What Makes a Good Therapist?
If and when you enter into therapy, by far the most important thing is your relationship with the therapist. A good relationship means almost certainly that the therapy is working. The opposite applies in a bad relationship. And if that is true, how does one know they are in a good relationship? What makes a good therapist?
Experts advise patients on certain things. First any form of therapy is a business transaction. If you enter into any business deal and you are unhappy you will want to discuss the matter and possibly remove yourself from the deal. The same applies to therapy.
Because it is such a personal and often emotionally-taxing time, you must get the right sort of therapy from the right therapist. The tip is to trust your instincts. Listen to your inner voice. Do you have a nagging doubt about the therapy? Are you unhappy with your progress? Is the attitude of your therapist not to your liking?
As mentioned there are a number of possibilities. You can end the relationship and move to another therapist. Or you could raise your concerns with your therapist and see if the discussion helps improve matters. You are not advised to continue being unhappy or concerned.
A good therapist is a good listener. This is a major part of their occupation. Of course they will have knowledge and skills and be able to apply these in order to help you and your condition. But throughout they will be good at listening, at encouraging you to open up and talk about your concerns.
Trust is another ingredient of a good therapist. You must feel free to provide any relevant materials and trust your therapist to work solely on your interests. It works the other way too as the therapist trusts you to be honest and open at all times.
A good therapist is a positive person who will discover your strengths and use them to help you overcomes your weaknesses. The therapist will probably have a method of operation – and you can ask about that before you start your sessions – but who will not be rigid in their views and ideas.
Respect is vital. A good therapist will respect you and your situation. He or she will be on time every time and give you their full attention throughout your session. You will be made to feel you are important simply because you are.
Honesty means that a therapist will own up to not being an expert or not being experienced in a certain field or fields. Most therapists specialize in an area or a group of people such as teenagers. If your therapist doesn’t have experience in your area of need or doesn’t often work with people of your age, then they will say so and whether or not you continue will be your decision based on the full facts as told to you by the therapist.
A good therapist is not a machine and will not hesitate to challenge you or place you in a position where you need to work hard to resolve an issue. It’s called tough love but is always underpinned with genuine care and concern for your future health and happiness.
Here are additional resources you might be interested in:
What is Marriage and Family Therapy?