, but one of them was if I had recently gotten out of a relationship (I hadn’t) . She then concluded with telling me that it didn’t seem all the bad. She basically told me that being a teenager was rough and to get over it.
I went a few more times and then suffered in silence until age 21 when my anxiety got so bad I was having trouble breathing and was put on antidepressants. I still struggled with self harm and vague suicidal ideation until two years ago, when I finally put my fear of therapy aside and found a good therapist.
I never “got over” my “teenage troubles” because it was major reoccurring depression. I am on a good regime of therapy and medication now and am very adamant about my treatment. I am 29 now and feel like I’ve lost my entire teenage years and my 20s to depression. I question almost daily how I manged to live this far.”
9. Blew it.
“When I spilled my whole life story and the therapist told me “You need a therapist.”
Like no s**t dude, that’s why I came.
He admitted that he “isn’t really a therapist” and “mostly just deals with medications”. His website lists him as a therapist.”
“She told me I didn’t have autism because I didn’t act like her 10 year old autistic son.
Maybe because I’m not a ten year old boy?”
“I was trying to talk about my panic/anxiety problems when out of nowhere he said “it’s okay, you can admit it if you have a p**n addiction. I am here to help”.
I was like, uhh what? Nothing we had discussed had anything to do with that, it was completely unrelated to my problems. And he also told a random long 5-minute story about how he has a clear vivid memory of a cat when he was 1 month old.
And then he literally forgot that he told the story already and told it again start to finish. I was done.”
12. Bad luck.
“One of my therapist, we started solving his problems during the session. Another therapist I had got angry and yelled at me, when I canceled an appointment because it had snowed 2 feet and I had to drive over a mountain pass that haven’t been plowed to get to her office.
I canceled because I was having a panic attack. One feel asleep all the time during our sessions. The last one stopped seeing me because I told HIM some days I h**e my children. He was a pastor.”
13. Stop talking!
“My old therapist just loved the sound of her own voice.
She was decently nice and approachable but when she got started talking she’d make general assumptions and sweeping statements. She’d talk for so long that I’d forget the point that we were discussing.
I’d walk out feeling a bit steamrolled.”
Have you ever had a bad therapist?
If so, tell us your stories in the comments.
Thanks a lot!