A Good Therapist - part 1
What are the top 10 attributes you should look for when choosing your therapist.
1. Your therapist is trained appropriately and meets all guidelines for providing therapy as well as being a member of a professional body e.g. BACP and UKCP.
2. Your therapist seems competent and experienced enough to help you with your issues and does not appear overwhelmed by them. While it is possible you may see a therapist who does not have the training or experience to help you with your problems, they should always let you know if that is the case.
3. Your therapist explains the therapeutic process and how you can benefit from it, without guaranteeing your success or promising that “everything will be okay.” The bottom line is that no one can make such guarantees—neither the therapist, nor you.
4. Your therapist always maintains professional business practices by keeping the focus on you. They prepare ahead of time for your sessions by reviewing notes or action items from previous sessions. They keep your appointments; are generally on time; and demonstrate they are paying attention by not answering their phone, checking their email, or otherwise becoming distracted during your sessions.
5. Your therapist provides a diagnosis if necessary but remains steadfastly focused on helping you to manage any such diagnosis and get better. The diagnosis remains the backdrop for therapy, not the focus of it.
6. Your therapist understands and communicates to you that there are many effective approaches to therapy, and no one approach can meet the needs of every client. They model open-mindedness about other approaches to therapy.
7. Your therapist explains what psychotherapeutic technique they plan to use, welcomes and answers any questions you may have about a specific technique, and requests your comments for any technique that may be new or different for you.
8. Your therapist is active in the therapy community and regularly interacts with other professionals. It is this regular collaboration with other professionals that keeps your therapist current and able to provide the best therapy for you.
9. Your therapist provides insight and knowledge that you otherwise might not have seen. This insight clearly comes from experience and training.
10. Your therapist maintains a good balance between your thoughts and your feelings without neglecting or diminishing either one.