Mental health is just as important as physical health, but unfortunately, not everyone agrees with this. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, one in five adults in the United States experiences a mental illness in a given year. If you’re one of those people and you’re looking for help, a good therapist can be a lifesaver. But how do you know if you’re working with a good therapist? And how do you find one that’s right for you? In this article, we will identify seven signs of a good therapist and give you tips on how to find one that’s right for you.
7 Signs of a Good Therapist (for you)
The therapeutic relationship is one of the most important predictors of success in therapy. A good therapist will understand this and work to establish a good rapport with you from the beginning. Before hiring an online therapist to work with, it’s helpful to understand why you are seeking help, what techniques you prefer for therapy, and how you’d like the services delivered. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, look for these seven signs that indicate you’re hiring the right online therapist.
You’re able to afford the sessions, and appointments are easy to keep. First and foremost, before you consider anything else, you have to make sure you can pay for the services and meet with your therapist at agreed days and times. You’ll also want to consider the location of the therapist’s office and whether they offer flexible appointment times. Many therapists offer sliding scale fees based on income, and some even offer free or low-cost services. With technology and security, especially after the pandemic, it’s possible and most times more convenient to hire an online therapist than in-person.
You feel comfortable with the therapist. It’s important to feel comfortable with your therapist. If you don’t, it will be difficult to open up and talk about the things that are bothering you. A big part in feeling comfortable is feeling validated and not judged. A good therapist will validate your feelings and experiences, even if they don’t necessarily agree with them. You will feel like they are listening without judgment based on their responses and feedback to what you’re saying. With this level of comfort, you should be able to be yourself and feel like you can be open and honest with your therapist in a safe and supportive space. With comfort comes trust. You should feel like you can trust your therapist. This means that you feel safe talking to them about personal things, and you know that they will keep what you say confidential.
You feel heard. Your therapist should have good listening skills to not only help understand you and your situation, but to also help you feel completely heard. A good therapist will listen to you and what you’re saying without interruption or interjecting. He or she will take the time to understand your unique experiences and perspectives by actively listening to you, not just with the words you’re saying, but also with your tone of voice, body and facial expressions. They will offer support and guidance based on what you’re communicating, without trying to control the conversation or tell you what to do.
You understand your therapist. Communication is a two-way street. Even though a therapist is a good listener, they should also be able to communicate to you in a way that you understand and makes sense to you. They are effective communicators and can explain complex concepts clearly and effectively. A good therapist will be able to bring up relevant information and topics related to you and your situation in a manner that best resonates with you so that you end each session with more clarity than when you started.
They have the experience and qualifications to help you. When looking for a therapist, you’ll want to make sure they have the experience and qualifications to help you with your specific situation. This can come as training, education, credentials, and experience. You can often find this information on their website or by asking them directly. It’s also important to find honest and verified reviews and testimonials from real clients that have had success working with the therapist. Current reviews are best , but good therapists will have a solid track record of happy clients over time.
You like the therapist’s approach. A therapist’s unique approach includes the modalities they use and the delivery of their services which often incorporates their personality, beliefs, and communication style. A good therapist will use an approach that you feel comfortable with, and that you feel is effective. You may want to ask them about their approach before you commit to working with them. For example, a therapist can incorporate spiritual aspects in their therapy and be gentle in their delivery compared to a therapist that incorporates life coaching techniques and is therefore more high energy and encouraging and motivating. It doesn’t matter what their approach is, as long as you feel like you’re benefiting from the sessions then you’ve found a good therapist for you.
You feel progress. This one is important, otherwise why continue working with the therapist? You should feel like you’re making progress and seeing results from the work you’re doing, but it’s also important to be realistic in the expectations of therapy. Therapy is never a quick fix, but if done with commitment, effort, and time with the right therapist, the effects can be life-long and life-changing. As long as you feel like your time, money and efforts are making progress towards healing and accomplishing your goals, then continue with your sessions because you most likely have found the right therapist for you!
Steps to find the Right Therapist
Nowadays there are a lot of different ways to look for a therapist, especially since most are now offering online sessions. With different options and different techniques that can all potentially help you with healing, it’s best to keep in mind what you’re looking for by keeping the 7 points above in mind, then gauging the client-therapist fit. Consider the following steps when seeking a good therapist for you:
Step 1: Understand why you want to see a therapist. Consider the pros and cons of hiring a therapist online vs in-person, and know how much you can afford to pay.
Step 2: Do a quick review on the different types of psychotherapy approaches, and consider holistic therapy if you want a more whole person approach that can use alternative approaches that consider mind, body, and spirit. It may be helpful to first narrow down your options by considering what specialities and skill sets you require from your therapist, then go from there.
Step 3: Look for a therapist near you or online. Contact a few potential therapists and have at least an ice-breaker conversation before taking the next step. Many therapists offer free initial consultations to see if they can offer the help you’re looking for. One interaction may not be enough to see if the therapist is a good fit, but it can help you understand more about their background, and see if communication, personality, and approach matches what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in a holistic or integrated type of therapy that works with the mind-body connection, consider Nexia Wellness, a new and growing platform with different holistic health and wellness practitioners.
A good therapist is someone you feel comfortable with, and who can help you make progress with your issues and goals. There are many ways to find a good therapist nowadays, from online directories to word-of-mouth. When looking for a good therapist, consider the common psychotherapy approaches or holistic therapy, and keep in mind what you’re looking for by considering the seven points above. With so many options available, taking the time to hire a good therapist that’s right for you is worth the investment. Nexia Wellness is a great option if you’re seeking a holistic health therapist or practitioner that considers the mind, body, and spirit in therapy.