How would I know if I have the right therapist?
How do you know you have the right therapist for you?
How would I know how to "train" my therapist to be able to give me what I need from treatment?
Finding the right therapist for you is very important and can sometimes be tricky. It can sometimes take a number of sessions to get a good sense of whether you and your therapist are the "right fit." The first couple of sessions are generally spent on gathering information, formulating a plan of treatment, and building the client/therapist relationship. The client/therapist relationship will be very different from other relationships you have experienced. You will know you have found the right therapist when you notice there is a good rapport between the two of you. You will get a sense that the therapist "gets you" and understands the issues being presented. If you feel that you can trust your therapist and feel comfortable opening up and providing feedback during your sessions then you know it is a good fit.
In terms of "how to train your therapist how to give you what you need from treatment" the therapeutic relationship is collaborative so the two of you will be working together as a team. During your sessions, the goal is for you to feel comfortable giving feedback about what is working and what is not working in your sessions. When you express your needs to your therapist then the two of you will discuss the best ways to get those needs met in order to maximize the effectiveness of your sessions.
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Finding "the right therapist" is about both feel and fit. A skilled therapist should be at a minimum 2 things:
- An accurate mirror
- A good explanatory voice
As an "accurate mirror", he or she should be able to help you clarify your thoughts, feelings, values, etc - helping you gain perspective on relationships in your life, as well as a greater depth of self-awareness.
As "an explanatory voice", a knowledgeable, well trained therapist should be able to help you understand your troubles or past emotional injuries in such a way that shame, blame, resentment or excessive guilt no longer interfere with you facing life challenges successfully.
But more than these qualities, a skillful therapist, should be able to coach you in improving your capacity for self-regulation and help you develop greater resilience within. While at the same time, he/she should be a kind observer, rooting for you along the way as you develop the needed skillfulness to eventually no longer need this therapist along your side.
A good therapist will not need to be "trained" to give you what you need in treatment. Within the very first session, you should have a sense - a feeling of being felt, seen, and heard. By and large, I believe this to be the most important determining factor in choosing a therapist that is the right fit for you.
And last but not least - Trust your instinct and listen to your gut. A good therapist will continue to give you reason to entrust your emotional wellness to their care.
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This is an important question. The right therapist does not necessarily need to share all of your views, but they do need to share your goals. I cannot over-stress the importance of setting goals with your therapist. They may change over time, but you and the therapist should be on the same page. There is nothing wrong with being upfront about what your needs are, and the therapist should be able to help you do that. Keep in mind that what you need in the beginning may be different than what you need in the end as you grow and change throughout the course of therapy.
How do you feel when you meet with your therapist? Are you comfortable? Do you feel safe? Do you feel like you are gaining something from the experience? Therapy has its ups and downs, it is hard, and sometimes it won't feel good- that is when you are growing and learning the most. If you feel comfortable, safe, like you can tell your therapist anything (after getting to know her/him- not in the first session), and that you are getting help with what brought you in; then you might have found the right therapist for you. I always say, its just a feeling- you'll know.
Setting expectations for treatment at the very beginning would help you to know if you have found the "right one" for you. This is how you'd address "training" your therapist to give you what you need. However, the therapist is not there to fix you, that's your job. A therapist is another set of eyes on your life and the presenting issues you come in to discuss. Sometimes you may not like what the therapist has to say, and just maybe that is what you "needed" that day. Therapy also takes time, it's not a quick fix. If there's a certain type of therapy you'd like, then again you'd discuss that in the very beginning.
Here's what I'm already picking up on from you: 1) you are motivated to advocate for your needs, 2) you value connecting with your therapist in some form, and 3) you have at least a basic understanding of what you want/need from therapy.
Finding a therapist that fits can be a difficult task. Every counselor has their own style and some just tend to mesh well with certain personalities--factors beyond our control. If you look at it in terms of specialties, many therapists will identify those on their company's websites and/or during an intake. It is important to know what your therapist is competent in because you are sacrificing so much time, energy, and finances into the process!
