How to know if you have a “good” therapist

Image of the article titled How to know if you have a “good” Therapist

Photo: firecrackers (Shutterstock)

Good therapists are there, and we have some tips for finding one. You will also want to know if the type of therapy your therapist’s offerings are tailored to the issues you are going through. But once you’ve taken the step of getting to know yourself, you may ask yourself: HHow can I to know that I found a good one? Here are some questions to ask yourself.

They must be professional in terms of confidentiality and ethics

A good therapist will explain their policies to you and have you sign or verbally agree to an informed consent agreement. Failure to do so is a major red flag, according to Psych Central. This is considered ethical for a therapist to disclose information in a small number of scenarios, including if they suspect abuse or have been subpoenaed.

A therapist should also treat clients as clients and not as friends. Being friendly is good; giving special treatment or taking close friends or family members as clients is not.

If you are unsure what kind of behavior is considered professional, you can consult the appropriate organization’s code of ethics. Here are the codes for American Psychological Associationthe American Psychiatric Associationand the National Association of Social Workersto name a few.

Their approaches must be evidence-based

You are not here just to talk about your feelings, but to work through the issues that brought you to the therapist’s office in the first place. A good therapist will use one or more established techniques, several of which we explain here. Its good ask your therapist what types of therapies they use and what science knows about the effectiveness of these types.

It’s also fair to expect a bit of scientific process in the therapy itself :Hhow the therapy worked so far? Does your therapist give you realistic expectations and are they willing to refine their approach if things don’t go as planned?

They should make you feel supported and accepted

Therapy isn’t always easy or fun, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re being judged or have your concerns ignored. A good therapist treats you as an equal, rather than taking the tone of the doctor who knows best, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They might express concerns about the decisions you make, but you shouldn’t feel like they’re judging you or dismissing your feelings. If you leave a date feeling insulted or ashamed, something is wrong.

They should challenge you sometimes

A good therapist can show acceptance and compassion for you as a person, while helping you through situations that may be uncomfortable. You might have “homework” that takes you out of your comfort zone. It’s a good thing, as long as it happens in a proper, safe, and supportive way.

Good therapy encourages you to become more independent and take more and more control of your own situation as you develop the skills to do so. “All therapy, in a fundamental sense, is self-therapy”, says a Psychology Today guide. You should feel less dependent on your therapist over time, not more.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.