Finding a good therapist
It’s important to have good support as you wind your way along the journey of life. Following your passions and inner knowing inherently takes you through the crucible of personal growth, and that process is a whole lot easier with a stellar cheer squad around you.
Professional practitioners are an important part of that cheer squad. They bring the benefit of considerable professional training, impartiality, and total dedication to your needs. They’ve got your best interests at heart, and believe in your ability to take care of your own wellbeing, given the right supportive circumstances.
So how to go about finding a good therapist? Beyond the obvious qualifications and location, how to find the practitioners that fit your needs like a glove, and how to drop easily into a productive working relationship with them? Here are 5 key areas to explore.
1. Explore their story
Learning who a therapist is as a person can be immensely reassuring. They’re supporting you not only through their professional skill & expertise in their field, but through their unique perspective and wisdom as a human being. Hearing a bit about their life journey, personal passions and life goals can tell you much about how they’ll support you and the different ways you can draw on them.
You might like to ask some questions – how did they come to their field, and why are they doing the work? What are their personal motivations and callings? There’s often a very personal and inspiring story behind these questions, since good therapists are often doing their work in response to a personal calling.
2. Get some connection time
Building relationships takes time, and solid support relationships are no different. Dipping your toe in the water to get to know a practitioner up-front is a brilliant starting point. Make contact and have a chat about what’s going on for you and how you were hoping they’d be able to help you.
Even if they’re not the right support person for you at this point, they’ll often be able to point you in a constructive next direction, and you’ll most likely get some extra clarity and encouragement just from the informal chat. And if they’re the perfect therapist for you, you’ll be off to a flying start because you both know each other a little even before you start working together.
Want to explore what this process is like? You might like to book a 15-minute complimentary Initial Consultation now and explore support directions.
3. Understanding what the world looks like through your eyes
Good therapists listen. They’re more interested in understanding what’s happening in your world than they are in telling you what to do.
Your world is incredibly personal and intricate, and finding the way forward for you, no matter what the current challenge or therapy, is a collaborative effort. A good practitioner skillfully interweaves her or his knowledge & guidance into the overall health direction that you need to go, and the only way to do that is to understand intimately what your unique perspective on life is. And not only does that require deep listening, it also needs to be checked back with you, to make sure it’s accurate. So you’ll know how the practitioner is understanding you, because they’ll be telling you – getting this reflection back can be immensely helpful in its own right, and can give a deep sense of reassurance, to feel really understood and heard.
How often do you get full personal focus entirely on you and what’s happening in your world? For most of us, that’s not often!
4. Believing in you
A good therapist sees you as whole, complete and a totally worthwhile person, right now. There is nothing inherently wrong with you, and no reason to feel embarrassed or guilty in any way. There will be no judgement, and no sense of “good enough” (or “not good enough”). There is no need to “fix” you through the work you do with the practitioner.
This doesn’t mean that your problems and challenges aren’t real, it simply means that the practitioner sees you as competent, resourceful and complete. What’s needed is to work together to create the right circumstances to move through your problems – the practitioner supports you to uncover the solutions that are right for you. It’s a beautiful thing to be so fully affirmed and trusted!
So expect to feel uplifted, empowered and competent when you’re with your practitioner.
5. Asking for what you want
A good support relationship is collaborative, and focussed entirely on you, so it’s entirely welcome for you to drive it. If you share your hopes and expectations of the therapy process, it helps a practitioner understand you and your needs much more clearly. The practitioner can then support you better, either by focussing more strongly on the areas you identify, or by letting you know what the limitations of her or his practice is, and offering referrals to others who can help instead.
Good therapists also immensely value your feedback on your experience with her or him, regardless of whether it seems “positive” or “negative”. A practitioner’s goal is to help and support you and others, and any information on how that can be done better is valuable. Even if it feels negative, passing it on can help change practice and help others, and most practitioners are trained to receive feedback objectively, so concerns for them ‘feeling bad’ aren’t needed. Plus, expressing yourself and your authentic experience is a very affirming action – take the opportunity where it’s welcomed so freely!
Enjoy the support relationship!
These are some especially powerful ways to find a good therapist, and to help you build a strong support relationship together. The better your support network, both professional and informal, the more easeful your journey as you pursue your holistic health and life purposes.
Enjoy the relationship, and the ever-increasing support and encouragement it will bring to your life!
If these steps resonate for you, please get in touch to discuss what support will work best for you right now, with options available in person at the Bulimba wellness centre or via phone/Skype/distance.
Complimentary 15-minute Initial Consultation: available to talk about what’s happening for you right now, how the support relationship can work, and recommendations to best meet your needs.
About Elle Reynolds
Elle Reynolds is an Energy Therapist, Transpersonal Life Coach and Holistic Counsellor, specialising in life change and the deeper embodied experience of our energy systems. Her work merges cognitive learning and awareness with the felt sense of embodied inner knowing.
Elle works in private practice with personal appointments and workshops to support others in this journey. She lives in Brisbane, practicing in Bulimba and with phone-based appointments around Australia.
Contact Elle – she loves to connect.