6 Factors to keep in mind when considering a therapist

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I don’t know if anyone can be considered an expert in selecting a therapist, but over the last 3 years I have been to at more than half a dozen therapists in the quest to find a good one. What makes a good one you may ask? Well, in our case, it was a therapist that could help our son not to be a prisoner to his anxiety. 
While there are a lot of reasons to seek out a therapist there are a few simple rules, in my opinion, about when to continue with a therapist.
Keep in mind: it may take you a couple of sessions to see if you and your therapist are compatible, then see if these rules apply. 

Rule 1: You must feel safe
You might be hesitant to open up to someone, but that’s normal. Safety is not anxiety. If you feel unsafe with the therapist, the location, the demands, or anything related to the therapy, get out! There are lots of therapists out there and your safety should not be compromised.

Rule 2: Your therapist must be someone you’re comfortable with
This does not mean you’d want to have a PJ party with them, or take them home to meet your family! It means you have to feel comfortable talking to them. You have to be able to be honest with them. It might not be easy, but you must be able to share honestly in order to make progress on whatever issue took you to the therapist.

Rule 3: You are willing to try your therapist’s suggestions
And their suggestions make sense to you. If your therapist makes extreme suggestions, ones that shock you, or are contrary to your personal beliefs, they may not be a fit. And a good therapist will ask if you can/will try what they suggest – it is a dialogue, a discussion between you and not an order.

Rule 4: Getting to therapy cannot be a chore
Therapy can be emotionally exhausting and difficult. Do not add a taxing journey to get there, or hours that do not work with your schedule. That said, the best therapist for you may not be convenient, but if you can make it work for you, seek out the best person for your needs.

Rule 5: Do not put your child in therapy alone
Children who go to therapy often have the pre-conception they “need to be fixed”. By engaging in therapy along with your child, it becomes a team/family approach to improving everyone and everything. You also might be surprised as to what you learn along the way!

Rule 6: Commit to doing the work
Change is never easy; in fact, change can be downright hard. If you sought out a therapist to help, you were planning to make a change. Believe in yourself. And talk to your therapist about your triumphs and set-backs; together you can chart your journey and work through any obstacles. 

Therapy can be a great help in many situations. Follow these rules to make it easier on yourself, and get started on the changes you desire. I can tell you from experience, and those 6+ therapists that didn’t work for our son and us, there is someone out there that can help you. There is a shining star that can guide you on your journey. I know that with absolute certainty – because we found just such a therapist and life is much better for all of us now!