So…I quit therapy! Well, I really just quit my therapist. This may sound like a bad thing but I’m proud of how everything went down.
I went to therapy once a week for three weeks. From the very first moment of meeting my therapist I knew that it was going to be a bad fit but I had been recommended to her by a trusted friend and read good reviews on Yelp so I thought maybe if I stuck it out we would jive better. Alas, we did not.
Being a highly sensitive person (HSP), I’m very attuned to and affected by people’s energy. Being an introvert, I get overwhelmed by a flood of talking, especially at high volume. My therapist is a highly animated person who never stops moving and speaks very loudly. I would find myself sitting stone-still on the opposite couch from her, speaking softly, willing her to match my energy but it seemed the quieter and stiller I got, the more keyed up she would get. On top of this, my three sessions were “informative,” meaning that she spent the almost the entire time talking while I listened.
I would leave our sessions with my ears ringing, feeling overstimulated and drained. I began a habit of going to my favorite bar, conveniently located just a few blocks away, after each session to get a beer or two and dinner. Not the worst way to end a day, but I finally admitted to myself that feeling like I needed a drink after every therapy session was a pretty good indicator that this was not working for me.
I struggled with what I should do. I didn’t want to drop out of therapy that might truly help me, but I felt that this scenario was not good for me. I considered telling her that I was having a hard time with her energy levels, but in the end rejected it because it would be asking her to change a core piece of her personality. I know for a fact that she is exactly the right fit for certain personality types, because my friend was such a big fan. Asking her to change just for me seemed counter-intuitive to good therapy. To me it seemed far more logical to seek out someone new instead and let her be who she is.
I finally made the decision to leave. I texted her, and told her that I felt like she was not a good fit for me, and though I liked her technique and thought she was very good at what she does, I needed to move on. This was a breakthrough for me, generally I would avoid confrontation completely and have just canceled the appointment with an excuse and then never rescheduled. But, in the spirit of personal growth, I told her an abridged version of the truth to close out the relationship. She responded in a generous and professional way, and I feel like we left things on a good note.
They say as you get older, you care less and less about what other people think (in a good way) and being honest about what is not working for you gets easier. I’m finding that to be true in my case, happily. I spent so much of my youth being accommodating and worrying about other people’s feelings way more than my own. Although I had to quit therapy until I can find a new therapist that is a better fit, I am glad that this situation gave me an opportunity for growth that I took.