Changing Counselors

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Not all counselors, psychiatrists or psychologists are the same. If you don’t like the first, or even the second or third person you see, it’s important to find someone else. However, like any relationship you have with friends, family or the people you work with, your relationship with your counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist is best when you trust them. Gaining this trust can take time. For more information, check out the Assessing a relationship fact sheet.

Deciding if your provider is right for you. Some of the questions you can ask yourself to help you decide are:
•Do I like talking to the person?
•Do I feel meeting with this person helps?
•Do I feel respected?
•Do I feel listened to?
•Is this someone I could grow to trust?

There are some things you can do to help you to get the most of out the time you spend with a counselor or therapist. If you want some ideas on other people you can talk to, check out the Get Help section.

Time to cut out or dig deep?  It is also important to realize that when you work with a mental health professional, the work itself might be difficult. Talking about tough issues can make you feel sad, angry, frustrated or uncomfortable. Be careful that you don’t confuse the hard work and the feelings it might bring up, with thoughts that the helper might not be a good fit. It’s OK to discuss this with your provider; it might help you decide whether it’s best to see someone else.

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at, a website that helps teens get through tough times. 


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