What to Do When You Disagree with Your Therapist

Seeing a therapist for mental-health treatment is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It's an investment in your overall health as well as a way of proactively taking care of your mental well-being. Having a mental-health counselor that you truly connect with is an important part of this process. However, no matter how well you get along with your therapist, you are likely to disagree with them at some point. Disagreement is simply inevitable in most human relationships. If you find that you disagree with your therapist, these tips should help you handle the issue.

Address the Problem As Soon as Possible

If your therapist says something that you disagree with, try to address the issue when it happens. If you haven't yet disagreed with your therapist but are afraid that you will have a problem expressing any potential disagreement in the future, talk to your mental-health counselor before this happens. You will probably get their reassurance that you should speak up, but hearing their preferences for how you should proceed can help you feel more confident when push comes to shove.

Say It Face-to-Face

If your therapist makes you angry in a session, you may have trouble expressing that emotion in the moment. Whether you just don't like expressing disagreement or the situation simply caught you by surprise, you may get angrier as you think about something that happened. Avoid the temptation to fire off an angry email to your mental-health counselor. Instead, make a note of it in your phone or a journal to bring up the topic in your next session. It's usually best to address a disagreement face to face. If you don't feel like you can wait for your next appointment, you may want to call your therapist to schedule one sooner.

Put It All on the Line

While you may want to hold back how you express disagreement with someone such as your child, you can be straightforward with your therapist. Of course you shouldn't shout, and it's important to treat the counselor with respect. However, being thorough, open, and passionate about your disagreement is completely acceptable. Don't hold back in explaining all the details about why you disagree. The therapist is an adult and will be free to explain their reasons once you have said your piece.

Finally, keep in mind that your mental-health counselor is there for you. The focus is on your healing and well-being. You are entitled to speak up any time you disagree, and a caring therapist should accept and acknowledge your feelings even if they are steadfast in their original opinion or assessment. Speak up any time you disagree, and you will find that it pays off in helping you get to the heart of the issues that may be holding you back. 

If you decide that the issue is big enough that you should get a new counselor, then you might start by going online to check out the sites of various counseling centers and individual counselors to find one that is a better fit.