Want to know the secret to having great success in therapy?
Why some people have these unbelievable success stories regarding their time in therapy and others feel that there is something missing?
There are a lot of factors associated with this; a big one is both obvious and often overlooked-
your connection with your therapist.
The relationship between a therapist and a client really is a make-or-break factor in regards to how effective the therapeutic process will be. It is immensely important for you to feel comfortable and safe with your therapist, and the lack of that rapport can be detrimental to your potential growth. Can you work with a therapist that you don’t feel a strong connection to and still make progress? Absolutely, but why limit yourself? The therapeutic relationship is one of the most intimate relationships in most people’s lives, and it’s important to remember that some people just aren’t for you… and that’s okay.
So how do you know that you’ve found your match?
Feeling safe and secure in your relationship with your therapist is crucial. The relationship that you’re forming is going to help you with navigating relationships in your life, so you want it to be a safe space. This means being able to say what you need to say without fear of judgment or retaliation.
- Something I often remind my clients is that if a therapist agrees with everything you say, you need a new therapist. Part of that feeling of security is that you can be challenged without feeling the need to be defensive or that you’re being attacked. It is a therapist’s job to confront you on thoughts and behaviors that don’t serve you- while you may not like being challenged, find someone who will challenge you. Discomfort means you’re growing.
It is never the client’s job to create the boundaries in the therapeutic relationship, so feel out your therapist to ensure you’re comfortable with their boundaries. This can take some practice, but ask for what you need and determine if they are able to provide it. If you want to practice some art therapy, tell them and see if that’s something they’re willing to try with you. If not, have a discussion about this boundary and make your decision accordingly.
Following that thought, mutual respect in this relationship is a must. Would you really put forth your full effort in an intervention if you didn’t trust and respect the clinician suggesting it? Hardly. You’re cheating yourself if you’re working with someone whom you don’t trust and respect.
Finally, follow your instincts. If you get a good feel about someone and feel that they’re authentic, give them a shot. If you feel that the clinician isn’t a good fit, explore that and determine where that feeling is coming from.
If you get nothing else from this article, know that your comfort with your therapist is important. If after a few sessions you still feel the relationship is lacking, FIRE YOUR THERAPIST. Give yourself the opportunity to find what you’re looking for and fully commit to your wellness. I promise we won’t take it personally. (created by C Brown)