With the wide choice of psychotherapy schools and therapists out there, we wanted to create a checklist that someone seeking therapy could use to choose a therapist that is effective as possible, and this checklist is also a great way for those new to therapy to find out what a session may entail.
An effective psychotherapist or counsellor:
- knows how to build rapport quickly with distressed people,
- understands depression and how to lift it,
- helps immediately with anxiety problems including trauma or fear related symptoms — is prepared to give advice if needed or asked for,
- will not use jargon or 'psychobabble' or tell you that counselling or psychotherapy has to be 'painful'
- will not dwell unduly on the past,
- will be supportive when difficult feelings emerge, but will not encourage people to get emotional beyond the normal need to 'let go' of any bottled up feelings,
- may assist you to develop your social skills so that your needs for affection, friendship, pleasure, intimacy, connection to the wider community etc. can be better fulfilled,
- will help you to draw and build on your own resources (which may prove greater than you thought),
- will be considerate of the effects of counselling on the people close to you,
- may teach you to relax deeply,
- may help you think about your problems in new and more empowering ways,
- uses a wide range of techniques as appropriate,
- may ask you to do things between sessions,
- will take as few sessions as possible,
- will increase your self confidence and independence and make sure you feel better after every consultation.