It's essential to have a good relationship with your counselor, as it can make a huge difference in the success of your therapy. But how do you know if you have a bad counselor? Here are some signs to be aware of. The most evident sign is that your therapist isn't listening and responding to what you say. If it appears like they're not making enough effort to comprehend and guide you, it's time to take a step back and find someone better.
All therapists should adhere to a code of conduct that guarantees professionalism. The most serious unethical behavior is sexual exploitation by therapists. This can lead to ambivalence, cognitive dysfunction, emotional emptiness, isolation, decreased capacity for trust, guilt, increased risk of suicide, role change and boundary confusion, sexual confusion, and suppressed anger. Sexual misconduct by a therapist is malpractice and is illegal. Therapists should also be aware of the invisible limits present in therapeutic relationships. A code of professional conduct prohibits health professionals from crossing these boundaries.
Boundary violations often involve exploitative business or sexual relationships, and are always unethical and likely to be illegal. Racism can also occur in subtle ways in therapy. Mental Health America provides examples such as the lack of consideration for cultural norms and expectations and the failure to talk about race at all. A good therapist will recognize this and help you overcome related feelings. In some cases, the lack of progress may be due to the wrong type of treatment for a particular problem, such as bipolar disorder or other disorders. For example, some patients who have trauma-related symptoms may not benefit from behavioral counseling from the therapist when seeking validation of their experiences.
They may interpret the suggestion to change a behavior as not taking into account all of their experience, which amounts to blaming or ignoring their feelings. Therapists who tailor their sessions to each client based on what is most useful and produces the best results can reap the most benefits. If you feel like your counselor isn't doing this, it may be time to look for someone else.