Figuring out if your counselor is a match for the issues you present with can be relatively quick to discover (usually this happens during intake when the counselor informs the client about their areas of expertise). On the other hand, it may take a few sessions to learn whether or not you feel a connection with your counselor. In the research we have on clinical outcomes, it is shown over and over again that the relationship is key--treatment techniques alone play a very small role in client change when the counselor-client bond is lacking.
I wonder if maybe there is a fear here that your therapist may not understand you or may guide you in the wrong direction. When I have a client with these fears, it's crucial we process their expectations of and goals for therapy, as well as realistic ways I can help support them in those goals that fit their individual needs. You may find that some therapists don't meet your needs and that's OK. It's normal to feel discouraged about therapy not working out, but it's important to continue to search for the best match for you.
It's kind of like an audition. You need to find someone who you feel comfortable with and respect. Many therapists provide short, free, consultations. That is a good way to see if they seem to understand and empathize with you in a way that puts you at ease. If you have specific issues that you need to work on. look for someone who specializes in what is troubling you. The therapist should be able to provide evidence-based treatment and should discuss with you why they think this is the best way to proceed. Every counseling client should feel free to have input on their goals and desired outcomes.
I think the most important to be the right therapist to you, is being able to make the click. It means to combine my years of education and training with my personal experiences, and how those could help you to figure it out your exploration about yourself, help you process them in the way that you may be able to learn how to deal with life's difficulties. On the other side, that would be important in your process, is that you can trust in me as one who has been learning for my own process of life. Also, I have been in your place as a counselee, and I know how important is to get help. I was once divorced and I understand the pain of loss. I was a victim of domestic violence and I am a survivor. I am multicultural, I am multiracial married, I am a mother of adult children, I understand the development process from the cradle to the marriage, and have watched them grow in their careers. I have values and principles rooted in the knowledge of divine wisdom and that life has much more meaning when we live a mindfulness life.
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If your therapist is attentive and compassionate to what you are sharing then you will know you have a true connection with him or her and that he or she is the right match for you. Having a therapist who has a good location and inviting office is also a good sign that you have the right one!
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When you find the right therapist, you will feel understood on a deeper level. You'll feel that they not only understood what you were saying, but that they were also able to catch the "in between the lines" part and put into words what you have not been able to. The relationship with your therapist should be collaborative, there should be a fundamental element of safety and trust. A strong relationship with your therapist takes time to cultivate, but by the second or third session, you'll know if that therapist genuinely see's the world from your perspective and has a plan to get on how they will support your growth through this journey.
The most important agent of change in therapy is your relationship with your therapist. It is so important for you to find a therapist that you trust and feel comfortable enough to just lay everything out there and be vulnerable with. Therapy is really building a safe and healthy relationship with a professional that can then help guide you in some of the most intimate and emotional parts of your life. This relationship does take time to build, but usually you can get a sense of a therapist's personality and approach from their bio and website. Once you have found someone that you think you could really connect with, then it's about looking at do they have the expertise you need. Do they have training in relationship counseling or in working with anxiety, depression, or trauma? It is important to find an expert in the field so you are getting the best care possible...just like if you were to go to a general family doctor versus a specialist. I hope that is helpful!
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You know have the right therapist if:
- Your counselor specializes in what you are seeking help for or they have experience with treating people with similar issues.
- They are ethical and are able to understand your culture or religious norms.
- They are licensed in your state.
- They are able to provide you treatment that is tailored to your needs so that you can meet your goals for therapy.
- They are non-judgmental and can show empathy to you.
- They can meet you were you are in your journey of healing and understand you.
- The location of the office or use of technology to hold sessions is something that you are comfortable with.
