Each of us, at some point in life, may feel depressed and need help. Relationship problems, losing a job, the death of a loved one, depression, stress, and burnout – in these and other cases, a therapist’s help can be the beginning of constructive life changes. Psychotherapy is helping millions of people lead healthier and more productive lives.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy specialist, psychologist Anna Yatsushko told how to understand whether a psychotherapist is right for you or not.
“Sometimes finding a therapist does not mean finding a suitable specialist for you personally,” Anna explained and named the main signs by which one can understand that a specialist is trustworthy.
Read also: Why You Shouldn’t Be Ashamed To Visit a Psychotherapist
1. Education, experience, and level of competence. When meeting, it is important to ask the questions you are interested in regarding the preparation and work of the therapist:
- Where and what education did he receive? Does he have additional education?
- By what approach (method of psychotherapy) does it work? Has this approach been proven to work with your problem?
- What issues does he specialize in?
- Does the therapist belong to any professional association of psychotherapists?
2. Undertaking personal therapy and supervision by a therapist is a prerequisite for effective professional activity.
3. The venue for the sessions should be a specially equipped room for consultations.
4. The therapist sets clear goals at the beginning of work with the client. Remember that certain goals take longer to achieve than others. You and your counselor must decide at what point you expect to see progress.
5. Payment for consultations. If the therapist suits you as a specialist, but his work’s payment level does not match your capabilities, say so. He may recommend a colleague to you.
What to look for during psychotherapy
- Do you feel comfortable and at ease? Do you feel heard when you speak? Is it easy for you to communicate?
- How does the therapist behave during the sessions? Is he “down to earth,” or is he acting cold and emotionally detached? Are they “in the clouds” or overly emotional and empathic?
Remember, the psychotherapist does not give advice, does not “stick labels,” does not call for radical actions (quit, divorce, etc.)
- Can the therapist be clear about how he plans to help you solve the problem?
Ideally, the therapist draws up a treatment plan – a basic roadmap for his approach and can give a rough idea of the work duration.
- Is the therapist open to feedback? Can he admit mistakes? Does the therapist encourage addiction or independence?
The adage says that therapy is most effective when it helps people learn to fish independently rather than relying on someone else’s catch. If your therapist provides emotional support without encouraging you to use your own resources, you will become dependent on him. Thus, it helps you feel better, but you lose the opportunity to be independent and take responsibility for yourself.
- Does your counselor adhere to ethical principles regarding issues such as relationship boundaries, dual relationships, and confidentiality?
There are several rules for psychologists designed not to harm clients. The most important thing is the ban on double relationships. When the therapist enters into a therapeutic relationship with a client, he should not have any other connection with that person.
Also read: Sure Signs It Is Time To See a Psychotherapist
According to Anna Yatsushko, visiting a psychotherapist for the first time is a little exciting for many of us, and this is normal.
It is important to distinguish between anxiety and antipathy. There is absolutely no rule dictating that you continue to work with the person you dislike.
At the same time, according to the psychologist, if you find yourself reacting negatively to every therapist you come across, then the problem may be in you. It is worth trying to agree to work with a counselor to overcome your fears before starting therapy.
“Remember that no psychotherapist will give you a recipe for happiness. Changing yourself and your life is the client’s job, and you can do it. The therapist’s task is to help outline the trajectory of change,” Anna concluded.
Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff
Sources: Today Lifestyle