The right therapist

I had the first session with a therapist several months ago recommended by my GP. When she opened the door, I had a strong negative reaction to her (a gut feeling). I tried to ignore it. During the session several things niggled at me that I didn’t like in her behavior–such as the carpet was visibly dirty, she went off on long irrelevant tangents about her own life, she asked questions I felt was inappropriate (how much I paid for rent), and then contradicted my opinion on what I’d just said about my home. She said, ‘Aw’ when I cried briefly with a voice normally reserved for small children. I tried to remain open, wanting her to be a good match for me, but I kept seeing her actions/dialogue as unprofessional or odd. I felt very ungrounded and uncomfortable in her presence for some reason I can’t explain.

But at the end of the session, when she wrapped up and suggested a path forward, I agreed with everything she said (it felt ‘spot on’) and was planning to book another session. Later, all the things I found troubling kept coming back to my mind, causing me to doubt. I’ve switched between talking myself into seeing her again and deciding she isn’t the right therapist for me, unable to stick to my decision. Whenever I go to book another session, the thought that comes up is: I don’t like her.

In the past, I’ve had a very accurate track record of people based on gut impressions and usually regretted ignoring them, but in this case, her accurate assessment of the path forward made me wonder if I should go ahead anyway. I’m not sure whether to trust my gut and look for another therapist (thoughts about I’ve wasted time/money, maybe she is the best choice, maybe I should give up on therapy) or use thought work to feel good about booking another session, even if there is a chance I’ll go to that and decide I was right in the first place about her. (I live a long drive away from major towns, I’m going away for 2 months in Sep and the therapist is expensive so this is also a factor causing me to procrastinate, making me feel like I need to make the ‘right’ decision.)

C – First therapy session
T – I don’t like her
F – Resistance
A – Don’t commit to booking another session, consider finding a new therapist, ruminate on all the ways I didn’t like her behavior
R – I don’t allow myself to have a therapist I like

C – Book another therapy session?
T – I need to make the right decision
F – Anxious
A – Don’t make a decision, ruminate on the pros and cons of continuing with this therapist vs. finding a new one, think about the cost of the sessions, worry about the travel distance/lack of time before I go away, ruminate on all the past times I’ve overridden my gut instinct, itemize all the things I don’t like about her, assume I won’t be able to find anyone better
R – Either way, I make my decision wrong.