Q. Last week my therapist using carefully chosen words that I was not honest about work she expected me to do on my own. I felt like a child being reprimanded for not doing his schoolwork. We have been working on my poor self-esteem and personal relationships. I have been working with this therapist for about a year and a half. I felt I was making some progress and that she was supportive and gave me some good tools to work with.
Now I am doubtful they I can meet with her and feel safe to share. Am I over reacting? Should I look for a new therapist? I don’t know how to handle this.
A. You may be overreacting but it is difficult to know for certain because I have very little information. If you were dishonest and she brought this to your attention then it would seem that she did the correct thing. If you were honest and she wrongly accused you of lying, then she may have made a mistake.
I am not sure if being right or wrong about lying is the issue here. I suspect that the problem may be that you did not like your therapist correcting you. You said that you felt like a child being reprimanded. You also mentioned self esteem. You may have felt that her correction damaged your self esteem and this probably felt uncomfortable for you. Your ego may have been damaged and it was an unpleasant experience.
If this is the case, try not to take her correction personally. If you did lie and she brought it to your attention, it was the correct action on her part. This is not to say that you are a bad person or that you’re a liar but to simply say that you made a mistake. If this was the situation then you may have been overreacting.
Please know that is my interpretation of the situation and it is based on a limited amount of information and I may be incorrect.
Before you decide to end therapy, it is important to examine why you felt this way. Your therapist did not make you feel this way, you reacted this way. Try to explore why these feelings emerged. It would be helpful to discuss this issue with your therapist. Be honest with her about how you felt and there is a very good chance this issue can be resolved.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Jul 2008
Randle, K. (2008). Should I Change My Therapist?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 9, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/07/14/should-i-change-my-therapist/