How Do I Know If My Therapist Is A Good One?
How do I know if my therapist is a good one? There are a multitude of ways to approach therapy and every client/therapist relationship is unique, given that it exists between two individuals, working to accomplish a set of goals that are tailored to the individual client. With this acknowledgment, it can be difficult to determine how to know if your therapist is good and effective at helping you meet your mental health goals. This article will help guide you through a series of questions to ask yourself and/or your therapist to determine if your therapist is good.
Questions to ask Yourself to Know if Your Therapist is Good Is A Good One
The outcome of therapy is not only determined by the effectiveness of a therapist. It is also determined by the willingness of a client to build self-awareness and enact change. When trying to determine if your therapist is good, it is important to first ask yourself the following questions:
Do I feel comfortable with this therapist?
Even if a therapist is entirely capable of helping you meet your mental health goals, it is hard to make progress in therapy if you don’t feel comfortable opening up to your therapist. The relationship between a therapist and a client is still a human relationship, meaning it is not exempt from biases. For example, a woman who has been assaulted by a man, may not feel comfortable seeing a male therapist. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable talking to the therapist you are working with. If the answer to this question is no, explore the reasons why this might be the case and ask yourself what you would need in order to feel comfortable discussing your mental health concerns in the context of therapy.
Does my therapist understand my presenting problem?’
When you are discussing the concerns that brought you to therapy with your therapist, do you feel validated and understood? While working with a therapist you should feel as if your therapist has a working understanding of what you are experiencing. Also you want the therapist to be able to gain insight into your experience.
Am I learning about myself?
This may be the most fundamental question of all the questions in this article. Are you discovering elements of yourself and your life story that you have not explored before? If so, you are likely making progress in therapy. Even if you do not know exactly how you will achieve the goals you set out to achieve at the start of therapy. Self-exploration leads to growth and change. Clinging to old thought patterns and remaining fearful of delving into uncharted emotional territory leads to feeling stuck.
Do I believe I am capable of meeting my mental health goals?
If you are working with a competent therapist, you are open to self-exploration, and you believe you are capable of meeting your mental health goals, you are very likely to succeed. Many people enter into therapy with self-doubt and/or a belief that things will always turn out negatively for themselves. It is imperative that people engaging in therapy believe that they are capable of enacting change in elements of life that are within their control. If this belief does not exist, it is unlikely that change will occur in therapy.
Follow Up Questions To Know If Your Therapist Is A Good One
It can be helpful to ask your therapist questions to determine your progress in therapy. Feel free to ask your therapist the following questions during your next session:
Do you think I am making progress?
Asking your therapist this question can give you insight into your therapist’s perception of your progress in therapy. If you agree with their conceptualization of your progress, you can work together to continue to meet your goals. If you disagree, you are welcome to share your perspective and provide information and insight that may be missing from your experience within and outside of session. Coming to a mutual understanding of your progress can only work to serve you better in the long run.
What can I do to help myself reach my goals?
If you are feeling stagnant and wondering what you can do to better your mental health within and/or outside of session, ask your therapist what you can do to better achieve your goals. Be prepared for your therapist to point out elements of your thought patterns that may be blockages to growth and/or provide you with strategies to develop further self-awareness at home. As long as you believe you are learning and growing, you are likely well on your way to achieve your goals.
At High Expectations Counseling, we are proud to provide mental health counseling in Orlando. We acknowledge that starting therapy is an intimidating process. We want to ensure we make the process as simple and straightforward as possible. If you or someone you know is hoping to start mental health counseling, we are happy to answer your questiions. Our therapists offer free, 15-minute phone consultations. These calls allow you to answer questions and provide you with chance to get to know your therapist. This is done before booking a first session. Feel free to schedule a phone consultation. You can also book a first session by calling us at (407) 967-1327.
Written by: Hannah Mayderry, Registered Mental Health Counseling Intern