In a recent blog post by New York Times’ Tara Parker-Pope, PsychCentral highlights “The 12 Most Annoying Habits of Therapists.” Launched a year ago this week, our very own Mood community has more than 1,300 patients using “Individual Therapy” as a treatment for their condition. We asked them to tell us some of the habits they find most annoying and elaborate on the ones outlined by Parker-Pope. Here’s what they had to say about some of those respect issues:
- I had a [therapist] fall asleep during the session! I walked out (without paying of course).
- My biggest peeve is with therapists who refuse to work in conjunction with my psychiatrist and his diagnosis.
- I hate it when therapists talk down to me. I’m crazy, not stupid!
- [Therapists:] Don’t look at patients as if they’re wacky or as if they’ve just said something wacky. We are always reading faces and reactions, the last person we need to be judged by is our therapist. Be mindful of how “tuned in” we are to your body language.
- I love my current therapist, but…he once took a call in the middle of a session, obviously from a friend or family member (nothing critical), it had to do with whether or not they should order pizza…I don’t know if he was trying to get me to react or what, but with low self-esteem already, his disregard for my time and his placing more importance on ordering a pizza than on helping me really made me angry and hurt.
- I spent 30+ years in the business world, so things like consistent lateness, taking private phone calls on my time, clock watching and snacking while in session are all things one would never do when with a business client. Perhaps therapists should take a few business courses.
On the flip side, many of our members (those with depression, anxiety, bipolar, OCD, PTSD) had some positive things to share about their therapy experiences. Here are a few of those comments:
- My doctor’s advice: ‘don’t let go of the things you enjoy doing.’ I decided to fight for those things–reading, creativity, enjoying the outdoors, animals, writing with fountain pens, hats, etc.–because they’re part of what makes me ‘me.’ I think it was great advice and should be passed on to other people.
- [My therapist] is flexible about what kind of therapy works for me from week to week. She has a lot of resources to recommend, and when one isn’t my thing, we try another. This goes along with flexibility, but it also shows that she knows her stuff. She has helped me find everything from relaxation tapes to yoga classes to PTSD workbooks.
- My therapist won’t let me get away with anything. I think this is a very good trait in a therapist. She also believes I know my own body better than anyone else.
- She is never shy about throwing me a compliment. In fact she has told me several times that she admires certain qualities about myself.
Got some experiences to share? We’d love to hear ’em! Leave a comment below.