Therapy is a valuable tool that can help you resolve personal issues and keep your emotions and stress levels in check. It can also provide you with opportunities to set and achieve goals, as well as improve your communication skills. Since assistance from a therapist can have such a significant impact on your life, it’s important to find one who will be a good fit for you and your needs.
Here are some qualities that make an effective therapist.
1. Is warm and accommodating
Therapy will be more beneficial if you feel safe and comfortable talking to your therapist. That’s why it’s important to look for someone who welcomes you and makes you feel at ease. A therapist may have years of training or experience, but if you can’t open up to them, then getting the help and perspective you need will be difficult.
An effective therapist puts you at ease.
If you find that your relationship with your current therapist could be better or you feel overwhelmed with your current treatment plan, it’s well within your rights to seek treatment from someone else. Switching therapists may be tricky, but it’s essential to improve the overall quality of your therapy sessions.
2. Actively listens
Being truly heard ties into the importance of looking for a therapist you’re comfortable with. It’s worthwhile confiding in someone who is fully present and listens. Sure, they must communicate their observations and insights, but an effective therapist puts you first. Therapy can bring up difficult topics and unpleasant memories, so a good therapist needs to empathize with you and give you the space to work through these conversations at your own speed.
3. Keeps abreast of research and new evidence-based treatments
Beyond offering perspective into your life and the challenges you are facing, an effective therapist keeps abreast of the latest developments in clinical psychology, specifically in their areas of expertise.
Because new ideas and therapeutic approaches constantly emerge, a therapist must regularly attend training experiences or seminars, review new evidenced-based treatments, and consult with colleagues. More importantly, inaccurate diagnoses or advice can harm clients, which is why a good therapist must actively recognize areas where they need more knowledge.
4. Personalizes and adapts treatment
Human brains are distinct from one another, and everyone has unique perspectives and experiences. To accommodate these differences, a therapist must devise individualized treatment plans and employ strategies that address emotional distress and mental health problems on a case-to-case basis.
In a similar vein, it’s important for a therapist to be flexible enough to adjust their approach if treatment isn’t working or progress is minimal. If you feel that something about your treatment or your therapist’s approach is amiss, let them know. This will allow them to shift strategies when necessary.
Therapy is complex yet purposeful
Therapy is complex, and its outcome depends on many factors. However, having a competent therapist greatly increases the odds of attaining successful and sustainable results. To get the most out of therapy, approach it as a collaborative effort — that is, you must work with your therapist to set goals and follow a sound treatment plan to ensure positive changes.
Our clinicians at Meridian Psychiatric Partners can help you establish therapeutic approaches to help build a more resilient and healthier you. Schedule an appointment with us today.