14 Apr How to Pick the Right Therapist
The Right Therapist For You
Therapy is not always a walk in the park and often requires a lot of courage, but with a therapist who “gets you,” this process can be made much easier. By considering your options to improve your life through counselling, you are already ten steps ahead on the path towards healing. Therefore, finding the right person to guide and support you through the process is key. If you’re new to counselling, or even if you’re a seasoned client with many years of therapy under your belt, it’s worth examining what kind of therapist you’re looking for and how you want your therapy to unfold.
Psychologists, therapists, and counsellors, we all have the responsibility to support and advocate for our clients. It is our duty to you to offer an inviting, reliable, and safe space for you to feel comfortable working through tough experiences, and gently challenge you to identify ways in which your thoughts or behaviours might not be supporting your goals. Indeed, part of our role is to help you identify what it is you’re looking to gain while you’re in therapy.
What does a Therapist do for you?
Some therapists will help you learn about the relationship between your thoughts, feelings, and actions using Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT) techniques, others will help you process your thoughts and feelings through present-moment experiences with mindfulness or Gestalt psychotherapy activities, and others might help you identify short-term solutions using Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). Still, others will use art therapy to help you access thoughts and feelings below the surface; some might invite you to engage in free-association of thought as a way to access unconscious desires with a more Freudian psychodynamic practice; and others will work with your brain and its ability to process sensory input to help untangle and integrate traumatic memories using brain-based therapies such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) or Brainspotting.
So, what kind of therapist is right for you? You’re the one doing the hard work that is self-exploration, so take some time to identify your goals.
Feel free to tell your therapist what you want to get out of the process and whether you feel like you’re getting what you came for. Remember, therapy is for you, so don’t be afraid to shop around for a psychologist – you wouldn’t stay with a hairdresser who didn’t treat your hair with respect, so why stay with a psychologist who doesn’t feel like the right fit for your emotional wellbeing?
By: Elizabeth Landau, Provisional Psychologist & Associate MFT