10 signs to spot a bad psychologist or therapist

Psychological therapy is helpful in overcoming many problems that arise throughout our lives.

But unfortunately the bad practices of certain professionals can be present in any therapeutic relationship in the field of health (Medicine, psychology, etc.). Although sometimes it is the patient himself who is unwilling to change and does not benefit fully from psychotherapy, there may be times when the psychologist or therapist does not do their job properly, which is detrimental to the mental health of the patient.

Recommended article: “10 Reasons Why Psychological Therapy May Not Work”

Victor frankl, An existential psychologist and author of the book “The Man in Search of Meaning” coined the term “iatrogenic neurosis” to refer to the negative effect generated (or aggravated) by health workers, doctors, psychologists and others. therapists on the patient’s health. And is that, although a significant percentage of patients who attend psychotherapy sessions improve, sometimes psychological therapy can be counterproductive (This can make the person’s problems worse).

You can learn more about the life and work of this psychologist in our article: “Viktor Frankl: Biography of an Existential Psychologist”

Signs that betray a bad psychologist or therapist

But, What signs betray the bad professional practice of certain psychotherapists? What reasons can prevent the patient from recovering due to the poor therapeutic and professional habits of certain psychologists?

In the following lines we tell you.

1. You feel judged

You should never feel judged or criticized by the therapist because no one in this life is perfect.

The psychologist should try to understand your situation, and even if he does not share it, he should not impose his opinion.. The therapist-patient relationship is a professional relationship in which the psychologist must give you the necessary tools to be able to improve your psychological well-being. A therapist who openly judges and criticizes his patients is not a good professional.

2. He is not an expert on your problem

The professional you are visiting may not be the psychologist you need. In psychology, there are different specializations, and not all psychologists have the skills to help you with any type of problem.

For example, a psychologist who is an expert in personal development should not have the knowledge or skills to deal with eating disorders. In addition, the psychologist must understand that there are some patients who work better with cognitive behavioral therapy and others, for example, do so with mindfulness therapy. In other words, not all therapies are the same for everyone.

3. The therapist talks too much about himself

It is good that the therapist, during the therapy session, presents examples of situations similar to those of your problem so that you feel identified.

It can help you understand the problem from another perspective and can also build trust or relationships. however, when the therapist talks too much about himself, it’s nothing positive. Some therapists may be tempted to talk about their successes, dilemmas, work, articles, family, etc. But it’s even worse when they reveal personal aspects of everyday life, such as sexual practices.

4. Communication from therapist is incorrect

Studying a degree in psychology can equip you with knowledge about mental health and psychotherapy. But in addition to this knowledge, therapists must master certain interpersonal and communication skills.

One of the keys to the therapist-client relationship is that there is good communication and understanding between the two actors., So that a good therapeutic alliance is created. If there are problems in this professional relationship, the expected benefits may not occur. It may be that the problem is the therapist’s attitude or just that there is no feeling in between.

5. Cross the line

Although to many it may seem strange, some therapists may feel an emotional connection with clients that goes beyond the professional relationship.

If, for example, the psychologist feels a physical attraction to his patient, he may cease to be objective when treating the client. If you notice unprofessional behavior, such as hugging or hugging you repeatedly, the therapist may cross the line. In addition, in order to have a healthy therapeutic relationship, it is counterproductive for therapist-patient meetings to take place outside the practice.

6. Don’t actively listen

Therapeutic sessions are spaces of interaction in which emotions can be at their peak.

Therefore, the therapist, in addition to giving guidelines for action, must actively listen (In other words, it has to be with the five senses) for the patient. Therapists who continually interrupt sessions cause you to lose the connection and sense of trust that were created. But in addition to interrupting, it is also not certain that it does not recall important data from your case.

Recommended article: “Active listening: the key to communicating with others”

7. Don’t worry about the problem

It can happen that the therapist underestimates the problem of his client by misinterpreting the information received.. This can cause you to choose the wrong treatment, which worsens the patient’s symptoms.

8. Talk about the lives of other patients

The information that the patient provides to the therapist is confidential information that cannot be shared with other patients..

In the event that the psychologist shares private and confidential information from other clients with you, you should be aware that this professional is suffering from bad practices and can be reported for it.

9. The therapist imposes his own system of values

As explained in point one, the therapist should not question or criticize the patient.

But in addition, if it imposes or promotes its scale of values ​​or beliefs, it seriously harms the therapeutic relationship. Therefore, even if the psychologist does not agree with the patient’s political or religious ideas or beliefs, he should never question them.

10. Do not refer to other professionals when necessary

It may happen that the therapist detects that the relationship with the patient has ended for different reasons..

It is possible that the relationship between the two is not appropriate, that the patient needs the help of another professional expert on a particular topic, or that it simply does not fit their therapeutic model. In these cases, the therapist must refer the patient to another professional so that the latter can benefit from the help of another health professional. If he doesn’t, he suffers from bad practices.

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