When choosing a therapist or a treatment program, don’t settle. Just because therapists and counselors are trained to help you doesn’t mean that we are all the same. There are so many different modalities and types of therapy to treat similar symptoms. Due to the variety of approaches and styles, it is very important to make sure that you and your therapist are a good fit.
As a client, it is okay to ask questions and “interview” a new counselor. It is okay to see whether or not you feel a connection. You can do your own research about theory and philosophy and see whether a counselor might use a similar modality or approach that fits your needs.
At the same time, make sure to give counselors a chance. The therapeutic relationship is one of the most important aspects of therapy, and yet it takes time to develop. Don’t be afraid to be honest about how you feel about your sessions, and speak up about things you would like to be different with your treatment program.
For example, if your therapist always writes things down during your session, spending the majority of their time looking at a pad of paper, and this makes you feel unheard, then say so. Or perhaps after a few sessions you do not feel a connection with your counselor, speak up and open a dialogue about it. While counselors and therapists work daily in the field, you are the expert in terms of your life. Don’t settle on your emotional, mental and spiritual growth.
— Erin Clark Diehl, MA-DMT, LPC, Therapist