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5 Indicators of a Good Therapist

01 May, 2016 / by Margaret Van Ackeren, LMFT

5 Indicators of a Good Therapist

How do you know if you have found the right therapist for you? Do you know what you are looking for? It is said that a majority of the healing one does in therapy is attributed to the relationship he or she has with his or her therapist. An effective therapist will be one with whom you are comfortable and who will listen, understand, and validate your feelings, while helping to problem solve life’s obstacles. In many areas, there are various therapists to choose from and it’s made easier by having sites such as PsychologyToday.com, NetworkTherapy.com, and even Yelp. Following are some indicators that you have found the therapist who is right for you.

  1. After initiating contact, you get a quick response.

Chances are that when doing the initial search, you contact several potential therapists. By this point most people who have made the initial contact have decided that they need help from a professional. And many times, people have hit rock bottom and need help picking up the pieces. Whatever the situation may be, people are often desperate for help and need a response quickly.

  1. The therapist makes time for you.

Therapists should take a few minutes to talk with you over the phone and offer to answer questions. He or she should also gather information from you. Since therapists specialize in various areas, it’s good to find out if he or she has the experience that you are looking for. For example, if you are suffering from an eating disorder, you’re going to want to see a therapist who specializes in eating disorders or is trained in that area.

  1. You feel comfortable and less anxious about therapy after the initial meeting.

There will be instances in therapy where you do not feel 100% comfortable. Many times, therapy involves discussing some topics that perhaps haven’t been spoken about or that are not easy to discuss. If you’ve found the right therapist, you feel safe in that relationship, and even though you may be discussing challenging topics, you feel better after talking about them.

  1. You feel heard.

You feel that your therapist understands what you’re going through. They may have not had an identical experience as the story you share, but they understand what you’re thinking and feeling. Their body language shows that they’re interested, focused, and engaged. You have the freedom to say anything that you want or need to. And best of all, you do not feel judged.

  1. You look forward to going to sessions because you know it will be of value to you.

At this point, you are getting the best value out of your therapy. Usually, it means that one has put in the time and done the work, is doing what it takes to have better relationships, is being more self-aware, and has learned effective coping strategies to overcome one’s challenges. Your therapist continues to listen, guide, and support you.


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Margaret Van Ackeren
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