Recognize that a relationship with a counselor is like a relationship with any other person, sometimes you mesh well and sometimes you do not mesh well. A counselor should never take any offense if you do not feel like a good fit with the counselor, just be honest with your counselor about how you are feeling about the relationship. If you feel the need to change counselors, feel the freedom to change counselors as you will get more from therapy if you feel like you make a good team.
To "train" your therapist:
- Be honest about your needs, expectations, barriers and about your situation.
- Know thyself and share that with your counselor.
- Create attainable goals for yourself with the help of the counselor.
- Set the pace that you are comfortable with.
- Feel comfortable to share an agenda for each session.
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When you have the right therapist you just know, as evidence of the help that you have received, the progress that you have made, from the rapport and partnership that you have gained with your therapist, and from if you feel supported in a way that is helpful to you, as well as if your therapist has a good understanding of what your needs are and what you desire to gain from your therapy experience.
This is a great question. A good therapist should first be someone you can trust and second, someone who encourages you to be honest with yourself. Therapy is a time to learn new coping skills and learn more about yourself. You have the answers you need within yourself, but it sometimes takes a keen ear to lead you to those answers. This can't happen without trust and honesty. You may not always leave therapy feeling energized. Therapy can be hard work. But, you should always feel you have gained something to ponder that will help you better understand yourself.
If you connect with your therapist and can say whatever you want to say and not be judged.
Having the perfect therapist can be the key to any fruitful relationship. My private practice uses Life Coaching, though I am professionally qualified in many therapeutic modalities. The therapeutic relationship is the initial step of any treatment program or goal attainment process. We can discover an appreciation of having discovered the best character to show you on this journey in excellent communication. Does the person “get you” and are you on the same page in the therapeutic process? The therapist should have considerable experience that combines professional instruction on the matters that you need guidance to overpower. If the therapist doesn’t have all the fundamental experiences, is he/she prepared to locate the suitable means that you require or have the capabilities to recommend you to someone while following up and continuing a prosperous and beneficial relationship with you.
If for some reason you are required to continue with a therapist and advance on this relationship, make certain that the communication areas are consistently transparent. Express yourself openly in disclosing your objectives and purpose. Try to find a commonality with the therapist that encompasses various pathways of motivation for them to learn and grow while maintaining a focus on your present accomplishments. Optimal Communication is consistently the key to a healthy relationship.
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One way is to bring one's concerns or desires to the therapist directly, rather than trying to subtly 'train' them. Here's why I say that:
One quite important healing factor in a psychotherapy is discovering that problems in the therapy and the therapeutic relationship can be solved together.
It is a safety zone or bridge for practicing that. If it can be done with a trained, usually safe person (the therapist), the client might think, wow--what are the implications for my outside life and relations? Could I get what I want outside of therapy, too, even if it feels not as safe?
If the therapist can deal with feedback (and any good therapist should be able to), this can be very productive. Cooperation in this way, in the moment, with a live person who is supposed to have authority and knowledge in these matters, can be profoundly healing.
If the therapist can't take feedback or doesn't want to--or does nothing to act on it--maybe we could say the client has the wrong therapist.
If you are seeking personal development and challenge resolution in a Christian context, I am the right counselor for you. I will balance the needs of your temperament with scripture, prayer, and cognitive therapy techniques.
You should feel generally comfortable with your therapist. Your therapist should be able to challenge you when necessary, and be able to provide support at other times. I don't know if you can really "train" your therapist to give you what you need from treatment. Definitely let your therapist know what you need or want from treatment and see what they have to say about your ideas. Do you think you are or at least will be able to make the progress you want to make with your current therapist? There isn't one "right" therapist for you. There should be a few therapists in your area you will work with well enough. If you can have a productive, open dialogue with your therapist and you feel comfortable enough then you may already be in the right place. If you are having lots of doubt about your therapist being the "right" one interview other therapists.
