Therapy Patients Divulge The Red Flags For Bad Therapists

Therapy Patients Divulge The Red Flags For Bad Therapists
Alexander Pemberton on Unsplash

I have a good therapist—she's great. She listens to me, she is kind, attentive.

We even laugh and she occasionally shares tidbits about her life. She's awesome and I am thankful that she has helped me work out a lot of issues I had with my mental health.

I have had a couple of bad therapists in the past, though, so finding my current therapist was like finding a diamond in the rough.

The difference in how we approach our sessions compared to how other therapists approached our sessions is like night and day. For one thing, she doesn't talk over me or belittle me.

Yeah.. I've been there. It's not fun.

People shared their stories with us after Redditor Admirable_District asked the online community:

"People who realized they had bad therapists, what were the red flags?"

"I waited 15 minutes..."

"I went to an appointment and the door was locked. I waited 15 minutes and called him. No response. He texted me back a few minutes later and said he had the flu and was in bed and sorry he didn’t call to cancel. I went to the grocery store instead. I saw him shopping. He ducked when he saw me. I never went back to him."


Okay, this would be sort of funny in a movie... but in real life?

That's horrible.

I'd have run far, far away.

"When he was on the news..."

"When he was on the news for banging a client. It was his arrest photo because that's a crime. He was our marriage counselor, and he was married. So was the client."


Okay, that would do it.

Can't argue with any of this.

"I was 13."

"I was 13. The therapist was an older woman who, upon first meeting me, insisted to my mother that I was on drugs (I wasn't) and that "clearly" my father and/or brother were molesting me. My father and brother have never, ever touched me inappropriately. She needed help herself."



Let's just say that too many therapists who work with kids really shouldn't be working with kids.

"During those rants..."

"Recently started therapy and had about 5-6 sessions with the same guy. The last two sessions he was either late or had shared some bad news going on in his life, and had multiple uninterrupted rants of 15+ minutes or more where the subject matter was only tangentially related at the absolute best (it wasn't). "

"During those rants, he name dropped public figures in my sphere and told secrets about them. Unprofessional and sloppy."


It sounds like he needs a therapist himself, which is truly saying something.

So much wrong here.

"He told me several times..."

"He told me several times how pretty he thinks I am. He also refused to believe me when I said I think have PTSD. I definitely had PTSD."


This is so inappropriate.

I'd be so disturbed.

Thankfully you're no longer in his orbit.

"When our marriage counselor..."

"When our marriage counselor told us he had been divorced 6 times."


It sounds like your marriage counselor needed to find a new line of work.

"She really succeeded..."

"My husband and I went to a marriage counselor who was going through a divorce. She was so bitter. We went to 2 sessions. She really succeeded in uniting us in our dislike of her."


Sooo... does this mean that she inadvertently saved your marriage?

"He is so lucky..."

"He broke confidentiality and told my girlfriend what we talked about in therapy. He is so lucky I didn't report his ass. Two sessions later, he referred me because my problems were 'too dark.'"


"I had a long report..."

"I had a long report written by a psychologist who had given me a thorough assessment. The therapist on the third appointment told me the report was probably wrong and I should just basically try harder."


Wait, what?

Why... how is this person a therapist?

"Every session..."

"Every session, he asked me if I thought my mood was due to my period."


This is incredibly sexist.

I hope you ran far, far away.

Reading these, it would not surprise me if actual therapists, concerned about whether or not they're doing a good job, felt some relief knowing that they're not this bad.

Some people really should not have a license.

Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!

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