I’ve finally gotten round to writing this post after promising to write it back in October…I’m a bit slow on the uptake I know, but it’s finally here. How to cope and what it’s like when you have to change psychologists.
This is a really scary prospect that can be very difficult to go through especially if you’ve gained a good relationship with your past psychologist and you’re finding it hard to move on. What if they’re not the same? What if they don’t understand me? These are all extremely common questions that you might be thinking. I have experienced all of these as well. Truth is, your new psychologist will be expecting you to have all these questions and thoughts. They’ll know how hard it is to change from one psychologist to another, so they’ll be expecting you to have had all these thoughts.
The thing is, you will miss certain things about your previous psychologist that you wish your new one had, but at the same time there will be qualities that your new psychologist has that you wish your previous one had! It’s the same with any new relationship you have, so it’s really common to feel like that.
It can also feel really strange when you go see them for the first time, especially if it’s in the same place as went for your last one. It’s like normally I’m here for such and such, but now a new person’s going to be here…it’s just not right!
When you do find out that your need to transfer psychologists whether that be by choice or not, you may feel daunted be the fact that you’ll have to rebuild that relationship again which might have taken so long to form with your last one. From my experiences it does take time, but it is very much possible. It may be hard to open up to them at first which is completely normal, but you have to give it a chance. If you try and resist this new therapeutic relationship that is being built then it’ll never get back to where you want it to be.
Normally your first appointment with your new psychologist is pretty similar to what it was like when you first went to therapy all together. You’ll get to know your psychologist and they’ll get to know you. You may feel a little weird especially if it’s at the same place that you saw your previous psychologist and possibly even a bit emotional because it brings back memory’s of the last time you saw your last psychologist. They should have all your information already, so don’t think that they’ll come in with absolutely no knowledge about you. Most likely they’ll have spoken to your last psychologist and got to know you a bit through them. Now I’m not saying that you’ll not have to repeat things that you’ve already told your last psychologist because you will, but that’s okay because you’ll be able to gain someone else’s perspective on the situation.
Also it’s okay to still miss your previous psychologist even once you’ve started up with your new one. Don’t feel bad about it because it’s completely normal. I definitely felt like that, I mean I still do at times and it’s been over 4 months…I tend to get quite attached to people, so it was extremely difficult. : (
Things to remember
- It may seem daunting, but it will be alright
- You will regain that relationship you once had with your last psychologist
- You’ll gain new perspectives
- It will get better!