Choosing a therapist is no big deal nowadays. You’ll find a therapist, or call her a counselor in colloquial terms, in every nook and corner, but the question is whether you have found the right one for yourself. Whether the one you have chosen is perfect as per your concerned issues? Being a layman, obviously, you are not aware of the parameters that tell you when you should consult a therapist and that’s justified! If you would know everything about your health, then what do we have doctors for? So let me help you out!
Like I have mentioned earlier, it is easy to call up a number and book your appointment with the therapist, but perhaps difficult to know if she is the correct counselor (therapist) for you. As a counselor, I list down 8 questions that can help you in choosing the right person in my article.
Moving on to the 8 crucial questions!
- How do you feel when you sit with a therapist?
Now, this must be a million dollar question for you but trust me, it is the most important question that you must consider and answer it for yourself. Ask your inner self; do you feel at ease when you are with the therapist? Are you comfortable to open up and have a brief conversation? Is the therapist down to earth and easy to relate or is she rigid and emotionally hard? Is she arrogant or soft-spoken? If all these questions release a negative feel in you then you are sure to opt out. There is no hard and fast rule that once you choose a therapist, that’s it. But at the same time, you need to give a check to yourself as well. If you turn negative for every therapist you come into contact then the issue lies with you and you need to confront your fears.
- What approach does the therapist take for healing?
Is your therapist’s approach towards you cold and calm or is it warm and compassionate? Does she understand that every human is different and need to be dealt with a different approach? Does your therapist believe that genetic disorders affect a person, but you are not to be blamed? Experienced therapists or counselors clearly give you a knowhow about their healing method and how do they approach it.
- Does your therapist undergo regular consultation?
A wise therapist will undergo regular consultation with her peers or fellow consultants to seek the necessary advice on some matters, get a reality check at times on issues which are complicated. Even the best of therapists consult their fellow mates or mentors for feedback.
- What does your therapist support? Dependence or independence
Good therapy will make you independent and allow you to overcome your shortcomings on your own. Providing the answers on a platter to the patient does not signify the correct method to heal a person. Allow the patient to look for the answers themselves. A good therapist will make you realize and fight over your inhibitions on your own. Always remember, support and dependency are two different concepts altogether.
- Does your therapist have the experience on the issue for which you are undergoing therapy?
You need to notice whether your therapist really possesses the knowledge of the particular problem or is she just beating around the bush. The more experience the therapist has on the issue, the more expertise they develop on it which is surely beneficial for you.
- Does your therapist make promises or guarantees?
A good therapist does not guarantee you healing but promises to show you the way to make an effort towards the healing. Healing requires effort and time; it usually does not happen overnight. You are different from the rest, it thus depends on how much effort you make and how deep your wounds are. That, trust me, no one can understand better than you! There are a number of factors responsible for this healing and it’s not always possible to have all the factors present at all times. So, you have to make do with whatever is available.
- Therapeutic Alliance between the client and the counselor
The relationship between the client and the therapist (counselor) is deemed to be strictly professional and not have any other angle to it. It is only then, you will be able to unburden yourself to her. No attachment should be there between the two, especially emotional or otherwise.
- Does your therapist/counselor have the necessary certifications and license?
Almost all the states have regulated licensing board to license therapists, counselors, clinical social workers and other types of mental health providers. Each provider has a license number you can look up with the licensing boards. Most of the licensing boards also require displaying a copy of the active license in the office. Please be sure to check on the certifications and license of your chosen therapist.
Hope you have taken a note of the questions whose answers you need to know before consulting a therapist. Share your experiences, if you have any, of selecting or hiring a therapist in the comment section below. Awaiting eagerly for your response!