A Good Therapist - part 2
Following on from the top 10 attributes when choosing your therapist, we take a look at communication and client focus.
Effective communication and the relationship between you and your therapist are probably the most important and indicative factors in whether or not your therapy will be successful. While everyone has different communication styles, it is the therapist’s role to be clear throughout the counselling process. A key part of effective communication is the focus of the therapist—which should always be on you. The foundation for good therapy exists when:
1. Your therapist explains right up front how they can help you. They give you concrete examples of what they will do, what you will need to do, and how you will know the therapy is progressing.
2. Your therapist regularly checks your progress against your goals and helps you to understand where you are and where you may still need to go.
3. You feel a connection with your therapist that shows they really believe in you and in the goals you have set for your life.
4. Conversations with your therapist seem natural and balanced. They neither talk too much nor too little. They use terms and language you understand and explain any concepts that may be difficult or confusing.
5. Your therapist helps you to see your own role in your level of happiness and recognizes that, while some people in your life may influence you negatively, blame is a destructive force and cannot be part of healthy choices.
6. Your therapist balances the day-to-day needs of managing your symptoms using effective coping skills with the need to work through and resolve the underlying root causes of those symptoms. By focusing on both, they are better able to help you progress and move forward than by putting all therapeutic attention on one or the other.
7. Your therapist models the behaviour they are trying to help you with. They are thoughtful with comments and responses. They remain calm and speak at a moderate volume and are not antagonistic or aggressive with you.
8. It is clear that your therapist’s sole purpose is to help you—without focusing on meeting their own needs, talking excessively about themselves, disclosing personal information that does not hold some therapeutic value for you, or enlisting your assistance with anything that is outside the purpose of helping you.
9. Your therapist recognizes they may not have all of the answers or be able to help you in some circumstances. They freely acknowledge any mistakes, welcome your honest feedback, and use these as learning experiences in order to better help you and understand your needs in the future.