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Body Language of Therapist — Knuckle Cracking

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From the U.S.: So I have kind of an odd question. I love my therapist, he’s been super helpful, the most helpful I’ve ever had. I’m really learning to trust him. but there is one thing that really annoys me. I don’t really want to bring it up , but.. he cracks his ankle joints/knuckles all the time. I’m not sure if that is some sort of body language thing him being annoyed or mad at me or something. its weird.. I don’t want to lose him over something so stupid. but I wonder if I’m annoying him and that is why or if he just has joint issues. lol?..

Body Language of Therapist — Knuckle Cracking

Answered by on -


Thank you for writing. It’s important to deal with little annoyances like this so that you can focus on your treatment.

I doubt your therapist’s habit has anything to do with you. People usually crack their knuckles because they are physically uncomfortable. Pressure associated with gas bubbles within the joints is relieved by cracking them. Sometimes this evolves into a nervous habit that drives other people crazy but relieves the person doing the cracking.

My best suggestion is that you ask your therapist if he can limit it. I have a guess that he has been told many times that the habit annoys other people. Or maybe, once you’ve had reassurance that it has nothing to do with you, it won’t bother you so much.

It would be a shame to lose a good therapist because his way of siphoning off nervous energy disturbs you. I hope the two of you can find a way around it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Body Language of Therapist — Knuckle Cracking

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Body Language of Therapist — Knuckle Cracking. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 18, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.