Therapist Red Flags
Let’s talk about therapist red flags.
Keep in mind with all of these that therapists are humans and we are all capable of mistakes, off days, and poor judgement. The time to be concerned is if any of these become a consistent pattern.
Here are the red flags:
Not open to feedback or gets defensive
Does more talking than you do
Over shares, so you know the play by play of everything going on in their lives. Each of has a different comfort level in self-disclosure, but you should never have a play by play for what is going on with your therapist in their lives.
Falls asleep on you
Suggests boundary crossings – to be friends, to hire you for a job, to go on a date, to go out for coffee, inviting contact outside your scheduled therapy hour, they try to get you to help them with something unrelated to your treatment, a pattern of initiating physical contact, anything that feels flirty or sexualized.
Makes you feel pressured to prove yourself, your experience, or your perspective
Repeatedly canceling or forgetting appts
Pressuring you to talk about things you are not ready to talk about
-> Your therapist should not pressure you to open up about things you are uncomfortable or hesitant about. The key here is pressure, I do trauma work and there are a lot of really good reasons people want to avoid going into it, and there are a lot of really good reasons that we need to. It is my job to observe both and check in with my client on what they want to do.
Never checks in with you about how their suggestions or interventions are being received
Seems overwhelmed or consistently emotional about your issues
Is insensitive or unwilling to discuss identity issues; this is particularly true if you therapist who is White, heterosexual and/or cisgender
Makes promises about curing you or suggests they are the only one with answers