Can't Find New Counselor I Trust

Published: December 01, 2013
Dear TeenHealthFX,

I need help feeling comfortable enough to open up to a counselor. The concept doesn’t really make sense to me, why would I tell a complete stranger things my friends don't even know? However, I do understand that counseling is an essential step that I need to take. I developed an eating disorder a few years ago, I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and recently diagnosed with depression as well. In the beginning I was completely against any form of counseling. However, my school counselor was able to get me to open up, and by the time I graduated I trusted her more than anyone. Over the summer, when I began to relapse, I sought out help because I knew the school counselor was no longer an option. I had briefly received counseling before, but my parents first put me with a depression specialist and then an attention specialist as they are not very supportive of the situation. Needless to say those counselors did not turn out well. This summer I found an eating disorder/anxiety specialist and I was very eager to get the help I needed. I tried my hardest to be very honest and straightforward with her and I went to a handful of appointments before deciding it wasn't right. As opposed to talking to my school counselor where I felt comfortable and cared for, I always felt really uncomfortable and uneasy when talking to this new counselor. Everything I was saying was forced, it was like I didn't really want to be telling her anything because I felt like she didn't care. Now I'm not going to counseling at all, but I really need it. I'm honestly terrified of having to start the process again. It's such a hard thing for me to open up to people and I don't know how to overcome that.

Dear Can't Find New Counselor I Trust,

It is going to be hard to find someone new if you are looking for an exact replacement of your school counselor. Don’t get us wrong, feeling comfortable with a therapist is of the upmost importance, but it can take some time. This is especially true when the person follows someone you had a lot of trust with.

From what you told us, it took your school counselor time to get you to open up. It was over time that you were able to build up trust and make progress. Therapy for many people is not something that you can jump into and take off running. Sometimes the relationship has to develop before any significant work is done. In your case, it becomes somewhat more complicated because you lost someone you really trust and it must feel like you are starting all over again. Also sometimes holding onto the past keeps us from moving forward.

TeenHealthFX encourages you not to give up. You don’t have to force yourself to trust a therapist, but you owe it to yourself to give it a chance.


Signed: TeenHealthFX