Your comfort with a therapist is one of the most essential aspects of a quality therapeutic relationship. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the therapist’s approach and background. Do you feel heard and understood? Do you find the feedback helpful and directed toward achieving your goals. Ensuring open communication with your therapist is primary to making sure you have the “right” therapist.
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You should like and trust your counselor. Sounds like a big ole “DUH”. But you will not believe the number of people I have met with that have described their past counselor as “totally opposite than me” or someone who “didn’t get me” or “had totally opposing beliefs as me”. Suggestion to the masses, do your research prior to entering counseling! If you are someone who often cusses and is abrasive, you might not want to pick the counselor who is highly professional and uses sophisticated language throughout their site. Pick someone who is more in line with your personality and wants for your future.
And even if you do your research beforehand and figure out you aren’t vibing after a few sessions, that’s okay! Let your counselor know this, and who knows there might be something that can be done to make you feel more comfortable or maybe there isn’t. But the good thing to note is that there are thousands of human helpers in your city and your counselor would be happy to provide you with a referral to a better fitting therapist.
View full post here: https://www.therapybyshannon.com/blog-2/2019/1/14/7-things-counseling-should-and-shouldnt-be
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I think it's crucial that a person finds the "right" therapist. Questions, questions, questions! First I would ask them if they have experience and training in whatever the primary issues are that you are wanting to work on. You want to make sure the therapist has the skills and experience to help you. It's okay to ask "have you worked with these issues before?" and "Can you tell me what methods you use to treat these issues?" and "Are the methods you use evidenced-based?" Then I would ask what expectations the therapist is going to have of you the client. Do they expect you to do homework, come with something to talk about each session, or keep a journal? See if their expectations align with what you are looking for. And lastly, I would schedule a session and "try out" the therapist. See if you feel comfortable and safe. As for "training" your therapist, I would suggest you be the leader of your therapy, ask for what you want, be direct and do hesitate to tell your therapist if you feel you are not getting what you need. They can't read your mind and would likely find that information very valuable. They want you to feel better and to make progress, and if they are going down the wrong path you should let them know.
The first thing I would ask yourself is how do you feel when it is time to go to therapy? What do you notice inside your body? Are you sick to your stomach? Neutral? Dreading it? Your body will give you indications as to how safe you feel. Your relationship with your therapist is like any other relationship...you need to feel safe, accepted and understood. You want to see someone who you look forward to sitting across from and feel comfortable talking about whatever is on your heart and mind. What are you preferences? Do you feel more comfortable with a male or female therapist? Does their age matter? What kind of therapy do you want to do? Do you know? If not, you might want to talk to friends or family who have done therapy and ask them what they liked or didn't like, what worked for them and what the process was like. You can always talk to a prospective therapist about all the questions you have (Have they worked with others with your issues? Have they ever been in therapy? Where did they go to school? What kind of training do they have? Etc.) You may not know in the first session or two if you have the right therapist but pay attention to how you feel while you are there. Your therapist should check in with you and ask how you are feeling. If it's not a good match for you, your therapist should try and help you find someone who will be a good match. Your trust and connection with your therapist is the biggest indicator for success in therapy. Both of you should be concerned about your alliance and any good therapist will want you to find the best therapist for you!
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You can certainly ask the therapist questions such as their style or issues they have experience working with. You can also determine whether a therapist is the right fit if you feel a connection or alliance and feel that you are working together toward your goals. It is important to be open and honest with your therapist about what you are looking for in counseling.
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Though this varies from person to person, I think finding the right therapist involves finding someone who you're comfortable opening up to and speaking your mind, including your preferred areas of focus for treatment. It's important to be aligned with your therapist's general approach and, to find someone who you feel genuinely attuned to, both in practice and also, with who they are as a person. Bringing up your needs for treatment is key and finding someone who validates your needs, listens and welcomes feedback are all important building blocks for creating space for a great working relationship that promotes personal growth, openness and invites adaptable approaches in session, based on your individual needs.
