16 thoughts on “Ten Things a Good Therapist Should be Aware of

  • May 6, 2009 at 8:38 am

    Sonia at least your (ex-)therapist didn’t check her blood sugars in front of you, shoot up her insulin, set her estch timer for 10 minutes then have a snack all while warning you that the weight you were gaining from the mood stabilizer would lead you too into diabetes. This happened regularly.

    I’m concerned though. You still have these emotional anxiety and abandonment tics around your therapist and sessions? Maybe that’s too broad- some rituals, then – they do seem productive. such as preparing what to say in a quiet space like your car – but if I still felt the discomfort you seem to feel, I would think about finding another therapist – perhaps one with a private practice and no front office staff, for example. Thanks for a well written article and may we all get the treatment that suits us best.

  • May 6, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Beautiful honesty. My teddy bear is lying in wait for your teddy bear.

  • May 6, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Well I guess I’m lucky, I don’t have most of these reactions, but do agree about seeing the therapist’s face well. My problem is I am inclined to make friends of my therapist. Of course I know about boundaries & I behave appropriately but we do frequently discuss these issues. Consequently I ask permission before giving even a small gift such as a book or CD I’ve burned.

    Just another perspective on this post. I enjoy the blog.

    Stan Thomas

  • May 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Welcome to the club of OCD!

  • May 20, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Very spot on. Personally, it sounds like everything was presented in the present tense to facilitate identification and/or make these items seem more “real” to actual or future therapists. As a client who has been in psychotherapy for 4 years, I can relate to most of your points. I believe people will have different takes on some of these items, simply because their issues aren’t triggered by certain events.

  • June 1, 2009 at 1:53 am

    oh Sonia, your’e article was so spot-on.. I’ve had almost the same experiences with my therapists.. I just can’t use the same bathroom as my therapist with the reasons you mentioned..

    but that Teddy Bear fight made me laugh so hard ! LOL..

    not to mention the clothing distractions :),

  • June 26, 2009 at 1:42 am

    Starlioness: ‘oh Sonia, your’e article was so spot-on.. I’ve had almost the same experiences with my therapists.. I just can’t use the same bathroom as my therapist with the reasons you mentioned..’

    I am quoting this comment as to say I fully agree with Starliness’s feedback.

    I thought I would share with the author, and others, as to what I ended up doing with this article.

    Actually, I meant to hand my therapist a copy of the ’12 most annoying habits of therapists’, and instead, I handed her this one.

    I was drawing a picture and didn’t notice her reading your article.

    When it was time for me to leave, she stood in-front of the door waiving her arms and blocking my way.

    I asked her baffled how come she knew about this one, and she told me because she read the article. I asked her ‘when’, and she said just now.

    She then asked me if I needed to use the bathroom, also a teasing reaction to this article. I in turn asked her in the beginning of the session for her to start giving me 5 minute notices before the time was up, and she did.

    She really thought about these points, and was eager for me to first tell her about, and later to also send her a copy of the other article about the ’12 worst habits’.

    I also told her that I really appreciated her allowing me to give her gifts and that this meant a lot to me. These gifts I give her are not because I have a need to bring her gifts for the sake of giving gifts, but because I constantly see things which make me think about her, and which she would really appreciate, and which she does, but we did also need to talk about this.
    (like this article)

    In summary, i wonder if other people have done the same thing and handed their therapists this article. I must admit that mine has none of these annoying habits or problem behaviors, but I sure thought it would be useful for any and every therapist to get a copy.

    Thanks Sonia. kat

  • November 26, 2009 at 3:25 am

    My therapist plays with many rings on her hands when I bring up uncomfortable issues in session.
    I don’t know if it’s a tick on her part.
    But, it’s very distracting. When I want to say, stop playing with your rings!!

  • February 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    I once asked my therapist after he greeted me in the waiting room: “Do you need to pee?” In my defense(as I greatly need one) he frequently takes a bathroom break in between sessions and I’m a Mom with a small child so that’s a normal question in my life. In my nervousness I forgot for a moment to word it a little more appropriately.
    Loved the teddy bear story…embarrassed to admit I’ve given the fisheye to more than one gift he has displayed.

  • April 30, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    As a music therapist and as a person who has had her own share of therapy, I truly appreciated this list, and I hope it’s okay with you that I linked to it from my blog. As I noted in my post, these things are helpful to think about, particularly because most of the folks I work with can’t bring up these issues on their own because they don’t use speech.

    I must say how relieved I am that I have given the five-minute warning for years (nothing like a little validation). 🙂 I always feel awful, though, when I have to use the bathroom in the middle of a client’s session. I can’t leave most of my clients unattended, and it can be- well, let’s just say it can be a bit of a challenge. Particularly so, because the bathroom is right outside of the music room, and many of my clients on the autism spectrum have excellent hearing. Ahem, I say!

    Thanks for your post!

  • May 24, 2010 at 12:40 am

    This is why I like friends, its free therapy, you get a bunch of different solutions from interesting viewpoints, and if all else fails, they make you happy enough to get to a point where your mind is clear and you can solve the problem by yourself.

  • May 30, 2010 at 5:48 am

    I’ve been going to therapy for about 7 years. I lost 3 of my close friends to cancer. Have not been able to make any knew ones. I have gotten close to my therapist & replaced her as a friend also. We have not gone out to eat, etc. But she is the only one I have to talke to that I feel safe with, Everytime, I try to make new friends I become a victim of that friendship a get used and taken. The therapist asures me we are not friends and never will be, even after she retires, She has made some crude remarks about it, that we have nothing in common, which is not true, etc. I probably should of left & never came back. But she has been the only one who has been able to help me deal with my problems. This really bothers me as I had heard in my phsyics office 2 people talke about her and say how how highly she thinks of herself. It bothers me alot as I do get mixed emmotions. I’m married but can’t talk to my husband that way, as he puts me off but is getting better. But it is different talking to am friend then your husband. She knew I was raped when I was younger & have never told anyone abought it, yet she figured it out with 1/2 sessions. What do I do she is the only one to talk to and is ez for me to. But she has hurt my feelings bad, by being condensing to before not in a while. She always brings me something back from her long trips.

  • June 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I would like to think that I could explain the necessary boundaries to my client without saying we can never be friends, or we have nothing in common.

    In the article, it appears that your attention Sonia is strongly focused much of the time on how things around you might affect you adversely. Bear in mind she might be little self conscious of you too in a another environment.I think it is healthy to think of us therapists as being no way as good as you at lots of things, as having our own set of baggedy bits that we hide when we are there to help you. And hopefully your T will have the good sense to be a good navigator in the session to allow you to access your own innate wisdom to find solutions to stuff. Has your T ever done REBT with you? This tried and tested method can get good results. :o)

  • August 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Sonia, I have been perusing your articles today and I have to tell you that I was nodding my head through this whole thing. I have been with my current therapist for just over 4 years and I have never used her bathroom, only drank water in front of her once, hid in rack at Target when I saw her there…I could go on. But suffice to say this article is spot on for me!
    Thank you so much for sharing this because sometimes I feel like a *freak* for feeling some of these things….

  • August 7, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I went to a therapist who always had to pee before he saw me. He enjoyed hearing anything sexual. Not that normal therapist curiosity either. I figured he was always drinking coffee or tea; so that was
    it. He also had annoying comments that were nothing more than thinking out loud. Interesting how therapists can pretend to be normal, but as time goes on you see they have too many issues.
    It sounded like I needed to do the counselling.
    Since when does a therapist discuss his teenage son’s sex life with a client? Gross. Ew. Ew!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • March 9, 2018 at 1:15 am

    It’s amazing and very much helpful


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