Working With A Therapist
Working with a therapist is like choosing a trusted and competent partner with whom to climb Mount Everest: it's a long and arduous climb and, at times, you must put your life in another person's hands.
While research suggests that the relationship itself is as important as the counselor's style of therapy, certain types of therapy remain more effective with particular issues.
You should never feel as if you can't ask or challenge the direction in which your therapy is headed. After all, you're partners in healing. Partners should have excellent communication between one another. Some counselors even wrap up the end of each session by asking if the session proved valuable and, if not, what would make future sessions more valuable.
Key factors in working successfully with a therapist include:
- Satisfaction with the working relationship between the therapist and family members
- Progress toward mutually agreed-upon goals for treatment approaches and desired outcomes
- Progress on problems that first prompted the request for treatment
- The therapist's tentative diagnosis (usually necessary for insurance reimbursement)
- The therapist's evaluation of the chance that therapy can improve the situation that prompted treatment
- Asking yourself if you've made a heartful commitment to eliminating whatever the presenting problem is and talking honestly about the roadblocks that may be present
Working with a therapist can be an invigorating and rejuvenating experience -- as well it should. Remember that the personal fit with your therapist is vital and that you, too, have a crucial role to play in teaching the therapist how best to work with you. Some people prefer "straightforward" accountability, while others prefer a softer touch. Never be afraid to ask for what you need.