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10 signs to detect a bad psychologist or therapist

10 signs to detect a bad psychologist or therapist

October 16, 2021

Psychological therapy is useful to overcome many problems that arise throughout our lives.

But unfortunately, the bad practices of some professionals may be present in any therapeutic relationship in the field of health (medicine, psychology, etc.). Although, sometimes, it is the patient who is not predisposed to change and does not benefit from psychotherapy in its entirety, it can happen that the psychologist or therapist does not perform his job properly, harming the mental health of the patient. patient.

Recommended article: "10 reasons why psychological therapy may not work"

Viktor Frankl , existential psychologist and author of the book "Man in search of meaning", coined the term "Iatrogenic neurosis" to refer to the negative effect generated (or worsened) by health agents, doctors, psychologists and therapists in the patient's health . And, despite the fact that a significant percentage of patients who attend psychotherapy sessions improve, Sometimes, psychological therapy can be counterproductive (can aggravate the problems that the person presents).


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 tearpeuta

But, What signs betray the bad professional practice of some psychotherapists? What reasons can cause that the patient does not improve due to the bad therapeutic and professional habits of some psychologists?

In the following lines we explain it to you.

1. You feel that you are being 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 improve your psychological well-being. A therapist who openly judges and criticizes his patients is not a good professional.


2. You are not an expert in your problem

The professional you visit may not be the psychologist you need. Within psychology there are different specializations, and not all psychologists have the necessary skills to help you in any kind of problem .

For example, a personal development psychologist does not have to possess the knowledge or skills necessary to deal with problems of eating behavior. In addition, the psychologist must understand that there are patients who work better with cognitive-behavioral therapy and others, for example, they do with Mindfulness therapy. In other words, not all therapies are the same for all people .

3. The therapist talks too much about himself

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


This can help you understand the problem from another perspective and, in addition, can favor the climate of trust or rapport. However, when the therapist talks too much about himself, it is nothing positive . Some therapists may be tempted to talk about their accomplishments, their dilemmas, their jobs, articles, families, etc. But even worse when they reveal personal aspects of everyday life, such as sexual practices.

4. The therapist's communication is not correct

Studying a career in psychology can provide you with knowledge about mental health and psychotherapy. But, in addition to this knowledge, it is necessary for therapists to master certain interpersonal skills and communication skills.

One of the keys of the therapist-client relationship is that there is good communication and understanding between both actors , so that a good therapeutic alliance is created. If there are problems in this professional relationship, the expected benefits may not be produced. Maybe the problem is the attitude of the therapist or simply that there is no feeling Between both.

5. Cross the line

Although for 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 physical attraction for his patient, he may stop being objective when treating the client. If you notice unprofessional behaviors, such as hugs or repetitive caresses toward you, the therapist may be crossing the line. In addition, to have a healthy therapeutic relationship, it is counterproductive that therapist-patient encounters occur outside the office.

6. Do not listen actively

The therapeutic sessions are spaces of interaction in which emotions can be on the surface of the skin.

So, The therapist, in addition to giving guidelines for action, must actively listen (that is, it must be with the five senses) to the patient. The therapists who interrupt the sessions continuously cause the connection and the feeling of confidence that has been created to be lost. But, in addition to interrupting, it is also not positive that it does not remember important data of your case.

Recommended article: "Active listening: the key to communicating with others"

7. Undervalue your problem

It may happen that the therapist underestimates the client's problem by misinterpreting the information received . This can cause you to choose a treatment that is not correct, worsening the patient's symptoms.

8. Talk about the lives of other patients

The information that the patient provides to the terpeuta is confidential information that can not be shared with other patients .

In the case that the psychologist shares with you private and confidential information of other clients, you should know that this professional is incurring in a bad practice, and can be denounced for it.

9. The therapist imposes his own value system

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 is seriously damaging the therapeutic relationship. Therefore, even if the psychologist does not agree with the patient's political or religious beliefs or ideas, 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 come to an end 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 in a certain topic or that this simply does not fit with their therapeutic model. In these cases, the therapist must refer the patient to another professional so that the latter can benefit from the help provided by another health professional. If you do not, you are incurring malpractice.


5 Signs You Are Seeing a BAD Therapist! psychology & mental health with Kati Morton (October 2021).


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