To be fair, a lot of therapists would (and should) tell you these things. Check out this list written by the people over at PsychCentral.
1. I honestly don’t know whether I can help you or not.
Most therapists honestly believe they can help most people with most problems. However, until you get in there and start working with a therapist, a therapist can’t really predict whether they’ll be able to help you or not.
2. I’m not your friend, but I want you to open up to me anyway.
As I’ve written about previously, the therapeutic relationship is not a natural one. Nowhere else in our lives do we have this kind of professional relationship that demands openness, honesty and intimacy (not of the sexual kind). Without those components, your therapy isn’t likely to be as beneficial. It feels like a close friendship sometimes, but it isn’t.
3. If you ask to see your chart, I’ll probably give you a hard time about it.
Despite the rights of patients to be able to view and have a copy of their own medical records and data, most mental health professionals still resist attempts for a patient to view their own mental health chart.
4. I’m not supposed to give you advice, but I will anyway.
The first thing a young therapist in training learns is that psychotherapy is, Do not give advice to your clients. “If a person needs advice, they should talk to a friend,” one of my professors said in class.
5. This is probably going to hurt, but I may not tell you that up-front.
Good psychotherapy requires you to make changes in your life — in your thinking, in your behavior, and how you interact with the world around you. This isn’t easy, and it usually takes most people a lot of hard work, effort and energy. And if you start digging around in your past (as some, but not all, therapies do), you may find it very painful indeed.
6. My graduate degree probably doesn’t matter much; neither does where I graduated from.
As long as the mental health professional has a Master’s or better in education, it’s likely they will all be equally just as helpful. There’s no evidence to support the idea that a graduate degree from one psychology program is better than another, or that a Ph.D. is better than a Psy.D. for your feeling better, sooner. Find a therapist that you feel comfortable in working with. As long as they are licensed (or registered) and paid for by your health insurance, you’re good to go.
7. If I’m pushing a particular brand of medication, you can likely thank a pharmaceutical company.
You can’t throw a Google keyword without hitting a blog that talks about how various pharmaceutical companies have influenced physicians’ prescribing practices (including psychiatrists’) over the past few decades.
8. I work for you, but battle your insurance company to get paid.
Yes, you pay your $10 or $20 co-pay to see a therapist, but the majority of their fee will often come from your insurance company. And what your therapist will rarely tell you is how much work it can take to actually get themselves paid from your insurance company.
9. I will give you a diagnosis whether you need one or not.
Nobody likes to admit this, but without a diagnosis, the therapist won’t get paid by your insurance company. And it can’t just be any diagnosis (despite the mental health parity law passed last year). It has to be a “covered” disorder.
10. I love my job, but hate the long hours, client’s often-slow progress, and the difficulty in being understood as a profession.
Like most people, a therapist isn’t always going to be in love with their jobs. There are a lot of daily frustrations a therapist faces, including those mentioned above. Unless the therapist is well-established and successful, many therapists work 10 hour days, or up to 6 days a week.