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Red Flags When Selecting a Therapist

Hi yall! If you joined my live on 6/7/22, I talked about finding the right therapist and addressing red flags in a therapist. Red flags are characteristics, behaviors, problems that are inappropriate or harm-producing and need attention in a relationship. Find some red flags in a therapist. This is not an all inclusive list as some red flags may be missing from this list.

RED FLAGS in a therapist:


1. They talk about themselves (mostly) or talk majority of the time, self-disclosure must be done delicately, you shouldn’t know all of your therapist's personal details of their lives.


2. They diagnose you in the first session (and tell you such, unless you are coming into the session with a previous diagnosis)-


a. Disclaimer ** USING INSURANCE** they have to have a diagnosis however the therapist should state that during the intake/consultation call or during the first session


3. They mention their religion or a belief system based on a religion (


a. Disclaimer **unless it’s a faith based therapist/you’re seeking a therapist for religion/spiritual purposes)


4. They have no experience working with things you’re struggling with


5. They are not licensed *watch out for internet life coaches or internet/ social media mental health professionals*


6. They tell you what to do vs asking for feedback


a. Disclaimer** unless violence or abuse (neglect, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse) is involved


7. They make you feel like they are judging you by your choices


8. They claim to ”know it all”


9. They claim to work with “everyone/ all populations”


10. Boundary Violations: if you’re coming in for a specific problem and they ask questions irrelevant to the topic, trying to find out where you live or run into you in public


11. Violations of Confidentiality- sharing your information without a consent form (Release of Information aka ROI) to family and friends and social media


12. Ineffective/ Inappropriate Communication; The therapist is using language you don’t understand and won’t reframe, calling you outside of office hours, texting off hours, personalized texts


13. Unfair Judgements- if a therapist explicitly passes judgement onto you or your choices, makes you feel embarrassed or ashamed


14. False/ Specific promises: No therapist should ever make a promise or guarantee results “in 10 sessions you’ll be cured” promising to even cure you is a Red Flag


15. They use physical touch without your permission (hugging, etc)


16. They bring up your personal politics in your session


17. Leave you feeling worse after your session- REGULARLY


18. They are consistently late to sessions or frequently canceling on you


19. They are resistant or defensive to your feedback in session


How to Voice your concerns


⁃ If you’re having issues with your therapist bring it up in your next session or you can send an email


⁃ Your therapist ought to be open to the feedback and make change, If they become defensive or start putting the issue back upon you, RED FLAG


⁃ Give your therapist time to make the changes by session 4 or 5 it should becoming better, if nothing changes you are allowed to leave the relationship


⁃ Ask for a referral for a therapist that specializes in your challenges


If you need support in voicing your concerns with your current therapist, please reach out to me at melanatedwellnessllc@gmail.com.


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