How to know if your therapist is treating you as your illness or you as a person

After many years, I recently went back to therapy. But after seven sessions, I began to feel I was being used. My therapist took a full intake and knew about my bipolar disorder in the beginning. I enjoyed talking to this therapist, and felt he really enjoyed listening to me. However, it felt like I was a $160 an hour ATM machine for him. He wanted me to come in every week when I felt all I needed was monthly support. I began to realize he was treating me clinically because I had a diagnosis. I have been in therapy before because of this diagnosis and I was going to discuss short-term issues I was having. I did not want to be there for the long-term.

You can tell when therapists are using you when they become animated and involved in what you are saying. It’s like they want a seriel session again and again. Therapists need to treat their clients as whole people not broken illnesses in pieces. You, the client, have to set the limit for the number of sessions you want or can pay for. Sometimes certain insurances will do this for you. But if you are paying out-of-pocket, you need to state how many sessions you feel you need. Never let a therapist keep you going beyond the point where you feel you need it. My therapist felt I didn’t make good decisions and that he needed to make the decisions for me, in other words, he was in control of our sessions.

Some therapists would rather treat you as your illness because they can keep you longer and make more money off you. Person-centered therapy is what you need to ask your provider for. Tell them you want to be treated as the person you are now not your past.

Here are some signs something isn’t right with your therapeutic relationship:

Your therapist cares more for your money

Your therapist takes delight, almost zeal in what you say, as if they want to hear more next time

Your therapist talks a lot about your illness and brings other issues back to your illness when they seem irrelevant

There is a dichotomy in communication. Your therapist misreads or misunderstands you or does not seem to comprehend the concept you are talking about

Your therapist wants to see you weekly when you feel all that is necessary is monthly

What are your experiences with therapy and therapists? Comment below.

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