How do you know anything is "right" for you? I think it's an intuitive process, and not always based on the objective expertise of the therapist, either (most psychotherapy research has concluded that the client-therapist relationship is the strongest factor in success in therapy.) But, in my view what is important to check-in with yourself around whether or not the therapist can hold space for all that you come in with (for example, not expressing discomfort with things you might talk about is a big "run away"), challenge you enough where you feel like it is challenging you to grow, but also where there is some part of you that does look forward to the sessions.
How to "train" your therapist? This could be a session in and of itself I must say:) The therapist-client relationship can resemble many of the relationships in your life, or those that you seek out. A therapist, like anyone else in your life, won't be able to give you what you need 100% of the time and then expect that you will be able to function outside of the space. That can turn into a highly enabling process that won't help your other relationships. However, what the therapist can do, and help you deal with, is to tell you what they can and can't give you, and then process the disappointment that you feel when they can't be everything you might feel you need.
Hello and thanks for your question!
It's important to have the right therapist. I encourage you to start by checking out the website of the therapist. Their blog articles will reflect the kind of work they do and the approach they may take while working with you. If there's an email listed, go ahead and reach out. Ask the particular questions that are on your mind. Share a little of what you are looking for in a therapist. Are you a goal-direct, solution-focused individual who is looking for someone to listen and ask questions? Are you less self-directive and desire a therapist who can give you the consistent push to move forward? Are you interested in intertwining certain theory approaches? Maybe a cognitive-base or experiential? Art therapy or engaging in exercise while talking? Your therapist is out there. It's OK to try out a therapist for a session or two. Interview them as they interview you. It's also OK to change therapists; ask your present therapist for a referral. He or she should be willing to provide you with names of other providers and there's no shame in asking for it. You deserve to work with someone who fits your style!
I imagine there's already enough things happening in your life if you are searching for a therapist. Do you really want to "train" your therapist? After all, you are paying them for their knowledge and expertise. It does take time to develop a relationship and developing one with your therapist is vital to your growth and satisfaction. Participating in therapy, for the most part, should be a time you anticipate and not avoid. Can you be honest with them? Are you trusting of the confidentiality they provide? Has this person clearly shared with you the limits of confidentiality if using insurance versus paying privately? Is there any part of you that "just isn't sure"? It's okay to assert yourself in therapy. As a therapist, I invite you to assert yourself as it's a way to develop self-confidence and resiliency.
Not everyone thrives in therapy by sitting in an office or lounging on a couch. Some folks benefit by challenging themselves in various environments, or are more comfortable in their homes, online, in the community, at a retreat, etc. Give yourself a gift of spending some time finding the person that can work with you towards what you are searching. Although there's the convenience of the local non-profit agency in your area, it may not be what you need. Also, limiting yourself to the names of providers listed on your insurance may not lead to the "right one". There are many forms of therapy that insurances refuse to cover. When this happens, many times you can be reimbursed for your expenses by your insurance or you can use a Health Savings Card or Flexible Spending Card, there are many, many options. Therapy is about exploring yourself. Go ahead and feel free!
If you feel as if you need to "train" your therapist, it seems that person is not the right fit for you. Engaging in treatment should be quite comfortable from the outset of treatment.
Many independent practitioners or small group providers offer a free consultation to start the relationship. Perhaps that's a place for you to begin? Good luck and I wish you well!
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The most important part of therapy is finding a therapist who is the right fit and you feel you can connect to. Feeling comfortable with your therapist and feeling that you can be vulnerable is what will assist in helping you find what you want out of therapy. It also sounds like discussing with a potential therapist your expectations for therapy. Also, I would read up on what the therapy process is like so that you are aware of the role the therapist is supposed to play in your life. As long as a therapist is ethical and not breaking any ethical practices, find someone you connect with and can share with.
