Trying to help my wife

By Bluestone53 Latest Activity September 22 at 2:31 pm Views 3,599 Replies 2


I'm trying to find a way to help my wife of 9 years manage her depression. She has had it for all 15 years I have known her. I recently got her to go to therapy, but she felt like her therapist was too pushy and doesn't want to go back. She doesn't want to try to get a new therapist because her social anxiety makes talking about her issues with the last therapist difficult. Should I call our provider for her to try to switch therapists? How do we make sure she is compatible with the next one?

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Replies (2 replies)

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  • Dr GaryCA September 27 at 12:38 pm   

    Hi Bluestone,

    It's great to meet you. I am glad you checked in with this important question.

    I also posted this as an answer to your question. I just wanted to make sure you received it.

    You pointed out a basic issue in therapy. Every therapist has their own style, their own personality. Whenever I go to a training event with other mental health professionals, I am reminded of this. We are all very different from each other.

    Because of that, I think effective therapy is a combination of science and art. The therapist needs to be well trained and experienced to be effective. That is the science part. But there also needs to be chemistry between the therapist and the client. That is the art part.

    It is not at all uncommon for clients to decide that they aren't comfortable with the therapist's style. Some clients want a more confrontational, direct approach. Others may feel that approach is, as your wife may have experienced, too pushy, and want to work with someone more gentle.

    To be honest, it is not uncommon for a client to meet with a few therapists, for at least an initial meeting, before they settle on the person they are most comfortable with.

    You might relay this to your wife, and encourage her to give another therapist a chance.

    You might contact your insurance provider, or go on their website, for the names of other therapists in their network. From here, you can do some research on these providers, through the Psychology Today website, for example, or on any review sites the therapist might have been mentioned on.

    You yourself might want to do the initial call to a new therapist, identify yourself as seeking help for your wife, and ask the therapist if they would mind discussing their style and approach with you.

    And, you might also offer to your wife that you will attend an initial therapy session with her, if she and the therapist are open to this, to give your wife some support and help her to determine if there is a match.

    How do you know if the next therapist if a match? Again, chemistry is one way. If your wife feels accepted and supported, and feels comfortable, over time, in talking about herself. But progress is another gauge to watch. That is, if your wife feels she is not only being heard, but being provided with real tools she can use to better manage her depression, new skills to help her cope, encouragement to step outside of any self-imposed limitations, a more optimistic outlook, increased engagement with the world, including you.

    Your wife is fortunate to have a partner who is so concerned about her, and who wants to help her in getting the best help possible.

    I hope you will keep me posted on how you and your wife are doing.


  • CindyIngraham
    CindyIngraham September 26 at 11:54 pm   

    Hi @Bluestone53,

    Have you contacted the therapist? Listen from there side as well. Maybe there is something they might know or shared between them. After having an inquiry only switch the therapist.

    Thank you.

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