Life is a complicated, and the curveballs it launches our way from time to time can be overwhelming. In short, everyone needs a little help sometimes, and a good therapist can make all the difference when we feel like we’re in over our head with life’s challenges. Whether we’re managing mental health conditions, recovering from trauma, or simply navigating a difficult life event or transition, good therapy can be a profound and invaluable resource. But, as with any professional, therapists run along a spectrum of skill, talent, and credentials; basically, there are tons of great therapists out there, and there are other not-so-good ones. And sometimes, even a good therapist might not be a good fit for you, and it's important to figure that out.
So how do you know if you’re having therapy growing pains — after all, the healing process isn’t always going to be comfortable — or you and your therapist just aren't meshing? Dr. Darin Bergen, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Portland, Oregon, tells Bustle via email that a good relationship with a therapist “should allow you to feel like you can be yourself completely, and anything that gets in the way of that would be a red flag.” It’s a given, too, that your therapist should be appropriately trained and licensed, with no unresolved complaints with the licensing board.
Here are some key indicators that your therapist isn't a great fit for you, according to experts, and you might consider seeking help elsewhere.