It’s not an irrelevant thing to put some time and feelings into the search for the right therapist. After all, you’re paying that person to guide you through the most sensitive conditions for you. If you feel like the therapies are not working for you, you should ask yourself what is the case: is it coming from you, from the therapist or both? Are your inner beliefs and assumptions limiting the whole process of development, and disturbing the connection between you and your therapist? Let’s start with the first question when searching for the right person.
What is a “good therapist”?
If you’re looking for the perfect one, and the one who makes no mistakes, you can just stop right there and forget about it. There is no such a thing called the perfect therapist. It’s normal thing that the therapist might make a mistake. In fact, some of the most useful therapeutic experiences can be the result of these mistakes and imperfections, if the therapist carries them with self-indulgence and compassion for the client’s experience. The way your therapist handles your truth is the best sign that person is safe to work with. The good therapist can make mistakes but will be interested in your feelings, experiences and your reality, no matter what else. Also, a quality of a good therapist is to be willing “not to know” – not to behave like s/he has all the answers. It’s important that s/he is honest and ready to change the plan for your development in order to meet up with you on the same page, and continue working with you side by side.
Finding the right therapist
- Make a list of qualities that you are looking for a therapist, and write down questions you want to ask. Also, make sure you know what type of personality you’re looking for, what are your needs, what are the situations you’re dealing with, what do you want to handle within yourself, what would make you insecure or secured…
- Interview few therapists. You’re actually employer in this case, and you pay for them. Feel free to talk with few of them, and let yourself feel if that person is right for you. Give yourself a chance to be a creator of your life, and choose a right therapist, instead of picking the first one from the list.
- Even the experience with a “bad therapist” can benefit you. You can learn to step up for yourself, learn how to say no, learn to trust your intuition…
Questions you should ask yourself if the therapies are not working
– Do I give myself completely to these therapies? Maybe you’re trying to hide something from the past because of the fears of judgment. Maybe you’re even not sure what do you want and expect. Make it clear to yourself that everything needs to be transparent, and gain mutual trust if you are to expect any progress.
– Did I try to say to my therapist about my fears, doubts, and judgment (about the therapies or about the therapist)? Make sure you’re ready to say a real opinion about the therapies to your therapist. If you’re not feeling safe to express your true self, something is missing there.
– Am I ready to say, to my therapist, what hurts my feelings? For example: “when you said that, I felt hurt, angry, scared, criticized…”
– Do I try to be a “good client”? If your focus is to be accepted and liked by the therapist, instead of being your true self, you should wonder where is that leading to.
– Am I worried about my therapist’s feelings? Holding your real thoughts and emotions cannot benefit you. You’re paying that person to be your support, not to bite yourself from within to keep other’s feelings “safe”. Ask yourself why are you even doing that. That can be a good material for your next therapy.
– Do I feel, if I leave, that there is not going to be anyone left to support me? It’s surely not a good thing to put up with a therapist who is treating you bad.
– Do I trust this therapist? Do you?
– Do I want from the therapist to read my mind, and feel what I’m feeling? Ask yourself are you willing to express yourself what is bugging you. The signs that show that it’s time for you to change your therapist The therapist:
- forces you to feel bad, guilty and its judging you;
- starts calling you to parties, dinners, sexual intercourse…;
- accepts healing or treatments from you;
- talks about its private problems;
- refuses to take responsibility for its own mistakes;
- says “you need me” like it’s the only person who can help you.
I hope this helps you to have a clearer picture when it comes to these first steps of your self-development. It’s a foundation to the process ahead of you. This also refers to life coaches and similar professions in this niche. For more information about this subject, you can read my post about the signs you should be aware of when dealing with a therapist or life coach.