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Finding the right therapist for you may take time - or you may find one the first try. Two important things to think about when first finding a therapist are “do I feel safe?” and “do I feel heard?” The first time seeing a therapist can be anxiety provoking. It may be uncomfortable. Unless there are giant red flags about a therapist (things beyond meeting someone for the first time and answering uncomfortable but important questions), I always suggest seeing a therapist 3-4 times before making a decision to try another. It may end up that you feel like your therapist isn’t the best fit for you, but again, I encourage you to give them a couple times before moving on. When you get past the initial sessions of paperwork and gathering information, you can gauge the client - therapist relationship better, and when you find the right person to work with, you will know it.
Quick Way to Assess a Great Therapist
A colleague and I were discussing the characteristics of successful therapists. I gave him some traits, some of which were listed by Robinson (2012). The therapist should be able to listen to your story, build rapport, establish a relationship, demonstrate empathy, adapt treatments to the client/situation, use effective communication skills, exhibit confidence in use of therapeutic techniques, and repeatedly update skills with ongoing education and research.
You should talk with the therapist. In addition to asking the therapist about his/her experiences and specialty in treating the issue you want to address; you will gain a sense of the therapist’s ability to connect with you in your first phone call or meeting with him/her. This is why I offer a free 15-minute phone consultation. You can use the above criteria to gauge the therapist’s ability to do the following: Hear you, join with you in understanding the issue, and indicate some ways in which the issue may be treated.
Regarding training a therapist, just ask the therapist if he or she can comply with what you are looking for, or what has worked with you before if you have had prior counseling. If you just like a therapist to listen, you are looking for a non-directive therapist. If you want one to be more active in guiding you, choose a directive therapist. You can also ask them with which type of client/issue they work best.
I specialize treating anxiety and relationships and would like to talk with you if you have questions about how I may be able to help you.
Jim Ciraky PhD
Licensed Professional Counselor GA, USA
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The therapeutic relationship should be collaborative. The client is the expert on their life, and the therapist is the expert on helping the client to develop their sense of being. Growth occurs as a result of challenges. Therefore, I would suggest not looking to train the therapist, but rather to find one that will help you develop into the you that you desire to be. Finding the right therapist is like finding a pair of black heels. Not just any black heels will do. But when you find them, you just know that your search is over. It is also wise to expect that they won’t always feel comfortable.
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You'll know you have the right therapist when after the first few sessions you feel comfortable enough to tell them things you wouldn't tell anyone else. It's important in therapy for that rapport to be built from the beginning and that you as the client feel comfortable enough to share what you need to share. You shouldn't feel judgement from your therapist and you should be able to trust the advice your therapist provides. Therapy isn't about advice, don't get me wrong, but to truly implement the changes that need to be implemented to improve your life you need to trust the person giving the advice. Your therapist should have your best interest at heart and truly listen to what you have to say. The therapist should be willing to meet you where you are in your world and attempt to see the world from your perspective to truly understand what you have been through. You need to feel comfortable in therapy to be yourself and say what's on your mind. Therapy shouldn't be something that should be dreaded but it can get uncomfortable depending on the depth of the things being discussed.
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Finding the right therapist can be difficult, especially if you've never tried it before. Things to consider are location, availability and what specifically are you looking for. Some practitioners specifically only work with a certain type of issue (i.e eating disorders, adolescents, anger management, life transitions, anxiety...etc) and others can work with a variety of concerns.
As far as training your therapist, you can't. You simply let them know what you are looking to work on or what you think may be an issue for you. Depending on the way they practice(their style of working with clients) is how they will then decide to make a treatment plan that works best for you.
You can always ask them their specialty practice population, the problems they generally help others with and what type of mental health provider they are (Psychologist, social worker, licensed mental health counselor).
