10 Things Therapists Would Love You To Know

Therapy can be mysterious and intimidating, especially if you don’t know what to expect. One thing to remember is that the therapist you are working with is, first and foremost, there to help you with whatever problems you may have. There are many misconceptions about therapists and their practices. To set the record straight, we have comprised a list of things that therapists want you to know.

10-things-therapists-would-love-you-to-know

1.Therapists don’t make tough decisions for you

Many people are sceptical about therapy as they believe once you begin the sessions, you are giving your power away to someone else to make decisions for you. Therapists aim to provide a listening ear for the patient. This allows the client to talk and reflect on their thoughts and feelings. As they become a trusting figure in your life, they won’t be giving you advice, but helping you get to know yourself and the world around you better, thus enabling you to make more informed choices for yourself.

2.Therapists are people too

They have their own problems and this can benefit you. You don’t want a therapist who has a perfect life. Most therapists will have been to therapy at some point in their lives. If they lead a life free from conflict and turmoil, they have never had to figure out the best way to handle a tough personal situation. Now a days, this experience is deemed so vital that most counselling and psychotherapy programs require candidates take part in therapy. Importantly, from a therapists experience, you can benefit from their successful problem solving skills that that have deployed for their own life.

3.Therapists don’t prescribe medication

Typically the job of psychiatrists will involve prescriptions for medication whereas counsellors and psychotherapists will not. However, they can coordinate with another professional to help you start or end a medication, if they feel this may benefit you.

4.You don’t have to be mentally ill to go to therapy

One of the most important issues you may have to face is the stigma that follows therapy and mental illness. Many people attend therapy for all sorts of reasons that aren’t mental disorders. What’s more, there is no shame in seeking help from a therapist if you believe you do have a mental illness. It’s the same as going to a doctor for any other medical condition, yet it is sometimes seen in a completely different light. Many people that could benefit from therapy may feel they are not struggling enough to warrant getting help. If a person feels as though they are not able to live life to the full because of their mental state, there is no harm in seeking help from a therapist.

5.Your therapist isn’t talking about you with their friends at the bar

In many circumstances, it can benefit you when your therapist consults their supervisors about your case. Brainstorming ideas about where best to go next can only be a good thing. However, that being said, as far as professional therapists are concerned, confidentiality is rule number one. Even when discussing cases with a trusted supervisor, the therapist will present a stripped-down version with no identifying information. Patients need to be able to open up during their sessions within a safe environment free from judgement.

6.Therapy is most effective when a two way dialogue is established

‘Talking therapy’ is more than the title suggests. Not only do you talk about your problems, but you need to work towards a solution. Some therapy may involve homework, e.g. tracking your moods or participating in social activities that may have caused you problems in the past. If the client is prepared to talk about what made them come in for therapy and what they’d like to work on, it becomes a much more efficient and beneficial process for them.

7. It doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment

One of the main misconceptions about going to therapy is that people think if you go once, you will be stuck in an endless cycle of therapy sessions for years to come. Therefore people see starting therapy as this potentially huge decision and get scared away from it. In reality, it depends heavily on the individual whether they go to therapy once per week for 15 years or just a handful of times depending on what they are wishing to accomplish. If the client is anxious about their commitment, it is perfectly ok to inquire in the first session about what the therapist thinks is the best course of action for you.

8.You and your therapist have to be compatible

Finding a therapist is easy. What’s more difficult is finding one that is the right ‘fit’ for you. Your therapist could be the most highly qualified professional in the country, but if you don’t feel comfortable around them, in other words the ‘fit’ isn’t right, then your sessions will be far less effective. You need to decide on a personal level, do you think your therapist is easy to relate to and to open up to. Do they have similar views on the best way to go forward for you? In fact this factor of connection between therapist and client has been proved to be the main factor in the success rate of the therapy. The experience of therapy isn’t always going to be enjoyable, but at least you should feel safe and accepted.

9.You can always restart therapy if need be

When the client and the therapists are happy with the progress they have made during their sessions to the extent that they both feel therapy is no longer needed, they may decide to terminate the sessions. However, life can be difficult and even though the client showed fantastic progress, they may not have been able to completely eradicate the problems they had before. It is therefore perfectly ok to go back to your therapist if you feel you need a few booster sessions. It’s all about what works best for you.

 10.Therapists believe what they do is incredibly rewarding

What you take from therapy sessions may stay with you and positively impact the way you live the rest of your life. For therapists, to be involved with that process of effective self improvement is extremely rewarding. Watching someone grow and develop a new understanding of them self is the main reason why they do what they do. It is endlessly interesting and completely enjoyable.

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