Therapy is very different for different people because people (including both clients and therapists) are all different. We come to therapy for different reasons. Some people might feel elated, challenged and even euphoric after sessions. Others may be anxious, depressed, or otherwise disturbed. This wide spectrum does not indicate one is a good fit and one is not. Therapy does not necessitate comfort or discomfort, but really depends on the individual, and what’s going on at the time. Dealing with painful and uncomfortable material can be painful and uncomfortable.
There are those who really enjoy exploring their inner world and find sessions comfortable, and there are those who find any focus on
themselves very uncomfortable, and there is everything in between. And for all these people it may vary session to session.
So how do you determine if a clinician is a good fit for you?
1. You essentially feel heard and seen (although you may not feel heard or seen in general)
2. You trust that they essentially have your best interest at heart (although you may not trust others in general)
3. They do not seem judgmental (although you may feel judged in general)
4. They seem relatively competent and you feel they may be able to help you (although you may be critical of others and generally don’t expect you can be helped)
Knowing these things may take more than a few sessions or you may get this impression right away. It’s important to always be your own advocate (inside therapy or elsewhere) and this means being discerning and critical. I understand this is not easy when you are not an expert in the field, but professionals often reveal their lack of professionalism, if it’s lacking. (This pertains to doctors, lawyers,
therapists and any other professional we go to for help.)
Understand that we all require different things, so what is a good fit for one person may not be a good fit for another. If you have any
questions or concerns, ask you therapist about it directly. It may be uncomfortable initially but this is an excellent way to see how they
respond and if their response meets YOUR expectations.