Frequently Asked Questions About Good Therapy

Psychotherapy or talk therapy is a useful treatment method for several mental health problems. It works with mood disorders, personality disorders, and anxiety disorders. Your psychotherapist will use different cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, exposure therapy, and psychodynamic therapy to understand your condition better. They will also guide you in dealing with its symptoms and triggers and discovering the reasons behind your fear or anxiety.

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But it is also important to understand and note that talk therapy is not only for people with mental and emotional health problems. It is also for anyone seeking and aiming to improve their mental and emotional well-being. Talking with an expert about dealing with stress and issues can significantly impact how you deal with them. It will also guarantee that you are choosing life choices that are best for you.

There is a lot of research supporting the efficacy of different therapy techniques for various mental health conditions. But technique alone does not ensure that therapy will work because the key ingredient towards a working therapeutic relationship is trust.

So when you are looking for a psychotherapist, consider someone who communicates well. They must also be non-judgmental and be able to make you feel safe. After all, the purpose of talk therapy is to create a safe space for you to explore and understand your thoughts and emotions. And finding someone you can trust will make sure that you are well-taken care of and supported.

To learn more about what qualifies as a good treatment and psychotherapist, here are some frequently asked questions about how to find the best therapist for your needs.

Should a therapist tell you what to do?

No, a therapist should never tell you what to do. They’re tasked to guide the client into identifying the issues that negatively affect their lives by asking questions that will bring them to light. From here, the patient will be the one to figure out what changes need to happen to make things better.

What makes someone a good therapist?

There are various ways to tell that someone is a good therapist. For one, they should have excellent listening skills. This ability is vital in their field since everything relies on talking and feeling their clients’ emotions. At the same time, people want someone reliable and easy to talk to. These qualities are the foundations of an excellent therapist-client relationship.

What should I expect from a therapist?

First of all, expect your therapy visits to be the same as a doctor’s appointment. They’ll start by asking questions about your medical history, brief background, insurance information, and experiences in life to get an initial outlook of where you are standing. From here, they’ll come up with a personalized treatment for your needs. This tailored treatment may include therapy sessions, medication, and home remedies, among others.

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Can I tell my therapist illegal things?

Yes, you may tell your therapist illegal things, but to a certain extent. They’re required to break confidentiality if there is an imminent threat to others or yourself and abuse to elders, children, and persons with disabilities. However, if you’re only dealing with drugs or smoking illegal medications, they cannot turn you in. Their ethical guidelines do not permit this if the act does not meet the criteria.

Can therapy make you worse?

Yes, it can. It is a usual scenario, especially for those who are only starting with the recovery process. Beginning treatment will require you to go back to painful, challenging, and embarrassing memories. As you go through the different therapy stages, it will be more manageable and easier for you to accept these things, and you will feel better in time. If you’re still feeling terrible despite going to therapy for months, then you might need to look for another therapist.

Can too much therapy be harmful?

According to experts, too much therapy may be harmful. If patients undergo this process longer than they should, then that means that it’s not as effective as expected. When patients vent to their therapists for an extended time, it will leave them feeling better. However, it does not mean that it will create and spearhead changes to their behavior. It will just be easier for them to accept what they’re doing, but there will be no remorse.

Do therapists get attached to clients?

It’s normal for therapists to get attached to their clients. However, this attachment only revolves around the idea of wanting them to get better. Although their patients are not their direct family and friends, their recovery is still important to them. Their unique relationship stems from the fact that these therapists know the side that most people don’t get to see from their clients.

How do you trust a therapist?

First of all, read about them if you have not met them yet. Looking through your therapist’s profile and reading the feedback about them are ways to check if other people trust them. Knowing that other people around you gave them their approval will provide you with a bit of peace of mind. From here, observe whether you feel comfortable opening up to them in person. The initial sessions will determine if he or she is a good fit for you.

Do therapists cry?

According to a study, 72 percent of their therapist respondents have cried in one of their sessions. Their research revealed that these emotions are not reliant on their client’s personality or demographic factors. Instead, it revolved more on the therapist’s identity in the context of therapy (e.g., tone of the session, theoretical orientation, and clinical experience).

What should you tell your first visit to a therapist?

Your first visit is an expectation setting session. You may ask whatever questions are running through your mind – what is the sessions’ format, what are you allowed to share, how often is your visit, and more. You may also establish your goal here. Tell them precisely what you want to achieve, such as “addressing my body consciousness” or “panicking less when I’m all alone.”

Do therapists diagnose you?

It depends on your therapist’s education and what kind of diagnosis you may need. Masters and Ph.D. level therapists can assess and diagnose you. They do this through a psychological evaluation, mainly conducting personality testing. This way, they’ll be able to draft the perfect treatment plan and prescribe medication for you. Others, on the other hand, are not trained to diagnose.

Can I tell my therapist I killed someone?

Yes, you may tell your therapist you killed someone. Due to the confidentiality clause, they cannot disclose any conversation you had with them outside therapy, including admission to a crime. However, there are exceptions. If the therapist feels that you pose future risks like seriously hurting yourself and other people, they can bypass this law.

Can therapists lie to you?

A therapist should not lie to a client because trust should be the client-therapist relationship’s primary foundation. If a patient finds out that they have been lied to, their recovery progress may go back to zero. What most therapists do, however, is that they refrain from answering if they feel that the client is not yet ready to face these realities. For them, concealment is not the same as lying.

Can you talk to a therapist about anything?

Yes, you may talk to your therapist about anything as long as it’s about you and your life. You’re not allowed to discuss topics with them that fall under their personal lives. It would help if you were as open as possible, so it will be easier for them to understand what you’re going through. It is also the perfect avenue for you to reflect on the things happening in your life and jumpstart from there.

Is crying in therapy a breakthrough?

Many therapists consider crying in therapy a breakthrough. It is most evident for those unwilling to show emotions and distress since they’re still in the denial stage. For therapists, crying means that their client now admits that there is a problem.

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The recipe for good therapy is the proper technique, the right therapist, and trust. So it would help if you chose a counselor with whom you have rapport and who can make you feel safe. People already suffering from mental health issues already have a lot in their minds. An untrustworthy and judgmental psychotherapist may only end up worsening the situation instead of improving it.

There is no one way to determine who will be best for you. But there are several factors to consider, like the educational background and achievements of your healthcare provider. This information will help ensure that you are with someone who knows what they are doing and uses evidence-based techniques during your sessions.

Besides rapport and knowledge, consider whether your therapist shows interest in your personal improvement and not profit-making. It is also equally important to pick someone who respects you and encourages you to improve yourself. Talk therapy is not about spoon-feeding you how to deal with your problems; it is about discovering how you can best face them with an expert’s help.

And if your current psychotherapist has these qualifications and yet you cannot seem to connect with them, it is okay to find someone new. Remember that this treatment process is for you and your self-improvement. And in talk therapy, the only way it can happen is if you trust your counselor and you have hopes that you can succeed.