How to Know If You Have a ‘Good’ Therapist

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Good therapists are out there, and We have some advice on how to find one. You also want to feel whether the type of therapy Your therapist’s offerings are appropriate to the problems you are going through. But once you’re past the getting-to-know-you phase, you might be wondering: Hoh me knows that I found a good one? Here are some questions to ask yourself.

You should be professional about confidentiality and ethics

A good therapist will explain their guidelines and ask you to sign or verbally agree to a consent form. If you don’t, this is a big red flag, according to Psych Central. It is It is considered ethical for a therapist to disclose information in a small number of scenarios, including when suspected or subpoenaed for abuse.

A therapist should also treat clients as clients, not as friends. It’s okay to be friendly; granting special treatment or accepting close friends or family members as customers, this is not the case.

If you are unsure what type of conduct is considered professional conduct, you can consult the relevant organization’s code of ethics. Here are the codes of the American Psychological Associationthe American Psychiatric Associationand the Federation of Social Workersto name a few.

Your approaches should be evidence-based

You are here not just to share your feelings, but to work on solving the problems that brought you to the therapist’s office in the first place. A good therapist will use one or more established techniques we explain some of them here. It is in order Ask your therapist what types of therapy they use and what science knows about the effectiveness of these types.

A scientific process can also be expected in the therapy itself: HHow has the therapy worked so far? Does your therapist give you realistic expectations and is they willing to refine their approach when things don’t go as expected?

They should make you feel supported and accepted

Therapy isn’t always easy or fun, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re being judged or that your concerns are ignored. A good therapist treats you as equals instead of using a doctor-knows-best tone, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They could voice their concerns about your decisions, but you shouldn’t feel like they’re judging you or dismissing your feelings. If you leave an appointment feeling offended or embarrassed, something is wrong.

They should challenge you sometimes

A good therapist can show acceptance and compassion for you as a person while helping you process things that may be uncomfortable. You may be given “homework” that takes you out of your comfort zone. That’s a good thing, as long as it’s done in a reasonably safe and supportive manner.

Good therapy encourages you to become more independent and take more and more control of your own situation as you build the skills to do so. “All therapy is basically self-therapy” says a guide at Psychology Today. You should feel less dependent on your therapist over time, not more.

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