Choosing the right therapist can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. I know many people come to therapy with hesitations and potential fears but a therapist should be there to help you along the way and support you as you build a trusting and collaborative relationship. You won't have to "train" your therapist to give you what you need. Through open dialogue and feedback you and your therapist, together, can determine what works best for you. But do remember that being able to trust your therapist to guide and support you is key. So if you're having a hard time connecting with your therapist after 3-4 sessions, you will want to bring it up to them so you can discuss any barriers and if needed, request a referral for another therapist.
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Counselors do not expect to gain your trust during the first session. Trust is earned and gained through the therapeutic process. You may know you have the right therapist if you feel a lack of judgement or even unconditional positive regard for the choices you make in therapy. Good counselors will keep you accountable for your actions without making you feel ashamed of the choice you made.
Counselors already have the training to give you what you need in treatment, and if they don't they are ethically obligated to refer you to a provider that does. That being said, the first few visits with your counselor will be goal oriented- creating realistic and obtainable goals that will allow you and your therapist to see positive change when it is made.
You will know you have the right therapist when you feel at ease and comfortable to share deep feelings.
You do not hold back and feel total acceptance and validation by your therapist. Listen to your feelings and let
them guide your decision.
Your therapist and you will work together to decide what is best for you with regards to the type of treatment, frequency and
duration. It is about collaborating and deciding together on the treatment plan that will help you to achieve your counseling goals.
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The most important thing is it has to feel right. While that sounds vague and not very scientific it is the most important part of therapy. Us counselors call it therapeutic rapport and without it therapy is not very effective. You want to know you can trust your therapist, that you are not being judged, that they respect your privacy, that you feel comfortable talking to them about the good and the bad. You want to feel heard and know you therapist is genuine . Not all therapist are a good fit for everyone. Go with your gut :) As an added note I recommend going with a therapist who has done their own therapy!
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What an important question! I think one of the first things to assess is this: Do you feel comfortable with your therapist? Do you feel like you can talk openly about what's going on in your life without feeling judged? Do you experience your therapy as a safe space to process your thoughts and feelings? Feeling comfortable with your therapist is a crucial factor.
Once you feel comfortable with your therapist, you can have a conversation about what works for you in therapy. Tell your therapist what is helpful, and what you don't find helpful. A skilled therapist can shift his or her style and techniques to meet your individual needs, and this may be an ongoing conversation that the two of you have during therapy.
Oftentimes, there is just an X factor between client and therapist that either makes the relationship work or can make it feel like something is missing. This is no one's fault, it's just that not every therapist will be a perfect match for every client.
If you feel uncomfortable with your therapist or feel like that x factor is missing, it is a good idea to keep searching for therapist who is right for you.
This is a great question. Finding the right therapist can be tricky because you don't really know how someone will be like until you meet them. A few ways to prescreen are to:
- Visit the therapist's website, psychologytoday profile, social media, etc...
- Have a phone call with the therapist prior to your first appointment
Once you meet your therapist it is important to be clear with your wishes and expectations. We are trained in helping you thrive in your life but we cannot mind read so if you don't tell us, we won't know. Don't be shy about what you like and what you don't like. A good therapist will listen to your needs, process them with you, and create a customized plan that works for you and your life. A good therapist will also not take anything you say (even criticism) personally.
Coming to therapy is hard and often times you might not want to go. What makes a good therapist is someone who understands this and tries to make you feel as comfortable as possible while you address uncomfortable topics.
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I believe that the right counsellor will help you feel empowered, supported and understood. You should feel comfortable opening up and not be concerned that they will judge you for what you say or decide to do. I find this important to let my clients know during intake that they will never be judged for the decisions they decide to take while going over options in sessions together with me.
In terms of what you need from treatment, please feel comfortable to open up to your therapist and tell them what you need from them. For example, do you prefer them to challenge you with questions, listen to your story and ask questions throughout or near the end, give you work to do outside of sessions? The therapy sessions will work best for you if you can help them support you in what will work for you.
It can sometimes take a few trials of different therapists to find the right one so please do not give up if you feel disheartened! You should feel proud of yourself for taking the first big step in asking for help, that is not easy to do and you are on the right track already!
