If you’ve ever been in therapy, you’d know that it can challenge you and takes great vulnerability to make the changes you seek. Some people might click with the first therapist they meet, but for others, they have to sift through a few before they find someone they can really connect with. This is not to say that those therapists are not experts in their field; it’s just that some people you vibe with and others you don't. The thing is for you to find “your person”.
HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR THERAPIST IS A KEEPER
When building a lasting relationship with your therapist, there are a few signs that’ll determine whether you two are a good fit for each other. Today, we’ll discuss 7 signs that show that your therapist is a keeper. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
1.THEY ARE ENGAGED WHILE YOU TALK
Pouring out all your secrets can be difficult and the last thing you want is to not feel heard. When your therapist is staying engaged by offering eye contact, head nods, leaning in, or any other gestures that make you feel more comfortable, it is a really good sign that you have their full attention (as you should).
Therapists who are more engaging with their clients create a more comfortable and conducive environment for them. This can help to promote open communication and create a safe space. If your therapist is making you feel safe, comfortable, and heard, this is a good sign that your therapist is a keeper.
2.ALLOW YOU TO TAKE YOUR TIME
Many therapists have tons of clients on their caseload, especially during these times but it shouldn’t diminish your time together. Though your therapist may have a line waiting, you should still feel like you have your therapist’s undivided attention, without feeling rushed. It is super important to respect the therapist’s time as well as the time of others, however your time is valuable as well and should be treated as such. If your therapist is offering you this, then this is another good sign of a keeper.
3.YOU FEEL VALIDATED
Validation can be defined as recognition or affirming a person’s feelings or opinions are valid. This does not mean that your therapist agrees with everything you say but it is important that they acknowledge your feelings. Having this in a therapeutic relationship is super important to build trust and begin to change. If your therapist makes it known that your feelings are valid, this could be a good sign that you have a keeper on your hands.
4. THEY CHALLENGE YOU
In a good way with respect. Some therapy styles involve questioning irrational thought patterns and having this can be beneficial for you to reconsider some things. If your therapist is doing this respectfully and it is helping you, this is a good sign that your therapist is a keeper.
5. THERE IS TRUST
It’s difficult to open up to tell your concerns to someone you do not trust. Trust is a crucial factor when it comes to your clinical relationships. Ask yourself if you trust your therapist. Is the answer yes? Sounds like you might have a winner on your hands.
6.PAYS ATTENTION TO YOUR IDENTITY AND TRAUMA HISTORY
Keeper therapist likes to keep in mind that their client’s history is essential when making a diagnosis and deciding on a treatment approach. Different approaches work differently for each individual. A keeper therapist thinks about all the pieces before deciding how to proceed with treatment. Is your therapist's style beneficial? Sounds like a keeper.
7.THEY’RE OPEN TO ALTERNATIVE DIAGNOSES
Being open to alternative diagnoses is an important factor for your therapist. A keeper therapist will also listen to the client’s perspective because no one knows you better than yourself. This team approach is great as you want to feel like you are making a collective decision on the next best steps for yourself.
What are some other signs that your therapist is a keeper?