How To Find The Right Therapist & Make The Most Out Of Therapy & Counseling?

You can successfully deal with the mental as well as emotional problems if you find the right therapist and undergo proper therapy. In order to reap the maximum benefits out of it, it is necessary to choose the right therapist. He or she should be someone whom you trust or make you feel secure and has enough experience to make certain changes to lead a better life. A good therapist will help in creating self-awareness and become stronger as well. In order to bring the most out of your therapy session, you should choose to actively participate in it.

How to Find the Right Therapist & Make the Most Out of Therapy & Counseling?

What are the Advantages of Therapy and Counseling?

There are multiple advantages of therapy and counseling. Speaking about your feelings and thoughts in the company of a supportive person will eventually make you feel better. It can be healing for you and you can also speak about the things that are troubling your mind. It feels good to be heard when speak about the feelings that are troubling your mind. To know that someone else already cares about your feelings, can be soothing to mind.

It can be helpful if you speak about your problems with the friends and family members. At times, you often need help from those people who are working around you. When you need some extra support, an expert guide, speaking to a therapist or seeking an outside perspective can be of great help. Therapists are trained in a professional way to listen to all the things that the patient is speaking and help them to find the cause of the problem, overcome all the challenges and make some changes in your life as well.

You do not have to be diagnosed with a health problem that is mentally associated and benefit them from a therapy as well. Most people seek therapy for handling their problems in the relationship, stress at workplace, self-doubt and other problems like divorce.

General Assumptions People make about Counseling and Therapy

There are many assumptions that peoples make about therapy and counseling, some of the common myths are given below:

  • I do not need the help of a therapist. I am efficient enough in solving all my problems on my own. We all have our blind spots and my intelligence has nothing to do with the problem that I am facing – A good therapist will not tell you about the things that are good or bad. He or she will only guide you to live the life in a better way so that you will be able to handle all the things in a better way.
  • Crazy people need therapy. Therapy is for those who have self-awareness and realize that they need a hand that can help them in learning new things and techniques that can make you feel emotionally balanced.
  • All that therapists demands is to speak is about my parents. When family relationships are explored, it can help in clarifying the behaviors and this might not be the focus of the therapy. The major or basic focus is for you to make some changes in life and alter the unhealthy patterns that you are following. Being a part of therapy does not mean holding your parents responsible or relying on your past.
  • Therapy is self-pitying. It is for those who whine and complain about their problems in life – A therapy can be equally fruitful and grant you improvement if you take part in it. Your therapist will help you in handling, but ultimately, you are the one who needs to understand things and take active participation in it.

How Do I Spot the Right Therapist for My Self?

You may need some time and work to find the right therapist, but in the end it will seem to be worth every effort you made. The connection that you maintain with your therapist is of prime importance. You need someone with whom you can build a trustworthy relationship and feel comfortable while sharing all the secrets as well as difficulties that are intimate.

Therapy will not seem to be effective if you do not share this bond of trust and you may have a hard time to cope with it as well. This is why; you must take some time in the beginning and ask questions to the therapists that you are looking to rely on at all times.

  • Experience does matter. One of the primary reasons why you must seek a therapist is that they are experienced enough. Look for a therapist who is experienced enough to treat all the problems that you are facing. Therapists tackle certain issues that you are facing regarding depression or eating disorders as well. They will have a clear idea about the issues you are facing and provide you insight for tackling them easily. For tackling the issues with PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) or trauma, you will have to seek an expert.
  • Learn about various orientations in treatment. Most therapists often work with a combination of various orientations. Thus, it is good to know about the various types of treatments as it can have an impact on your health and the therapist will be able to relate well.
  • Look for licensing. Credentials are not the only thing that is needed to be a professional therapist. You must make sure that the therapist has a license and is complying with the state regulatory board. Also check for any complaints that are registered against the therapist.

What are the Different Types of Therapies and Therapists Available?

There are multiple therapies available based on the type of illness. The relationship that you and your therapist share is of utmost importance as compared to the philosophy behind it. Most therapists do not limit themselves to a particular therapy; instead they use different therapies that will generate better results in favor of the situation. This also offers many tools that can be used by the therapists.

