Hi everyone, this is my first post here.
Here's my background story, or if you don't want to read it you can skip to the next paragraph.
I've felt anxiety about public speaking since around 7th-8th grade. It was never anything I thought was unusual. I was told everyone gets nervous. I would always get really nervous before a presentation, but usually always felt afterwards that it went well, and no one could tell. Recently, however, in the past year it's gotten much worse. I am studying to be a speech pathologist and last semester for one of my classes we had a ten minute mini practice session with a client. My professor was watching me through the mirror. I was incredibly nervous for weeks leading up to it, and this was the first time I experienced my hands uncontrollably shaking. After that, every presentation I've had to give my hands have started shaking which makes me really self-conscious that people can tell I'm nervous. And because I was unable to handle a ten minute fake session, I'm worried I won't be able to handle being an SLP as a career. It has me doubting everything about my future and I'm graduating this semester! Finally, the most recent presentation I had to give, I felt like I was having a full blown panic attack for the first time. My legs were shaking badly, and once I could hear my voice sounding shaky and weak, it got really bad. This humiliating experience finally led me to call the on campus Anxiety center.
I've had two sessions with my therapist, and I really don't feel like it's a good fit. It's hard to explain why, though. He doesn't make me feel like he really cares about me, and at times he smiles weirdly and makes me feel like he's laughing at me.There are certain people that make me feel instantly comfortable, and certain people that heighten my anxiety. And he is the latter. I would have thought a social anxiety therapist would be someone incredibly warm and friendly and nice to make you comfortable, but he is awkward himself and it makes me feel even more awkward! If I can't relax around him, how can I benefit from therapy? I know I have to right to choose a different therapist for a better fit, but I just don't know how to go about this. Should I talk to him? Should I talk to the receptionist? Will they ask me why, or will they give me a new therapist, no questions asked? How do I explain that I just don't like him very much? I think the easiest thing to say would be that I'd feel more comfortable with a woman.
I don't know whether to ask for a new therapist or quit altogether. It's SO much money. Even though my parents are paying for it, I still feel incredibly guilty having them pay for something that isn't working and I'm hating. I feel like my symptoms aren't that bad. I experience some anxiety outside of public speaking, but nothing that really hinders my life in any way. I have a perfectly fine social life. And public speaking can be avoided, especially after I graduate.
Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to give me any advice. This is just such a difficult situation and I don't know how to handle it. I really don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. There's no nice way to tell someone you don't want to see them any more!