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It is hard to admit that we need assistance in dealing with the problems that life throws at us. Many individuals are raised in a society that frowns upon mental health services and learned the “pick yourself up by the bootstraps” method of coping. Admitting that you need help is often the hardest part of seeking help, and sometimes the hardest challenge you will face. Once you have admitted to yourself that you need help, there are things you should know before finding and beginning psychotherapy. Here are some tips to help make the process of seeking help easier.
Finding the Right Psychotherapist
Finding the right psychotherapist for you may be difficult. You may have been to therapy in the past and had bad experiences. This does not mean that you should give up. When looking for a therapist, most individuals want to find someone who is trustworthy. You will be sharing very personal and intimate details with this person. You want to find someone you feel understands you. Selecting the right person does not need to be rushed. You should take your time and choose someone you feel connected with. If you choose the wrong therapist for you, it can have a negative impact on your overall progress. Here are some tips to help you choose the best therapist for you.
The first thing you want to do when looking for a therapist is to conduct research. Research is important. You want to research the professionals and the different types of therapies available. Decide what type of psychotherapy you want to try. Individual, group, couples, family, cognitive-behavioural, and talk therapy are some of the many different types of therapy offered. Deciding what type of therapy is right for you is as important as selecting the right professional.
If there is a certain issue, such as an individual diagnosed with PTSD, that you want to be addressed in therapy, you should speak with a therapist that has experience in the area you want to address. If you struggle with anxiety, look for a therapist who has worked with individuals with anxiety. Many therapists specialize in specific types of psychotherapy or areas. You can look for someone with experience to increase your chances of success with the right professional.
Do what you can to make a connection with the therapist. Sometimes, consultations are offered. See if the one you are interested in provides consultations so that you can ask them questions and see if they are a right fight for you. This will allow you to feel them out and see if you think it is going to work. This is also the perfect time to ask them questions. You can ask about their philosophy for treatment, what types of interventions they have used in the past, if they feel they can help you with your problem(s) and how, or any other questions that you have thought of. It may be useful to make a list of questions to bring with you so that you remember what you want to ask. After the consultation, consider your comfort level with the therapist. Do you feel the professional was sincere, do you think that you could discuss your problems without them making you feel judged? These are good questions to ask yourself after you leave their office.
If you go and meet with a therapist and they make you feel uncomfortable, do not settle for less than you need. If you are not comfortable with that person, there is no shame in changing to a new person. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to find the right person for you. You should not give up. Search until you find someone that makes you feel accepted and unjudged. If you feel uncomfortable, feel the professional is not listening, or feel like you talk less than your therapist; you may need to change.
What to Know Before Beginning psychoTherapy?
Going to your first therapy appointment can be overwhelming. There can be a lot of anxiety and fear associated with seeing a new therapist. You are going to speak to someone you do not know about your life. Here are some things that can help make your first visit with a new therapist easier.
You will not get as much from psychotherapy if you are not honest. There is typically a good bit of questions during the first session as the therapist begins to get to know you and is learning how to help you. You must be completely honest during this session. You are paying the professional for their time. If you are not honest, you are wasting your money and your time. Being honest helps ensure the therapeutic relationship can be developed and that you can truly begin to work toward change.
Remember You Are Making an Investment in Yourself
The skills that you learn in psychotherapy, the support that you gain, and the insight provided helps you with whatever you are currently struggling with and provides you with tools to carry with you through the rest of your life. Therapy provides you with knowledge about yourself and helps you improve your coping skills. It helps you learn to deal with stressful situations and manage mood swings. You can finally begin to understand why you do the things you do and take steps toward stopping unproductive or harmful behavior patterns. Therapy can even facilitate communication that takes place with others in your life. If you are having problems communicating with friends, family, or even in the professional world; psychotherapy can help you build the communication skills you need.
Keep Your Appointments and Do Not Be Late
It is critical that you are your own time for your appointments and that you show up. For therapy to work it must be consistent. When you are late for your appointment, you are cutting into your time with your therapist, but still must pay for the entire hour. If you are consistently late, consider the reason you are late. Maybe you need to write down the appointment time for thirty minutes earlier so that you are leaving earlier (or on time). The important thing is that you show up and that your own time so that you can get what you need from therapy. Therapists rely on their scheduling to make sure they can help their clients.
Communicate Your Concerns
If you have concerns about attending therapy, you must speak with the therapist about them. You can easily make a list of what you are worried about before your first session. Therapists can not address concerns if you do not tell them what you are worried about. If your therapist offends you in some way, try talking to them about it and see how they react and what they do to address the problem before losing your temper or becoming angry with them. While therapists are professionals; they are also people. Talking about what has you upset can be an easy fix to misunderstandings. Things are not always as they seem.
A Good Therapist Will Not Judge
Nothing should be off-limits in psychotherapy. You should not be embarrassed to talk about things in your life. Even if there are problems with things like your sex life or feelings you are having after sex, your therapist should not judge you. If this is part of the reason that you are in therapy, or things you want to address in therapy, you should not feel embarrassed to bring it up during your initial visit when discussing problems you want to address. If you feel embarrassed to talk about something, tell the therapist that you want to talk about something, but it is embarrassing you. This can help open the door and ease your feelings about whatever it is on your mind.
Do Not Worry About Taking Care of the Therapist
Ok, so you are going to psychotherapy to address a problem that you have, not to support your therapist. They should have friends, family, and other means of support already in place. You are there for help. They can handle their own emotions and are responsible for their self-care. You are not responsible for this. So, when you are in therapy, worry about taking care of yourself and what you need. Do not worry about taking care of your therapist.
Your Therapist is Not Going to the Bar with You on Friday Night
There is a reason that your physio Camberwell can not be your friend. This is because it is what those in the professional world call a dual relationship. It is unethical for a therapist to have a dual relationship with their patients. This creates bias and judgment, which is not something you want from your therapist. Understand from the get-go that the relationship between you and the therapist needs to remain professional. If it ever begins to cross these boundaries, it may be time to find another professional.