Is Your Therapist the Right Fit?
Beginning the process of finding a therapist is – well, it’s a lot of things. Easy? No. Fun? Not really.
Finding the right therapist can be a scary, overwhelming, and confusing process, and finding a therapist who’s the right fit is an important part of therapy — so what should you look for in a therapist?
Here are three things to look for as you’re working with your therapist:
1. You feel safe.
This is a tough one to explain, and here’s why: some people have experienced things in life that have caused them to generally feel unsafe and distrustful with others. This is understandable, given the nature of trauma, broken trust, and attachment wounds.
In general, however, it’s important that you feel a sense of safety with your therapist — or at least, feel like you can build that trust and safety over time. So what does safety mean, exactly? Safety means being in a space where you feel accepted, supported, and free of judgment. If any of these things are amiss, try talking to your therapist about it and see if it’s something that can be repaired.
2. You feel encouraged, yet challenged.
While you’re working with your therapist to gain insight, skills, and make changes, it’s important that you feel encouraged by your therapist. Does your therapist recognize your strengths and continue to encourage you through the rough patches?
Being challenged by your therapist is also a key factor to successful therapy. You ideally want your therapist to be willing to challenge you in a helpful, supportive way. If you’re engaging in patterns and behaviors that are unhealthy or aren’t helping you get to where you want to be, you want your therapist to help you see these so you can work through them.
3. You’re seeing change.
It’s crucial to work with a therapist who is supporting you in making positive changes. Change comes in different forms and different stages: gaining insight, changing thoughts and behaviors, feeling less anxious, gaining confidence – whatever change is to you, are you moving closer toward your goals? Is your therapist working collaboratively with you to gauge your progress in therapy?
Therapy is hard work, and change is hard work. While change isn’t linear, it’s important that your therapist is checking in with you about the changes you’re seeking in therapy.
Finding the right therapist is like finding the right pair of running shoes – if you’re going to go the distance, you’ve gotta make sure it’s the right fit. The good news is, there are many highly trained and qualified therapists that can help support you as you work toward your goals.
If you’re looking for a therapist but you’re not sure where to start, make sure you check out this step-by-step guide on finding a therapist in Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN.
If you’re a young adult looking for a therapist in St. Paul, MN, click here to learn more about me and what it’s like working with me in therapy.