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Such a good question! Sometimes, clients will feel like they are not connecting with their therapist and will put it on themselves. In truth, the bond between therapist and client is the #1 predictor of positive outcomes in therapy. Ask yourself these questions: does it feel like this person can come to care about me? Do they remember from week to week what we touched on? Do I feel compassion from this person? Do they allow me my difficult and painful feelings too, or do they try to rescue me?
On your other question - I suggest you ask your therapist what goals he/she has for your treatment. See if they respond with interest and participation, or if they become clinical and distant. Ideally, you and your therapist jointly develop your goals, and check on your progress on a frequent basis. I don't know if you can actually 'train' your therapist - we can be a hard bunch to train! :-) - but you can definitely tell your therapist what works for you, and what didn't work, at the end of each session. How they react will also tell you a lot about whether this is the right person for you.
- 37 views
Stephanie C, MA, LADC, LPCC (pre-licensed)
- 35 views
The client's job is to concentrate on stating the details of their problem and to thoughtfully engage in a dialogue about these areas with the therapist.
The most difficult job for a client is willingness to self-examine, hold oneself accountable for relationship and life situations, and honestly feel the difficult, often painful feelings and insecurities which troubling situations create.
The client doesn't train the therapist.
If you feel you are with a therapist who requires you to train them, then politely decline continuing to pay for their services.
Then find yourself a different therapist who feels secure and knowledgeable enough in their skills to not require training by their client.
Thinking whether or not you have the right therapist can be overwhelming if you are not sure what you want or need. But think of this, you feel safe and comfortable that you share what you’ve never told anybody. You feel understood and listened to. You feel their support. You trust them. Do you believe they can help you? If you do not, then that might make it hard for you to want to open up.
As far as how would you how to train your therapist to help you. If you know what you need all you have to do is share this with your therapist. If you don’t know then therapy is a collaborative process so both you and your therapist will work together to figure out your needs and how to best meet them.
The "right" therapist is a combination of expertise in the areas where you require, and fit as far as how comfortable you feel in speaking and sharing with that person. People generally are quite good at determining whether or not someone fits well with their personality and style; and another key to know whether therapy is working is to ask yourself: "Do I see that changes have come about since working with this therapist?" Do I feel better? Am I reaching goals that I set at the onset of therapy? Are difficult situations becoming easier by how I handle them? Training a therapist really isn't necessary, as all it requires is open and honest communication in order to give effective feedback that will in turn be helpful to you and your goals.
- 54 views
You have the right therapist if you feel safe with that person. Safety consists of feeling that who you are and what you say is valued. The right therapist is not an 'all knowing person you must obey'. He or she is a person with skilled knowledge who respects you as a partner in your self discovery. The right therapist is also one who is kind
- 1490 views
This is a really important question, because you don't want to waste your time and money with a therapist who is not a good fit for you. I think the most important factor that makes a good therapist match is trust-- do you trust this person to be able to help you meet your therapy goals? There are few things you can do upfront to test this out, without spending a dime. First, ask for personal recommendations from friends or others. If you know someone who had a great experience with a certain therapist, you'll feel more confident in that person right off the bat. Second, do your online research. Google the person's name and read everything you can find. Many therapists are starting to develop more of an online presence because they know that's a way future clients can develop trust without even stepping in their door. See if they have a blog, social media posts, or even just read the tone of the content on their website. This might give you a glimpse of their therapy style. Finally, you can call or email potential therapists and provide a brief overview of your presenting problem and describe what you're looking for in your ideal therapist. It sounds like you have a specific idea of what you're looking for... most therapists will be honest if they don't feel they're going to meet your expectations. Some therapists offer free short phone consultations which can help you both decide if you would work well together. Do your homework upfront, and you'll be well on your way to finding a great therapist for you!
- 1991 views
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