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AIBU to be upset about what this counsellor has said?

(87 Posts)
slidingtoomanydoors Thu 23-Jan-14 17:48:45

I have had a really difficult three years with an on going health condition, several close family bereavements, attempted suicide in the family, very ill Father, so have been recommended for counselling by my GP.

I started the sessions 3 weeks ago and today was my 3rd session. During the session I began to talk about feeling a little out of sync with the friends who live further away, who I don't see on a daily basis (as I find it hard to describe how difficult things have been)
The Counsellor said to me that maybe that's because they think I'm false. She went on to say that I had been smiling during the sessions and that to her I seemed, 'like one of those cheesy promotions people.'

Now I know that I do have a habit of smiling in situations I feel uncomfortable in, it is like a defence mechanism. But this would only be around strangers (which she effectively is at present) and I would never feel the need to do this around my friends.
I'm not saying it's a great thing to do but in the last year things have been really tough and the only way I haven't completely fallen apart is by trying to seem positive around people, in particular strangers/people I don't know as well.

It's just left me feeling a bit shit and that I don't really want to carry on seeing her. I'm not sure whether to say something to her or just see how things go over the next session (which isn't for two weeks.) I was really pleased to be having the sessions and was hoping to process all the things that have go on.

So am I just being over sensitive or do I need to change my counsellor?

Be gentle with me smile

VivaLeBeaver Thu 23-Jan-14 17:50:03


I think you need a different counsellor. I've never been for counselling but it sounds rude and unprofessional to me.

Nojustalurker Thu 23-Jan-14 17:52:21

Even if you are over sensitive if you are unhappy with your counsellor you should change.

LEMmingaround Thu 23-Jan-14 17:52:34

Fuck me! i know counsellors are supposed to challenge you but not with personal insults :/ and not after two sessions!

Definately ask for another counsellor - this woman sounds like a twat

Thetallesttower Thu 23-Jan-14 17:52:48

That's a horrible thing to say. The only time I went to a counsellor she was lovely and made me feel much better about myself mainly because I just cried the whole time and she never got much chance to speak If this is a short course then it's extremely inappropriate to give such feedback, if you were further into a longer psychotherapeutic relationship, then feedback on how you come over might be relevant IF you agreed you wanted it.

As it is, you didn't, and she's rude!

Snoozybird Thu 23-Jan-14 17:53:00

I do the same smiling thing as well. My counsellor gently pointed it out to me and asked why, no hurtful comments. Definitely change your counsellor. Hope all goes well for you.

Topaz25 Thu 23-Jan-14 17:53:07

Change your counsellor if possible. A counsellor might gently challenge you if they feel, for example, that you are not dealing with your feelings but they should not insult you by saying you are 'like one of those cheesy promotions people.'

Topaz25 Thu 23-Jan-14 17:53:54

I am angry for you!

Only1scoop Thu 23-Jan-14 17:54:20

That is awful....disgraceful in fact hmm

Thetallesttower Thu 23-Jan-14 17:54:46

I also smile through nervousness as well. I don't think it's helpful to point this out, and if she's only known you for two sessions (prior to this) I don't see how she could possibly know why you and your friends are drifting apart.

Her role is to listen, not to provide handy insults to self.

Are you paying for this? Is this provided by the GP? If I was paying myself, I'd just move on to someone I gelled with- this may be less possible if you are having say the 6 free sessions.

ProfondoRosso Thu 23-Jan-14 17:56:16

That's a rotten thing to say. Complain and ask about seeing another counsellor.

I hope she hasn't upset you too much. WTF is wrong with smiling? A lot of us smile till our faces crack when we're having terrible times because it keeps us feeling that things aren't falling apart. She was unkind to accuse you of being 'false.'

LondonNinja Thu 23-Jan-14 17:56:41

YANBU. She's fucking rude. Jeez.

Sorry to hear what you're going through. I hope you find someone with a decent helping of empathy.

GuernseyTeddy Thu 23-Jan-14 17:57:18

Ah. You're meant to dislike the therapist at this point. I absolutely hated mine after the first and second sessions observations. But if her comment didn't strike a chord with you, then it wouldn't be bothering you so much.

Do you think you some across as false? Wouldn't it be nice to say unpleasant things without feeling you need to sweeten them with a smile?

LondonNinja Thu 23-Jan-14 17:58:03

I'm furious on your behalf. What a horrible person she is. I think you should complain.

GuernseyTeddy Thu 23-Jan-14 17:58:42

And say something to her. My therapist was happy that I felt comfortable enough with her to address any issues.

Mia4 Thu 23-Jan-14 17:58:45

Change her op. Good counsellors should ask.questions and get come to.conclusions. She is shit. I'd speak to someone about changing and say why.

LondonNinja Thu 23-Jan-14 17:58:52

Guernsey, really? But how can that build trust?

slidingtoomanydoors Thu 23-Jan-14 17:59:00

Thank you everyone for your replies, I've never had counselling before so wasn't sure whether the frankness was to be expected! I really pride myself on being a genuine person and hate falseness in others so to be told this really hurt.
thetallesttower It's through the GP and she is the only one that comes to the practice I think.

BOFtastic Thu 23-Jan-14 18:01:32

It isn't true at all that you are meant to dislike your counsellor hmm. She should be building a rapport with you, and any challenges should be gentle and respectful. I'd ask to be referred elsewhere.

Thetallesttower Thu 23-Jan-14 18:02:26

I'm sorry Guernsey but I don't think the counsellor should be challenging you quite that frankly so early in- she hardly knows the OP and if she did, she would have known she would be upset by this. There's a big difference between a gentle suggestion ('I notice you are smiling a lot, yet you are telling me upsetting things, why do you think that is') and using words like 'false' or 'cheesy promotions person'. The OP is not false, she's coping the best she knows how. The counsellor is supposed to be helping her hope better. She's crap.

spiderlight Thu 23-Jan-14 18:03:02

How rude and unprofessional!! I would be having a word with the practice manager.

slidingtoomanydoors Thu 23-Jan-14 18:03:34


I understand what you are saying but don't think that I have an issue with 'falseness' and really think it would be last things my friends would say about me.

LondonNinja Thu 23-Jan-14 18:05:10

She's a crap counsellor. They're supposed to make you question things but not feel like shit.

XiCi Thu 23-Jan-14 18:05:19

I would complain. She is a disgrace and will end up causing alot of damage to people referred to her if she carries on in this manner

LEMmingaround Thu 23-Jan-14 18:06:19

My counsellor used to really push me sometimes and would make me cry, i made her cry once too - ha! that'l learn her wink But she did not do this until she had worked out how i would react to certain things - she made me feel quite uncomfortable at times, but that wasn't until we had built up enough trust to do that. If she had told me something like that in the second session i would have been devestated.

You don't have to like what your counsellor says to you, its meant to be difficult, but to be honest, if you don't like and respect your counsellor - it isn't going to work. (and lets face it, she has hardly earnt your respect).

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