Bad experience in a therapy

Bad experience in a therapy

Are you seeking therapy but have had some bad experiences? Have you tried therapy once and said ‘Well, nothing helped, it’s no different.’? Have you tried doing online therapy and said „that didn’t work?“  Maybe you have even tried meeting a therapist in their office and said it didn’t work. Are you confused as to how therapy works?

Many people want help, but they want quick and fast solutions. They are often looking for tips and tricks to very complex and complicated problems. They often are seeking out therapy after years and years of a problem in themselves with anger, depression, anxiety or relationship issues that have been accumulating for years. Then when they seek therapy they often have unrealistic expectations about how it will work or what is going to happen.

Some of the common reasons for a bad experience in therapy are the following:

  • Focusing on how.
    • Many people come in and want to meet the therapist who knows nothing about them, and the client knows nothing about the therapist. The client wants to know how they are going to fix the problem. They are expecting the therapist to tell them how to fix it, on a first session, in 50 minutes, to a problem that is many years old. This is somebody who is often dealing with issues of denial, in terms of how complex and complicated their problem is. They are having a hard time facing reality that they have a very big problem that is not going to be solved in one 50-minute session. So, they go in and, of course, they will be disappointed.
  • Another reason is that clients are focused on thinking that therapist can tell them some magical statement or some magical words that they would be able to tell their partner how to change.
    • The client will have a bad experience because the client is coming in not to focus on themselves and their development, but they come in saying: ‘I want my partner to change! I want my partner to be better! I want my partner…!’. They are not actually focused on themselves. They are having a hard time dealing in the reality that we cannot change other people. You can only change yourself and how you are going to deal with the people and their reactions. And this, again, is a form of denial and difficulty. So, the client who has this expectation that a therapist can tell them how to change somebody else’s behaviour in one 50-minute session, will have a bad experience.
  • The third reason why people have bad experiences is they will blame something else, they will blame the mode.
    • If they go in for the above reasons and have a bad experience online, they blame the online session. If they go in the office, they blame the office or the therapist. A lot of times though, what is happening is people are having a hard time facing the realities in their life – how complex and difficult their situation is and how much time and effort it’s going to take to be able to improve and to see results. And they don’t want to take responsibility for their lives and the decision they have made. So, they are often looking to blame it on something other than themselves and they just continue this pattern in therapy.

If you want a successful outcome in therapy, it’s important to have realistic expectations. If you have never done therapy before, it’s understandable. People have a lot of magical ideas about what therapy is and how it works, but the reality is very simple, if you have a problem that has been many years in the making, it is going to take some time to correct it.

Your first step is finding a therapist that you can build a relationship with. And the mode of therapy doesn’t matter, whether it’s in office or online. What you need to be willing to commit to is regular weekly sessions to build that relationship. Because the therapist is going to be the one that is going to help you and hold you and support you as you start to face up to the realities of your life and the difficult and painful feelings that will come as you face into it to address the issues that are bringing you into the therapy.

Another way to have a successful outcome is to realise that probably how you are defining a problem is not correct and that is one of the reasons why you are stuck. The therapist’s job is to help identify what are the problems and how to fix them and that can take some time. It takes time to build a relationship so the therapist can understand your thinking and your belief systems to help you to become aware of them to see if you want to change them.

If you would like to find out how therapy can help you and what would be required of you, contact All In The Family Counselling Center Pt. Ltd. for an initial consultation. You can contact us at +65 9030 7239 or email us at

All In The Family Counselling Center Pt. Ltd. is one of the oldest therapy and counselling practices in Southeast Asia. We provide English speaking expat therapist to help individuals with their problems from marriage, individual and sex therapy. Tammy Fotana, our lead therapist has over two decades of experience. She is an English Speaking Therapist for Singapore and SE ASIA with clients around the world.

Schedule an initial consultation

Through an initial consultation we'll help you frame goals and outcomes of therapy and what that would look like to achieve it.

Need help? Please contact us

Schedule an initial consultation