Ask A Therapist: How Do You Stop Comparing New Therapists to Your Old One?

Dear Therapist: I recently moved states and am looking for a new therapist. It's been challenging because I keep comparing everyone I speak to to my former therapist who I loved so much. It feels intimidating to have to start over and rebuild a rapport, and tell your story all over again to someone new. Do you have any suggestions or advice for people who are starting therapy again and feel this way? Frame Community Therapist Janet Bayramyan weighs in… Thank you for sharing. I have absolute compassion for your experience. It sounds like you were really connected to your former therapist. I want to validate that it's hard to start over and rebuild the connection all over again. It doesn't mean, however, that it's impossible. I'd recommend that if you'd like to continue therapy after you move, know that your former therapist can help facilitate the transition process. If you sign a release form with your former therapist, your former therapist can speak with your new therapist regarding the work you had done with them. This can help potentially mitigate the feeling of starting over since your former therapist can offer some feedback and background if you give them permission. What I'd also say is that sometimes it might take several tries to find a new therapist. It's important to take advantage of therapists offering a free telephone consultation. You can get a feel for their energy, how they work, how you feel talking to them. Know that it's definitely not going to be the same, as every person is unique and has their own way of working with clients. It may be hard to shift, however that's okay. It's okay that the transition will take time. That speaks to the positive connection you had with your former therapist, and the grief that you may be feeling. My recommendation, if possible, is to let go of comparisons to your former therapist and bring your focus on how you feel with the new person, your comfort level, and if it feels easy to speak with and open up to the person. You may not trust this new therapist right away and that's okay. Trusting and opening up takes time. --- About the therapist: Janet Bayramyan is a licensed therapist, licensed in CA, FL and SC. Janet specializes in working with trauma survivors, those with challenges in their relationships and family dynamics utilizing EMDR and Brainspotting therapies. Janet believes in everyone's internal resiliency and innate ability to heal. Follow Janet on instagram @therapy_with_janetb