Wounded Therapist

Another intriguing email:

Mr. Pahl

I feel like I’m getting nowhere. I’ve been in therapy for about three months, going once a week, and I don’t feel like I’m making any progress. I don’t feel like she’s helped my grief at all.

I’m feeling more and more like she might need more help than me. I get this sense that she’s pretty wounded.

How do you know if it’s time to fire your therapist?

– Frustrated & Sad


Frustrated & Sad

Thanks for the email.

Here’s the truth about contemporary therapy: Most therapists today suck.

It’s really that simple.

Most therapists today get into therapy because they were traveling a road to their own healing. The problem is, most decide to become “therapists” before they ever come close to finishing that healing.

They want to “share” what they’ve learned and have so much “empathy for those going through the same thing.”

That’s cute. But it’s not effective.

I personally know several of these individuals.

One is, knowingly, a bona fide fearful-avoidant. Text book stuff. Her entire love life has been one big seesaw of push-pull, “I hate you but don’t leave me!” In fact, I, myself, believe she might reside on the BPD spectrum.

Yet, she acts as a relationship counselor —even though she’s approaching 50, single every other month, boasts three divorces in her wake, and has a rabid addiction to toxic romantic relationships.

Another is a grief counselor. Or so that’s her chosen title. This woman still cries herself to sleep every night and has to cancel appointments a day or two every other week, while she continues to mourn her brother…

Seven years after his suicide!

A third, a “licensed therapist,” counsels women with anxiety. Yet, she herself, drops a vat full of Xanax each and every day.

I even know of one “pet loss counselor” in California that’s never had a pet of his own!

No lie.

This isn’t just blatant hypocrisy. It’s failure as a therapist, as a trusted confidant—as a healing guide.

Sure, it’s good to feel empathy for the aforementioned individuals. (The pet loss grief poser excluded.) They’re obviously having a difficult time moving beyond their issues.

But that doesn’t mean you need to respect them as “therapists.”

Here’s a tell-tale sign you should fire your therapist:

If you sense, deep down, that your therapist is more “messed up” than you…

Clip the cord, baby.


Good therapists have finished their healing.

Good therapists have their shit together.

End of story.

Until next time…

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