I have answered a number of questions on Quora; many from people asking specifically for my response. A large percentage of them speak of variations on the same theme. They are either blaming or at least doubting themselves about their discomfort with their therapist or the lack of success of the treatment. In each situation, I saw reasons to believe the therapist was either inadequate or downright unscrupulous and unethical.
This is such a set up: People go to therapy because they feel uncertain about themselves or their life in some way, and that in itself makes the them vulnerable and not confident in their ability to critique the therapist. Plus, everyone really wants the therapist to be wonderful and help, even to be a really trustworthy parent figure. Unscrupulous therapists can turn this to their own advantage in a myriad of ways: from seeing the client longer than needed to make more money, having sex with their client, to using the client to be their friend. Poor therapy can be very harmful or at a minimum waste the client’s time and money, and it may turn them off to therapy altogether.
Some people automatically give the therapist credence just because they have an office and are in business. Please don’t! Question the therapist and trust your intuition as much as possible. You are not supposed to trust this professional just because they have a degree. The therapist has to earn the client’s trust and you can let that take as long as it takes. It some situations, that trust isn’t fully felt until the end of a long bout of therapy. And that’s just fine.
If you are uncertain if your therapist is useful to you, it’s fine to bring this up and evaluate the therapist’s response. It can also be helpful to ask another therapist about your situation. The ‘second opinion’ therapist may want you to try and work the out your dissatisfaction with your current therapist – considering the possibility of negative transference – but if you have given that your best shot, it’s really OK to find someone who works well with you. If you repeatedly have the same dissatisfaction, then it may indeed be negative transference and you need to pick your best choice of a competent therapist and hang in for the long haul.
I have other blog entries and short articles about How to Choose The Right Therapist, what you should get from a good therapist and how to decide if and when you should leave as well, as well as blogs about transference. Check them out if it would be helpful to you. You can also write and ask me for my opinion.