• 6 Ways to Recover From a Bad Therapy Session

    6 Ways to Recover From a Bad Therapy Session

    When it comes to bad therapy sessions, just about every therapist is going to have an occasional session that just doesn’t go as planned. Maybe the conversation just didn’t go well or perhaps the therapist was having a bad day. Or it could be that the therapist simply didn’t have the skills and knowledge that the client needed at that particular time.

    What does a bad therapy session look like?

    How exactly do you recognize a bad therapy session? Well, one of the main indicators is experiencing no change in mood or feeling worse about yourself afterwards. Now, a good therapy session may actually push you to acknowledge difficult times or circumstances, so you won’t always feel better right away. However, when you leave feeling numb or have no change in mood or outlook, you’re probably dealing with more from the session itself. Because poor therapy can lead to increased stress and anxiety, use the following methods to recover from a bad therapy session.

    1. Recognize that it’s not you.

    Even good therapists may not be able to provide the correct services to each client and their range of skills may not work for you. It’s not necessarily you. Keep in mind that it is the therapist’s job to recognize that there is not a connection or your issue is out of their counseling range. Then, once they have determined this, they ought to have referred you to someone else.

    2. Stop negative self-talk.

    No matter what your therapist said to you, you will always be the most important influence on your own mood. When you start calling yourself a failure or engage in other negative self-talk, stop this immediately. We all have flaws, but you can better recover from a bad therapy session by engaging in positive self-encouragement.

    3. Look for others.

    You’re certainly not the first person to have a bad counseling session and you won’t be the last. However, with the increase in technology, it’s easier than ever to find others who have had your same experiences. Look for these people and reach out asking for their support and guidance. They’ll be able to share their own experiences and this may help you to heal and put the session behind you.

    4. If the session was dangerous, report the therapist.

    If it was a case where you just didn’t seem to gain anything, you shouldn’t make any action against the therapist. However, if they were abusive in their language, made inappropriate comments, or engaged in any other sort of inappropriate behavior, report them to their boss or superior. By taking this step, you’re not only acknowledging that the therapist’s actions were wrong, but also taking steps to prevent any further abuse.

    5. Talk to the therapist about the session.

    If possible, talk to the therapist and mention your concerns about your sessions. They should be able to refer you to another therapist or help you by discussing why the session didn’t go well and provide solutions.

    6. Seek out another therapist.

    Although recovering from a bad session may cause some to avoid therapists and counselors, you can still benefit from therapy. Seeing a therapist has helped millions of people recover and lead happy fulfilled lives. Don’t throw in the towel after a bad experience, but be sure to look for a therapist that is recommended and works well with you- even if it takes some time. Using these tips, you can recover from the stress and anxiety of a bad session and go on to have more productive counseling.


    Dominica Applegate has a BS in Psychology, an MA in Counseling and has worked in the mental health field for 12 years before launching her own business as a writer. Specializing in addictions, relationships, codependency, fitness and health, Dominica’s work is ultimately about helping people remove blocks that keep them stuck, because everyone can really create a life that they love.

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