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?

Stephanie C
Stephanie C
Stephanie C. Mental Health*Addiction Psychotherapist

 This is a great question. There could be a few ways to “know” that you’ve found a good fit and you and your therapist are therapeutically compatible. First, I would recommend listening to your intuition and pay attention to how you feel, if there are feeling-indicators that you are comfortable, feel safe and willing to open up and share your story.  Second, do you feel the therapist you are considering will support and challenge you in ways you need.  Some therapist offers a free consultation.  This might be a good opportunity to take advantage of.


Stephanie C, MA, LADC, LPCC (pre-licensed) 

www.stephanietherapy.com

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Good question!

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.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Laura  Rodriguez
Laura Rodriguez
Online Counselor

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 information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Dawn M. Reilly, Psy.D.
Dawn M. Reilly, Psy.D.
It's never too late

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.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Michael Greene
Michael Greene
Therapy That Focuses on Root Causes

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

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Janna Kinner
Janna Kinner
Flourish Christian Counseling

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!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Jennifer Molinari
Jennifer Molinari
Hypnotherapist & Licensed Counselor

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.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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