Seeing a therapist…
is an important part of mental health, growth, self-awareness, and getting through painful and challenging life experiences. However, if you’ve never been to therapy before, or are still fairly new to the process, it might feel overwhelming… and that’s okay! We’re here to help.
The best way to help you know if you’ve got a great therapist (or might need to start looking for a new one) is to compare and contrast what a GOOD fit vs. a BAD fit looks like. So, here are 8 things that make up each!
When your therapist is a good fit:
- They make you feel comfortable from the moment you walk in the door and work hard to meet you where you’re at.
- They help you set goals during your very first appointment (after the intake) and have regular check-ins to make sure you’re on track to meeting them.
- They ask thought-provoking questions to allow you to come to your own answers and allow you to do most of the talking.
- They try to understand what you (and your spouse, if they are present) want out of your sessions.
- They learn about your habits/patterns and teach you to break any unhealthy habits that are negatively impacting your life.
- They create an environment in which you can grow, process, and express frustrations.
- They call to check on you if you have to miss your session for any reason.
- They take time to evaluate any kind of diagnosis (for example, anxiety or bipolar disorders).
When your therapist may be a bad fit:
- They don’t make eye contact or don’t work to make you feel comfortable.
- They don’t circle back to your goals for therapy to make sure you’re on track.
- They don’t ask you thought-provoking questions or encourage you to self-reflect between sessions.
- They don’t give you homework or keep you accountable.
- They allow you to blame everyone else for your issues while validating toxic and unhealthy behavior.
- They try to make therapy what they want for you instead of what you want for you.
- They judge you and make you feel bad about yourself or your choices.
- They tell you to get a divorce in the very first session.
The truth is that therapy is for YOU and it is important that you get out of it what you’re looking for.
Just like in friendships or romantic relationships, sometimes your therapist is not a good fit and that’s okay — it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. Trust your gut instinct if something doesn’t feel right. You’re in charge! And we want you to be empowered to make the best possible choices for yourself, especially if that means needing to explore your sessions with a new therapist!
If you want to have 100% certainty that you’re not wasting any money or time with the wrong therapist, be sure to watch our video called What to Expect in Couples Counseling.
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Written by Anna Collins
Anna Collins lives in sunny Southern California with her husband and two children. She is passionate about her marriage, staying at home with her kids, writing, coffee, good conversation, and game night. Her life dream is to someday write a book and see it published.