Therapy can make you feel vulnerable. So, it’s natural to be curious about the person you’re sharing the space with — your therapist. You may wonder how to tell if your therapist doesn’t like you? And, does it really matter?
The point of therapy is not to get your therapist “on your side” or for you to befriend them. Therapy is to help you heal with the ultimate goal that you no longer need therapy or you require far less frequent check-ins.
Let’s explore how you can tell if you have a good connection with your therapists, review some signs that your therapist doesn’t like, and cover what you can do if it is time to terminate the relationship.
Signs of a Good Connection
Therapy can be more pleasant if you feel you have a good connection with your therapist, and part of that can involve feeling liked by them.
While your therapist liking you isn’t necessary for therapy to work, it can help make you feel more safe and comfortable. But how can you tell if you have a good connection?
If any of the following bullet points apply to you, you know you and your therapist have the basic necessities that make the therapeutic relationship strong:
- You feel safe.
- You feel understood.
- You are aware of boundaries.
- You feel heard.
- You can express a range of emotions and experiences.
- You feel challenged.
These signs point toward the likelihood that your therapeutic experience is helpful. Ultimately, your therapist wants you to succeed, whether you like each other or not. But, if you feel uncomfortable with your therapist and it’s because you think that they don’t like you, that’s not helpful to your healing process.
4 Tips for Evaluating Your Relationship
If you want to tell if your therapist likes you, check in with yourself first. It’s essential to try to understand whether this matters to you for the right reasons.
1. Practice Self Awareness
It could be that questioning what your therapist thinks of you is really about something else. It’s helpful to understand why your therapist’s views of you are important to you. Is it about them or an actual problem with the therapeutic relationship, or is it about you and related to why you’re seeking help?
- Am I being overly sensitive?
- Do I have unhealthy expectations?
- Do I not like them?
You may have chosen to be in therapy because of some of your insecurities. When you’re unhappy with yourself, your mental health can take a turn for the negative.
Take the time to decide if the feelings you’re having about your therapist relate to your self-doubt. If you find this to be true, talk to your therapist about it.
People experiencing certain mental health concerns, such as Borderline Personality Disorder, may have trouble relating to those around them. Bringing up your thoughts and feelings surrounding not being liked can help you grow. Your therapist can work with you to address some of these insecurities.
2. Have an Open Discussion
Sometimes therapists are unkind. They may display dismissive behavior or seem unsupportive. Or they may seem passive or pushy. They even may give you feedback that seems judgmental instead of helpful.
If any of these are a concern, have a conversation with your therapist about how they treat you. They may be unclear about your expectations. They also may have thought they were acting in a way that would help your growth. Regardless, if you feel uncomfortable with your therapist and it’s an ongoing issue, it’s time to find a different one.
3. Notice the Red Flags
You have the right to stop seeing a therapist at any point for any reason. Even if they say they like you, you need to find someone else to help you heal if you don’t feel comfortable with them.
Some therapeutic relationships may not work because of personality differences. That’s OK.
But there are also red flags that tell you to find a new therapist immediately. If your therapist displays bigotry, racism, or sexism, do not stay with them. If they lack boundaries or you think they’re unreliable, it’s not a good relationship. You should seek help elsewhere.
You don’t deserve to be treated poorly in any space of care, specifically in one so vulnerable as the mental health space.
4. Consider Qualifications
It could be that your therapist uses an approach that just doesn’t jive with your personality. Perhaps they work with a group of people you’re not in or a category you’re no longer a part of. Maybe your mental health changed and they no longer have the skills to help you. In this case, it may be time to admit that the relationship has run its course. It may even be worth asking your therapist to recommend a better fit for your next steps.
Related Resource: The Different Types of Counselors
What to Do if Your Therapist Doesn’t Like You
A good connection is key to a positive experience in therapy. If you feel uncomfortable, you probably won’t be as honest with your therapist. This lack of vulnerability hurts the healing process. It means it’s time to find help elsewhere.
1. Prioritize Getting the Care You Need
If you’re not getting the care you need, therapy won’t help you. It could be a matter of personality differences, lack of training on the therapist’s part, or perhaps it’s that you and your therapist aren’t each other’s cup of tea.
Therapists should consider all of the things that make you, you. If you find yourself uncomfortable or trying to drastically change your personality to fit into the mold you think your therapist wants you to be in, that’s not the care you deserve.
2. Try Talking With Your Therapist
Having a direct conversation about your feelings is great practice for the honest conversations you’ll have in your personal and professional life.
If the issue is how your therapist addresses you or responds to you, they will accommodate what you need. If your therapist is competently trained, they can help you address the feelings surrounding your desire to be liked by them.
3. Find Another Therapist
The bottom line is this. If you aren’t comfortable with your therapist, your mental health could suffer. There’s a difference between dealing with the sometimes difficult emotions that the therapy process can bring up and being uncomfortable because of the way your therapist treats you. Consider your options and, if necessary, find another therapist.
Related Resource: Finding the Right Counselor for You
Let All Counseling Help
Finding the right counselor for you can seem daunting, but All Counseling has the resources to help. Once you understand the different types of therapy available, you can choose a therapist that best fits your needs. All Counseling provides a directory of counselors specializing in various mental health issues, and you can even filter for the area, insurance accepted, gender, and more. It can help you find a new therapist if you decide you need one.
Related Resource: Find a Therapist in Our National Directory