It may not be the happiest time when you’ve spent a while with one therapist and have to transition to a new one. Whatever the circumstance, this experience can trigger a lot of anxiety. When you transition to a new therapist, it can be hard to trust them. Here are a few tips to help you feel a little less stressed when introducing yourself to a new therapist.
Be Honest With Your Therapist
It is no secret that trust has to be earned. Your therapist knows this. By letting your therapist know how you feel about this transition, you are giving yourself a chance to grieve. It is okay to think of this transition as a loss of a friend or support. If you feel as though it will take some time to open up completely, tell them that. It won’t be the first time they’ve heard something like this.
Your new therapist should validate your feelings and help you through this time. They understand how difficult it can be to change from someone you’ve bonded with to someone completely unknown. If you are nervous that your new therapist won’t be as helpful as your last one, there are steps you can take to determine whether or not your therapist is effective.
Remind Yourself That Change Is Good
No matter how much you may think that this change isn’t going to work, try to stay positive. There is only so much progress you can make with one therapist. At some point, you will need a new perspective to continue your mental health journey.
Change is good, but it is also often hard. However, you cannot make progress without change. Changing your response to stressful situations through coping strategies helps you improve your mental health. This also applies to changing therapists.
Remind yourself that resisting change can be destructive. Not allowing yourself to adapt to change stops you from growing.
Keep Your Support System Close
During the transition from one therapist to another, it is important to keep your support system close. You need someone you can trust to explain how you feel. Without them, you don’t get the extra perspective outside of your own anxiety.
You should be honest with your support system the same way you are with your therapist about this change. Your friends want to be there for you, and they can’t do that effectively if you aren’t honest.
Ask Your Therapist About Themselves
Another way to make this transition easier for you is to ask your therapist about themselves. Asking personal questions is valid and completely okay to do with your therapist. So, if you have a question, ask them. From questions about their professional experience to questions about their personal life, you should never feel afraid to ask. Not all therapists will go into detail about their personal life, but asking questions about them is a great way to get to know them.
Asking your new therapist about themselves can help you feel more comfortable around them. You may find that you have similarities you wouldn’t have known without asking.
Here are some examples of questions you may have. Remember, these are perfectly acceptable questions to ask!
- What are your strengths and limitations as a counselor?
- Have you been to therapy before? How recently?
- Are you religious? Does this affect your approach to therapy?
- What are your credentials?
- How many years have you been a therapist? Do you like your job?
Some of these questions may sound very personal, but they may be important to you. For example, you may want a therapist who isn’t religious. You are entitled to that option. By asking these questions, you are making sure your personal needs are met.
If This Therapist Isn’t Right, Try a Different One
After being honest with them and asking them questions, if you don’t feel like this therapist is the right change for you, try another one. There are many therapists out there that want to help. If you don’t succeed at first, try and try again. It may be that this specific therapist doesn’t meet your needs. Perhaps it’s the therapeutic style or approach. Maybe it’s the medium by which you receive therapy. There are many different options you have to find the right therapist.
The only way you can know what works and what doesn’t is by trying out different options. Maybe cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) didn’t seem helpful, but acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) will or vice versa. If you tried in-person therapy and you weren’t comfortable, try online therapy. There is no one right option when it comes to therapy. Everyone is different; every person seeking therapy is different; every therapist’s approach is different. You just have to keep trying until something works.
Mindfuli understands how hard transitioning to a new therapist can be. A new therapist can be intimidating, but this change is a growth opportunity in your mental health journey. It doesn’t have to be scary or sad. Mindfuli can connect you with different therapists so that you can determine who is right for you. Through your honesty and your questions, you can find a therapist that continues to help you grow into who you want to become. With the help of a support system, this change can be a breeze. You shouldn’t have to make this change on your own. For more information about Mindfuli, call us at (866) 973-4415. It’s time to make the change.