Most people, even the elders,and professionals become nervous and anxious before they meet their therapists. In fact, people who are suffering from mental health problems avoid one-on-one therapy sessions because of the required presence of a stranger (a.k.a therapist or psychiatrist).
Choosing the person the spend your days with is one of the most important decisions you will make — and I’m not just talking about your future spouse. With doctors, hairdressers and tailors, you can’t always rely on just anyone. The same goes for your therapist.
To make sure you’re seeing the right therapist for you, here are some things to consider.
You Don’t Know Them Personally
As people will often advise you, don’t work with family or friends. Likewise, don’t hire a therapist that you know outside of this environment. Distant acquaintances may still hold, but even casual friends are off-limits when choosing your counselor.
As it goes, it may be difficult to separate your work relationship from your personal relationship, even if your friend is a stellar professional. Being entirely objective is never a guarantee. Likewise, you risk personal relationships falling apart or being affected in some way. This is also part of basic ethics of all specialists when working.
They’re Available When You Need Them
When it comes to your therapist, you need to see someone who’s there for you when you need them. You shouldn’t have to force yourself to adapt to their schedule. Find someone whose hours work well with your timeline and needs. Remember, “While many therapists are qualified to treat common challenges such as anxiety or depression, if you are interested in working with a specialist to address a specific challenge, you should consider looking out-of-network.” A reminder from Stacy Donn Cristo, LMHC
Likewise, many therapists will allow their patients to contact them outside of sessions. If you find your counselor unable to return your calls, pick up or respond to e-mails, you might want to consider looking for someone on a more similar schedule as you.
They Aren’t Scared To Tell You The Truth But Are Mindful
Again, your therapist is not necessarily your friend: they are your therapist. And when their objective is to help you get better, sometimes some tough love is needed. They have to be able to tell you the truth about your condition and the issues you’re dealing with. However, therapists don’t have to be hurtful to it either by being honest when needed and giving helpful criticism or advice.
Moreover, they have to be able to tell you if they can help you or not. The first session spent with therapists is often a way of determining if they are capable of supporting you with your problems. Therapists are not specialists in every disorder, and it’s essential to find the right one who can give you relevant and expert advice specifically for your condition. But one thing is certain, “Through simple and direct counsel and coaching you may discover great potentials that can move your job and career to a positive place you never thought possible.” Chris Oneth LMFT said.
You Feel Challenged
To find growth and progress, you have to step out of your comfort zone. This is especially true with therapy. Occasional moments of discomfort is a sign of success towards overcoming your personal demons. Your counselor has to be able to challenge you in a way that you don’t stay too lenient and not find improvement with anything.
“The foundation of therapy is based on the relationship you build with your therapist. When seeking someone out it’s important you feel comfortable with them.” Elana Schechtman-Gil LMFT stated. That being said, it isn’t right if you only ever feel uncomfortable. You and your therapist have to be able to find a way to strike a balance between needed comfort and significant challenges. Only then will you find yourself on the path towards recovery or improvement.
Lately, people have come to discuss depression and mental health, in general, more openly as awareness is raised. While many people often discuss the struggles of trying to get better, the road to recovery may come with more complexities than people realize.
Even as one learns to manage their depression, there’s always a risk of relapse occurring. To
prevent this from happening, read on.
It’s hard to face depression and other mental health problems when you’re alone. Getting through a slump is made more difficult because of the widespread stigma that comes with visiting medical professionals for your psychological health.
But you don’t have any choice, right? If you want to get over your dilemma, you will have to choose to visit a medical professional anyway. It can become uncomfortable when you’re sharing your struggle with a complete stranger. How can you warm up immediately to a person when you’re feeling a lot of emotions?
It’s a relief therefore that group therapy is becoming popular now. “[T]here is encouragement to both talk about your life outside the group and also to talk about the dynamics within the group.” Psychotherapist Ali Miller, MFT said. But you may be asking how can group therapy help you. Look no more. We’ll give you a brief overview of what it is and how can it helps.
What Is Group Therapy?
Strength in numbers. This concept does not only apply to sports, but also to therapy. Some people who are going through psychological problems just seek the help of medical professionals to cater to their need. However, most of the people only get through by getting support from their family and friends.
This is the reason group therapy can be very beneficial and sometimes be more advantageous compared to individual therapy. Group therapy lets people who are going through the same problem to open up to each other thus giving them the idea that they are not alone in their struggles.
Unlike individual therapy where the person may be more reluctant to express themselves, group therapy provides a cushion for the person to share their thoughts since people who are listening know what the other person is going through. “Bring the right people into your life.” says Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.
Joining a group regularly can also keep you accountable for your actions. Through group therapy, people are often asking about their daily activities. If you are already given a solution to your previous dilemma, more often than not, you will prevent this problem from recurring.
How Can Group Therapy Positively Affect Me?
In group therapy, you are grouped with people who share more or less the same sentiments. You can share your experiences and struggles. More often than not, they can help change how you view your problem.
Through their experiences, you get ideas on how you should handle your issues. You can learn a lot from the experiences of other people from a different background. You need not go through the same path again if you already learned about it from another person.
“We only have control of ourselves and our own desire for growth and change. Part of that growth and change is deciding the type of person we allow in our lives, and the positive impact they can have on us.” Nikki Martinez, Psy.D. LCPC said. Participating in group therapy is a rewarding and fulfilling experience. Sharing your lives and experiences with each other can bring about a bond you will not be able to find anywhere else. Moreover, because you are sharing your most profound struggles, sharing is never superficial. You are bound to expose your bare self to other participants in the group. As such, you are sure to find lifelong friends along the way.
Group therapy has its advantages. However, these do not lead to benefits immediately. People who are new to these kinds of treatment are unable to share their experiences immediately. Upon seeing themselves in other people in the group, one can quickly look at the differences in approaches and mindset. Eventually, upon warming up to these people, they can share more and contribute to a fruitful discussion.