What happens if the mental health professional we're seeing is not suitable?



  • [Conversation starter] What happens if the mental health professional we're seeing is not suitable?


  • @ho-shuhuang Excellent pointers. Thanks for the elaboration! Yes, it's true that our conditions sometimes colour the way we communicate our needs or even limit our ability to articulate what we want. Sounds like it takes some level of self-awareness too! Journalling is probably a good starting point to help one work "backwards" as you've said, and to explore what one needs and what sort of reasons justify the decision to switch medical professionals. Life is too short to be "paiseh" in getting the help we deserve! 🙂


  • @thetapestryproject-sg said in [What happens if the mental health professional we're seeing is not suitable?](/post/263): > @ho-shuhuang Thanks for such a comprehensive reply! It's so reassuring to know that we need not feel like we're "stuck" with a professional we find difficult working with or isn't able to support us in the way we need. You mentioned that having a mental health challenge, especially anxiety and depression, can make that first-step of seeking out options difficult. Would you mind sharing more on this? And what can we do to work around those challenges? Sure! Anxiety and depression may distort a perfectly reasonably request and make it seem otherwise. For example, with anxiety, you might plausibly be worried that the request be seen as being inconsiderate or troublesome and conclude that if the request were to be made, then the clinic may see you in poorer light. In other words, you could feel extremely "paiseh" about it to the extent it's better to just keep quiet. If you're depressed, you may think you have no right to make such a request as you don't want to be troublesome. You may therefore similarly keep quiet because you feel you may not be worth the trouble. Or, you may have used up all your energy to get help for yourself and have none left to refine the help you're receiving further. For both situations, I think establishing what you'd like to get out of the help you receive is important. This first establishes whether a change is indeed needed. What you're doing is working backwards from what you'd like to achieve. You'll have an idea of what type of help you need, what you see as help and therefore whether you're getting what you need from the mental health professional. Next, if through this process you determine that you do indeed want to change mental health professionals, you will have more confidence in making the request because it's grounded, reasonable and not one that was made emotionally.


  • @ho-shuhuang Thanks for such a comprehensive reply! It's so reassuring to know that we need not feel like we're "stuck" with a professional we find difficult working with or isn't able to support us in the way we need. You mentioned that having a mental health challenge, especially anxiety and depression, can make that first-step of seeking out options difficult. Would you mind sharing more on this? And what can we do to work around those challenges?


  • @yanlingpinko That's so true - having trust and rapport is vital to any therapeutic relationship! It's so tricky finding a good match sometimes and can get so frustrating because they can be good at their work, but their personalities and ours might not fully gel. Communication styles is also another factor. Maybe it's also good to be specific on what is working and what is not working for us, so that we ourselves know what we are looking for in our next therapist or doctor?


  • What happens, or more specifically, what you can do, largely depends on two things: 1. The resources you have available. 2. How you've concluded the mental health professional "not suitable". For the first, there may be practical constraints with regards to your options. If you have limited money, you may have to seek subsidised care at a public healthcare institution and your options may be more limited than someone who can afford any mental health professional. That said, it doesn't mean you have no options. It never hurts to simply ask the institution if there is anyone else you can see if you feel assigned professional isn't a good fit. This may be a little daunting but it happens more often than you think. A professional who fits well with one client may not with another. I find the biggest obstacle is really taking the first step to see what your options are. A mental health challenge can make this particularly challenging. It's not easy, particularly if you suffer from anxiety or depression. But as bad as you may feel about making such a request, professionals don't take it personally. You might also be pleasantly surprised by the help you receive. At the very least, you won't know till you try. And asking for a change doesn't cost you anything. What, however, is important before you take this step is to think about how you reached the conclusion that the professional you're seeing is not suitable. Challenge yourself here by systematically thinking through this conclusion. Pay particular attention to your expectations. The lack of "suitability" typically steps from the professional seemingly being unable to meet your expectations. In this regard, list your expectations. For example, what do you hope to achieve? How long do you think it'll take? What would your ideal professional look like? See if the answers to these questions are reasonable. If you aren't sure, look it up online. Or, ask us here!


  • @thetapestryproject-sg simply just change them. Let them know as nicely as possible especially if you feel like they are not helping at all. It doesn't matter what they think/feel. You know what's best for you. Plus, a truly good professional would let you change them. Cause they would understand how important it is to build trust and safety between 2 ppl.

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