Hi ass kickers! Today I’m talking about therapy. More specifically, how to choose a therapist that’s right for you as well as how to get the most out of therapy.
First, why therapy? If you keep repeating the same patterns, if you’re blaming a lot (you are tolerating bullshit or not taking responsibility for your own shit, or both) then therapy is for you.
If you have Family of Origin issues (who doesn’t?), then therapy is for you. Not a place to blame and shame your family, but to see what core beliefs were developed as a result of the wounds that happened as you grew up.
If you need a safe place to talk to someone, therapy is for you.
First, how do you find a therapist that’s best for you? Google? Just get a referral from someone? A therapist whose website says they have a specialty you need?
Well, with my own years of experience of therapists, having great ones and not so great ones, here’s my advice and the advice of the smartest people I know: My Facebook friends. In this episode you’ll hear some highlights (keep in mind, I go into more detail on the podcast than what you’ll read below):
First, how to find one:
Stacy says, “Research their areas of concentration. Have an initial meeting, chemistry is important. Honesty is important, it is hard to be vulnerable, but the best therapist in the world cannot help if you keep things from them.”
Patty says, “You are about to spend A LOT of time with this person so have an initial call or session to determine if you click. Plan to interview at least 3 but possibly 10 therapists to find a good one. It used to be that a therapist approach (cognitive, behavioral etc) was important but almost every therapist says they are “eclectic” now so ask them what they believe creates change for someone. See if their answer resonates with you. Most of all trust your gut.”
Jennifer says, “Listen to your intuition in terms of how you feel interacting with them, ensure they have a specialization and/or experience in your presenting issues (it's hard to be truly skilled at everything).”
Lisa says, “Check their license to see if they have had any disciplinary actions against them first! Go with your gut. I prefer someone who has been in practice for a while and took the time to get paneled on many insurance companies boards. They might be more legitimate. Anyone can say the specialize in a topic so I do not take that too seriously.”
Mish says, “I want someone who isn't going to go off in tangents about their life. Someone who is willing to ask deep questions and isn't narrow focused. Someone who is personable but professional.”
How to get the most out of therapy:
Jennie says, “Doing what your therapist says and giving things a try for longer than half a second.”
Emma says, “Know that you have to be willing to go to the hard places. They support you, they don't fix you. You discover you don't need fixing.
The willingness to look at yourself will move mountains.
Don't expect results in two sessions – it takes time to build rapport and heal.
You need to connect with your therapist. If you don't feel comfortable with them, you won't do your best work, even if they have ten degrees. Equally, they're not supposed to be your friend. They are there to challenge, hold and support you. You have actual friends to listen to you and tell you you're right to be mad at your ex or whatever is going on for you.”
Ericka says, “If you are a person of color, having a therapist willing to talk about race or racial backgrounds and trauma. It's imperative as sometimes you need to explore all the reasons you might have pain. When I had this from my therapist, it was a blessing. She was amazing to add that perspective to my work.”
Kimberly says, “The importance of not being afraid to walk away. Even if it's your first time – if you aren't comfortable – YOU CAN find someone else. It's worth taking the time to keep going until you find someone you click with. I know how annoying repeating the “why you are here” story is, but it's better to do it over and over than waste your time and money. Go to someone YOU like and maybe that's different than someone your friend recommended. Also understand the different types of therapy that exist.”
Kelly says, “I feel like a therapist's worldview is really important to know — but traditionally, therapist's are not supposed to disclose their worldviews or politics. I had an experience, however, in which a therapist suggested I should be more conventionally feminine and that some of my issues would fade away if I behaved in that way in my relationship. Obviously, that's not going to happen and so our two worldviews were a fundamental mismatch. It was then important to me that I find a feminist therapist who wouldn't advise me to change who I was or alter my deliberately chosen commitments in order to navigate the world. So that's what I would advise, and it's counter to the way the profession is organized: know your therapist's worldview and collective inclinations/commitments.”
Erin says, “As a therapist, I emphasize that I'm human first, trained clinician second. In other words, I am not on a pedestal, I've struggled with several similar issues as well in my life–I've just gone to school/practiced to learn the tools, thoughts, etc to move through.
I also let them know that I will circle back after our 2nd session to make sure client feels as though we are a fit-if not, I will help client find someone who is. I've had far too many clients say that they've stayed with therapists in the past way too long despite not feeling a connection because they didn't know how to “stop going.” This is often one of our first “lessons” together of empowerment.
Lastly, I emphasize that after 20 years I think I've heard it all hopefully allowing them to feel as though they can bring up challenging topics without the fear of being judged.”
Resources from this podcast:
Seth Godin’s altMBA program is here
Link to the Facebook post which has the entire conversation if you’d like to read more.
Q & A Podcast I mentioned about trusting your therapist
I have one spot open for a 1:1 client to start in August. There are two types of packages I offered to work with me privately, my most popular package is The Daring Way™, based on the research of Brené Brown. It’s a 5 month deep dive which takes you from a place of fear into courage and confidence.
If you’re in that place where your usual coping skills aren’t working anymore and you’re ready for big transformations, I invite you to check out here and if it resonates, fill out an application. Those applications come to me directly.