Unfortunately, not all therapists are the same, or even of the same quality. When you walk into a particular McDonald’s, Starbuck’s, or Home Depot, you can pretty much expect to have the same or similar experience as at any other location. Same is true, although less so, of walking into any doctor’s office. You know the drill, and there are few, if any, surprises. Not true of a therapist’s office.
To guide you in knowing, albeit after the fact, whether or not you are working with a good therapist, here are some important things to watch for:
10. You have a real sense that your therapist actually heard what you just said.
9. You are surprised that your therapist remembers stuff about you (e.g., your dog’s name, where you went for vacation, etc.).
8. You feel just a little less anxious each time you have a session.
7. It shocks you that you just revealed something shameful about yourself and your therapist did not judge you in any way.
6. You often leave your therapy sessions feeling a sense of lightness and/or relief.
5. You begin to be aware of more of your present moments, actually experiencing your self, your body, your thoughts in “real time.”
4. You experience, maybe for the first time, that someone (your therapist) actually cares about you.
3. You begin to think of yourself as actually having a relationship (albeit an unusual one) with your therapist.
2. You become more aware of body sensations and notice some bodily “shifts” as part of your therapy process. In other words, your body is changing as well as your mind.
And finally, the number one way to know you have a good therapist:
1. You wake up one morning and realize you feel better.
Hope this helps. Let me know your thoughts on this list. Thanks!
Copyright 2013 Daniel J. Metevier