Therapy can be a beautiful journey that a person goes on when they decide to take their relationship with themselves one step further. Everyone is dealing with their own situations, problems, and anxieties in life and, with the right therapist, these can be unpacked and healed. So obviously finding the right therapist for you is key. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as it sounds, but when it comes to something as important as finding the right person to help you navigate your past and future, you shouldn't settle for anything less than the person who is perfect for your needs. Here are some ways to know if your therapist is a good one.
1. The Style Is Right
There are many different kinds of therapy. Choosing which one is right for you depends entirely on your personal preference. For example, there is psychotherapy, cognitive, behaviorist, humanist, feminist, and the list goes on. So a good place to start when thinking about whether your therapist is a good fit is to make sure it is the style of therapy that suits you most. After all, if it's not the right style for you then how could the therapist be? Do some research into the different variations, and make sure your world views align.
2. Comforting Professionalism
A therapist is someone we come to when we want things to be smoother in our lives. For this reason, it's important that our therapist sets a nice example of professionalism; being on time, being communicative, and being formal in the right way. We want to feel reassured that they are taking our process seriously, if we don't then the therapist isn't a good fit. It's important to note that therapists are not friends - the relationship is not mutual. Your therapist is there to help you, and you only. If there is any other kind of dynamic taking place, something is wrong.
3. Signs Of A Supportive Process
There will be many stages of the process within therapy, and some of these can feel very vulnerable. Working on building mental health can come from places of hurt and trauma. In order to feel comfortable going to these places, it is important that you have a therapist that makes you feel confident and supported. A good therapist is someone you can rely on and trust. It should be someone who will support you throughout the journey, with the capacity to be there for you exactly as you need them. Just like any intimate relationship in life, you should feel able to be open. If you don't, perhaps this isn't the best therapist for you.
4. Inspires You To Do The Work
Dealing with a mental health condition, or any deep issues, is hard work. It's not just enough to come to therapy once a week, although this is a good and important start. A lot of the work takes place back in ordinary life; dealing with triggers, learning how to create new relationships with ourselves and others, unlearning patterns, growing as a person. In order for this to work, your therapist should be inspiring and encouraging you to make this effort. A good therapist's goal is to give you the tools and independence to be able to take on the world by yourself once the sessions stop.
5. Individual Focus
A great therapist will take into account everything about you that needs to be considered. They should know your background and history, the best way to talk to you so that you understand, and how to give feedback that will be most helpful. A good therapist will be flexible in their approaches, finding the best way to reach you in all circumstances. It is their job to make sure therapy always happens when it needs to... even if right now that means over zoom!