How to Choose a Good TherapistDeciding to see a therapist is a powerful decision. It’s a conscious choice to change your life for the better. 

It’s a decision to relieve yourself of inner burdens, pain, and reestablish your relationship to self. This choice has a positive impact on your life, and the lives of everyone you hold near and dear. The tools, discoveries, boundaries, and everything else that you’ll learn and model have the capacity to undo generational trauma, and provide the space and insight to heal from past transgressions.   

Here’s the thing though. You want to find the right therapist. A professional you’re comfortable with who encourages, supports, and yes—even challenges you once in a while. 

This guide contains everything you need to know when looking for a therapist.  

A Good Therapist Makes You Feel Safe

It’s crucial you feel safe and comfortable with your therapist. The therapeutic process goes deep and explores painful memories, experiences, and feelings. Thus it’s imperative you feel comfortable with your therapist, and choose someone with whom you’re able to build trust and rapport. 

A Good Therapist Sees You, Not A Disorder

Surprise! You are not a disorder; you are not defined by whatever it is you’re carrying, what’s happened in the past, what you’re currently experiencing, or all of the above. 

A good therapist sees the human being—your true nature—and has the scope and training to understand the breadth and complexity of every situation. 

A Good Therapist Empowers You

 A good therapist teaches you strategies to help you navigate challenging situations. A far cry from flattery and filling you with hot air, a good therapist is there with you. Providing the space to tend to what you’ve neglected and allowing you to have a deeper insight into your life. Through different modalities and tools, a good therapist teaches you strategies to help you navigate challenging situations. They encourage and believe in you.

A Good Therapist Sets You Up For Future Success

Therapy covers a lot of what has happened in the past, but often what occurred way back when influences present decisions. A good therapist recognizes that, and helps you become aware of barriers that could arise based on your past experiences and means of coping, and equips you with the necessary tools to scale those hurdles without getting stuck. 

A Good Therapist Keeps It All About You

Therapy is all about you. A good therapist knows that, and doesn’t turn your session into a gabfest where you’re nodding your head, going, uh-huh, wow. Really? as they share the latest gossip.

While a relationship with a therapist can feel somewhat lopsided—they know a heck of a lot about you, in some cases more than your closest friends and even partner—and you know next to nothing about them, there are well-established boundaries to this relationship. 

Because therapy is for you and about you, these principles which are upheld by the therapist’s professional organization help keep it that way.  

A Good Therapist Goes Below The Surface

Humans are complex and multifaceted. There’s a lot going on beneath the surface. A good therapist knows this, and works with you to visit these deeper places. They are keen observers, and may challenge you a little, but know when it’s getting to be too much and pull back.

There’s depth to therapy. It’s not a superficial exchange. While exploring beneath the surface can feel scary—that’s where feelings of shame, of not being good enough and all that other painful crap get hidden—it leads to incredible breakthroughs and a better understanding of self.   

A Good Therapist Is A Licensed Qualified Professional

This should go without saying, yet unfortunately there are a lot of unqualified people with no credentials who tout themselves as being able to help with mental health. 

Life coaching has taken off in recent years, and you don’t need any credentials at all to call yourself a life coach. While there probably are some excellent life coaches out there, frankly none of them are qualified to diagnose or advise people who are in the trenches of mental anguish. 

To become licensed as a therapist, you first need a masters degree in the field, then you need a ton of hours where you see patients under the supervision of a licensed clinician. 

Most people would never let someone who’s highest qualification is personal trainer perform open heart surgery on them, and the same goes for mental health. In order to get to the bottom of what’s going on in a safe and structured way, you need to see someone who is licensed and/or provisionally licensed working under a supervisor and knows how to handle and support you appropriately, no matter what comes up.

This isn’t to say life coaches, churches, friends and family can’t be a good support as well as therapy. They definitely can, and all have a place in holding you through whatever you’re going through.

A Good Therapist Helps You Heal

Healing is not linear. There are bumpy patches, many ups and downs. Yet the trajectory trend should be upwards; a good therapist is someone with whom you feel as though you’re experiencing progress with, and is not just spinning your wheels. 

Again, healing is not linear, and there may be some areas in which you feel frustrated and stuck. But ultimately, there’s a glimmer of hope. You realize you don’t feel quite as anxious (and as anyone with anxiety knows, that realization may make you anxious…) or the thing that felt so heavy and unmanageable is starting to fade.

A good therapist is your guide, holding a torch of hope.   Call us today.A good therapist is your guide, holding a torch of hope. Letting you know you’re not alone in your pain, you’re not broken or defective. You’re a human being deserving of love and compassion, and they’ll shine their torch on that part of you until you see it too. 

If you’re looking for guidance and support, please call. We have two convenient Northern California locations, offering counseling in Fair Oaks, CA and Roseville, CA and we can see you online all throughout California. Whatever you’re going through, we can help. 

Therapy in Roseville, CA, Fair Oaks, CA, or Online in California:

If you are ready to change for the better, we can help. Our therapists are ready to support you in your journey towards creating a healthy and happy lifestyle. To begin counseling in Roseville, CA area, or counseling in Fair Oaks, please follow these three simple steps:

Services Offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:

Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville, CA and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our services include but are not limited to: Couples counseling, counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include, anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, and individual relationship counseling. We also offer online counseling to California residents. Please contact our office to learn more about the many ways we can help you and your loved ones