June 15, 2022
Seeking out professional help is a huge step forward in improving your current or future self. It shows true courage and motivation in wanting to change your life so that, ultimately, you can live a happier and more fulfilling life for both you and those around you. However, you may have found that the expectations you had for your counseling sessions pan out as you thought.
Unfortunately, there are some cases in which counselors who are supposed to play the role of a positive and encouraging figure in your life can be self-serving and manipulative toward your personal goals. However, there are ways that you can identify if you are experiencing a toxic relationship with your counselor and ways you can safely and comfortably end it.
How to Spot Toxicity
Manipulation can be seen in a variety of different ways. It is behavior that controls one emotionally and can be done by lying, blaming, and making you feel insecure, just to name a few. Typically, you may see manipulators in the form of parents, friends, or others who are personally attached to your life. Therefore, it can often go unnoticed when it’s coming from the person supposed to help you grow and promote positivity in your life.
While there are a lot of therapists who are ethical and trusting, this isn’t the case for all. It is important to keep your guard up and ensure your sessions are running smoothly. This way, you will become a better detector at seeing if you fall victim to your counselor’s manipulative tactics. The best way to identify a toxic relationship is to be mindful of your feelings following therapy sessions.
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself following a session with your counselor:
Do you feel that the feelings you’ve expressed are invalid?
Do you find yourself feeling guilty for anything that was shared?
Did you feel any criticism directed toward you?
Suppose you find yourself saying yes to any of these questions or other similar manipulation techniques. In that case, it’s a good time for you to consider exiting this situation as soon as possible and seeking alternative help.
Calling It Quits
Whether you are experiencing relational issues with a toxic family member, friend, or significant other, breakups are never easy. This can be due to close bonds, not liking change, or not wanting to hurt the other person involved in the relationship.While all these are normal to feel when ending a relationship with someone, it’s important to remember that continuing in a relationship like this will stunt your character development or diminish any progress made.
Fortunately, there are ways you can approach ending a relationship with your therapist while remaining respectful and preventing any backlash from being thrown back at you.
Approach your counselor with the pros of their sessions beforehand.
For those of you who find yourself to be people-pleasers, highlighting any positives in your relationship with your counselor is a good way to start the conversation.
You can start by mentioning what has worked with your sessions and the things you value.
Let them know what hasn’t been working.
It is important to state what has not been working and express your feelings about this.
You can then let them know that you will no longer be able to continue meeting with them in future sessions.
Listen to their feedback and respond appropriately.
The hardest part of breakups is remembering why you had to leave the situation in the first place and sticking with what is right.
Your therapist might retaliate in some way, trying to find solutions.
Listen to them, be patient, but trust your inner feeling and do what will be most beneficial for you in the future.
It’s Okay to Be Selfish
The purpose of your counseling sessions should be to build you into whatever person you desire to become. Therefore, the focus is on you, and it is okay to be the center of attention. Therapists are meant to be your number one supporters; therefore, you are most vulnerable to their advice and how you move forth with it. Ultimately, you want to make sure they have your best interest.
However, some therapists can use this to their advantage to have a sense of control over you. This is why it is important to be aware of your feelings and perception of your meetings with them to ensure the main goal is being achieved safely and in a healthy manner. Remember, your needs should always come first.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where individuals will take advantage of others when they are in their most vulnerable state. This can include the therapists or counselors you reach out to for help. It is important to look out for signs of manipulation that may be used against you and make the right calls regarding whether you should continue your sessions or end them. SokyaHealth has a team of coaches and therapists who prioritize your health and well-being while also remaining ethical and appropriate with our clients. Our licensed professionals want to see you flourish and grow by providing the proper care and advice needed for whatever situation you are currently going through. If you or a loved one currently needs help, don't wait; reach out to us now. To find out more information about our treatments and programs, call SokyaHealth today at (866) 657-6592 and (866) 65-SOKYA.