Finding the right therapist is like finding a long-lasting comfortable pair of shoes. Healing of the mind takes time which is right therapy is never a quick fix and it often takes several sessions to understand progress. Finding a responsible therapist who will support us through this process is comforting.
Therapy is a process, a journey of self and exploration, healing and growth. finding the right therapist makes this journey easier and rewarding in the long run. Your relationship with your therapist often referred to as the therapeutic alliance, will most likely be determining factor in how helpful therapy is for you.
Edward Bordin, one of the first researchers to examine the effect of a therapeutic alliance, found that the alliance isn’t just composed of a bond between the therapist and the patient. It also has to do with agreement on the goals of therapy and the methods used to reach those goals. (Bordin, 1987)
HOW TO FIND A GOOD THERAPIST?
1. Choose your therapy type – There are many different kinds of therapy such as CBT, DBT psychoanalytic therapy and so on. Choose one that aligns with your goals and find information about them before deciding.
2. Figure out your budget
3. Tap into your network – referrals are a great way to find a therapist. If you are comfortable ask your friends and family members if they can recommend anyone. Connect with organizations and other professionals you know.
4. Check your therapist credentials to make sure they are qualified and they follow guidelines and a code of ethics.
5. Ask some questions and doubts that you have before you finalize your therapist. Such as how they help people who are looking to reach goals similar to yours.
6. Consider factors like gender and age. Understand what kind of therapist you are looking for a -a male or a female, an older therapist or a young adult and so on.
7. Figure out what you want from therapy. What is your main goal? If you are not sure what to focus on but you know you want to talk with someone that’s ok. A good therapist will help you identify goals and work towards them with therapy.
SIGNS YOU HAVE FOUND THE RIGHT THERAPIST
1. You feel heard and understood- The right therapist will make sure they provide a comfortable environment for you to dive deep into yourself. They would ensure a judgement free zone so that you can speak your mind and all your words are acknowledged and accepted.
2. You feel a sense of security with them – They do not invalidate your identity and believes but instead work around them.
3. You are in control – The right therapist will not dictate you a set of rules to follow to lead the perfect life but they would instead nudge you in the right direction and give you a couple of new perspectives to consider. But ultimately, you are in charge.
4. They are honest with you- The right therapist will be honest with their feedback and not give you false hope or aspirations.
5. You feel better after the sessions- Sometimes a session will be difficult and when you leave, you won’t feel good. However, when you leave a session, if you almost always feel good and light, you know you’re in the right direction.
If you feel like therapy is not working for you there would be a high chance that you just haven’t found the right therapist or the right form of therapy. Do not give up, there is always help out there for you.