  • Personal or Individual Therapy: This therapy helps in dealing with the feelings and thoughts that are negative as well as self destructive or harmful. It may also help in dealing or dig deep into the causes that lead to the problems that a person is facing. The primary focus is to relieve the stress and make the person feel easy at the moment.
  • Family Therapy: A family therapy involves handling more than a single member in a family at the same time. The therapist will help in resolving the problems and improve the communication between the members. It is often based on the outline that the family works as a system. If the role of one family member changes, it can affect other behaviors as well.
  • Group Therapy: Group therapy is often led by a professional therapist and it includes a group of professionals who work on the problems like depression, anxiety, substance abuse and others. Group therapy can be a place where one can practice all the dynamics of common problems that are socially prevalent. At such times, people will get inspiration in dealing with all the problems that they have been struggling with for a long time.
  • Marriage Counseling or Couples Therapy: Couples therapy takes place when two people and it helps to tackle the differences and communicate in a better way.

Different Types of Counselors and Therapists

There are multiple types of counselors and therapists available. The types of mental health professionals that are available may help one in dealing with various mental health issues that belong to different life perspectives. Most of these qualified professionals are part of medical institutions. You may also check with the state regulatory board that is operating in your area to know more about the license that the therapist is holding. The mental health professionals that are commonly known are:

  • Psychologist: They hold a doctoral degree in psychology and hold a license in clinical psychology as well.
  • Psychiatrist: A physician with M.D. or D.O. and has experience in handling mental health. As they are doctors, they can at times prescribe certain medications.
  • Social worker: Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) holds a master’s degree in social work and has other training as well.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist: Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT) hold a Master’s degree in family and marriage therapy along with a clinical experience.

What Can I Anticipate from Therapy and Counseling Sessions?

The therapy or counseling sessions can be structured in a different way by different therapists. However, there are certain similarities observed as well. The sessions may normally last for an hour and take place once a week. When you have to undergo an intensive therapy, it may be scheduled more often. The session is usually conducted in the office of the therapist, but some also conduct it in nursing homes, hospitals as well as at home.

  • Expect a good rapport between you and the therapist that you have chosen. When in doubt, you do not have to settle for a therapist who does not fit well. You may have to see different therapists before relying on the right one.
  • Therapy works like a partnership. You and your therapist should contribute to the healing process. You are not expected to recover on your own and your therapist cannot contribute to it alone. That is why; it should work in a group or collaboration.
  • Therapy may not feel pleasant at all times. There may be frustrations, memories that are painful and other feelings that are surfacing your mind. At such times, be sure to communicate with your therapist and register about your feelings.
  • Therapy should make you feel protected. There might be times when you will feel challenged or inability to tackle unpleasant feeling. In the end, a therapy should make you feel that you are in a safe place. When you are clouded by overwhelming thoughts, talk to your therapist.

How Can I Make the Most out of Therapy and Counseling?

To make your therapy or counseling fruitful, you need to understand about the practices that are undergoing in your sessions and implement them in your real life. A specific duration of therapy session is not going to fix your problems unless you use the things in actual practice. The following things will help you in reaping the maximum benefits from your therapy and counseling:

  • Make healthy changes when it comes to your lifestyle. You can improve your mood and emotionally healthy by doing many things that actually belong to your daily life. Get enough sleep and exercise well. When in need, reach out for help. Eat a balanced diet and make some time for relaxing.
  • Do not expect the therapist to tell you about everything. You share a partnership with your therapist and it can help you in recovery. He or she will guide you and give suggestions. Only you can make the changes and follow them in real.
  • Commit to your treatment. Never skip therapy sessions. If your therapist assigns you some work amidst the session, complete it. Be sure to speak about the reluctance to your therapist.
  • Share your feelings with your therapist. You will be able to reap maximum from your therapy if you honestly participate in it. If you feel ashamed or embarrassed, there is no shame is speaking about it to your therapist.
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 12, 2019

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