Featured Article
2 MINUTE READ

6 signs that it’s time to break up with your therapist

Feel like your therapist isn’t working for you? Here are some signs it’s time to move onto someone new.

Author Image
WRITER
Oct 7, 2021 UPDATED

It’s hard to know when it’s time to find a new therapist. Progress isn’t always immediate or tangible, and the point of therapy is addressing uncomfortable things. Different therapists and approaches work for different people, but here are a few signs your therapist isn’t working for you. 

1. You aren’t making any progress

It takes time for therapy to make a significant impact on anyone’s life, so patience is important. But if you feel absolutely no improvement after several sessions or if you feel that you’ve reached your potential with this therapist (sometimes after a few months or few years), then it may be time to seek out someone else, perhaps with a different specialty or style. 

2. You’re moving

Telehealth may be an option, but, if you are moving out of state, different licensing requirements are likely to make it difficult to continue meeting with your therapist. Because of  the COVID-19 pandemic, several states have temporarily allowed out-of-state therapists to be reimbursed by insurance in some cases, but it’s not known if this will continue. 

If you like your current therapist, ask if they can refer you to someone new or offer advice on what to look for in your next therapist.  

3. Your therapist doesn’t seem invested in your therapy 

Does your therapist consistently have trouble remembering things you’ve said? Or maybe they don’t give you the chance to talk much? If so, consider finding a new one. You are taking the time to divulge intimate information about yourself, and you deserve to have a therapist that makes you feel heard and valued. 

A Monarch by SimplePractice illustration of four different shaped and colored books stacked on top of each other.

4. Something’s just...off 

If you’ve given your therapist a real chance, and you just aren’t connecting, it’s ok to seek out a different one. You should work with someone who makes you comfortable, but pushes you to make progress. Even if you can’t place why your therapy isn’t working, if you know it isn’t, it’s time to try something new. 

Ending a relationship with a therapist is like a breakup. You may not know if you’re making the right decision, and it can be overwhelming to think about starting over. 

Remember, you are taking a brave step in taking control of your mental health. If you’re comfortable, be honest and direct with your therapist. By voicing your concerns, they have a chance to learn from your feedback, and can even help you find a therapist who is better suited to meet your specific needs. 

5. There’s a lack of professional boundaries

If your therapist is too personal, talks about their own life, or seems overly emotionally invested in your life, they may not be the best person to offer you objective advice going forward. Professionalism and boundaries are key to the therapeutic relationship. 

6. Your therapist breaks ethical guidelines 

This is non-negotiable. If your therapist violates any ethical boundary, you should not see them. It’s not likely to happen, but if you experience any sort of confidentiality breach, discrimination, or any other ethics violation, contact your state licensure department. 

Article originally published Aug 4, 2021. Updated Oct 7, 2021.

(2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org website: https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index

Will, L. (2017). How long will it take for treatment to work? Retrieved from https://www.apa.org website: https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/length-treatment 

Find a therapist

Find a therapist and request an appointment today via our secure online portal.

Monarch does not employ any provider and is not responsible for the conduct of any provider listed on our site. All information in member profiles, and messages are created from data provided by the providers and not generated or verified by Monarch. As a user, you need to perform your own diligence to ensure the provider you choose is appropriate for your needs and complies with applicable laws and licensure requirements. Monarch is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice.

Monarch assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable, for the quality or any other aspect of the services a provider may provide to you, nor will Monarch be liable for any act, omission or wrongdoing committed or allegedly committed by any provider.

Articles and information and assessments posted on Monarch are for informational purposes only, and it is not intended to diagnose or treat any health conditions. Treatment and diagnosis should be performed by an appropriate health care provider.

IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY, DO NOT USE MONARCH. IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, OR THINKING ABOUT SUICIDE OR HARMING YOURSELF OR OTHERS, CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY OR ANOTHER APPLICABLE EMERGENCY NUMBER.