A friend sought counselling after his divorce but was not completely satisfied with his counsellor and stopped his therapy, never receiving the full benefit of psychotherapy after a major transition in his life. Later, when I learned this, I asked him why he didn’t look for another counsellor that better matched his personality. He was surprised and asked, “I can do that? I can change counsellors?”
This is a theme that has come to my attention on several occasions. People go to one counsellor, and for whatever reason, are not completely satisfied with the process and write off psychotherapy as being a waste of time or nonsense. As I have written in past articles, psychotherapy is based on an intimate therapeutic relationship. And just like in any intimate relationship, such as a friendship or significant partner, we don’t just “click” with everyone or feel comfortable “exposing” our real selves to just anyone.
Just as in dating, when the first date or two is often used to “casually interview” the person to see if there are similar interests, values, traits and goals, the same is important when embarking on the therapeutic process. It is the opportune time to ask questions that might be very important to you regarding values and goals when making the initial appointment. If you feel satisfied, the first session is another chance to see if this is a good match. Now, I want to insert a word of caution. Make sure you do not use this as an excuse to never find a compatible therapist so as not to embark in the psychotherapy process. Please be honest with yourself.
As always, we have control over our therapeutic process. If needed ask friends for referrals, ask questions, and follow your intuitive feelings or as often referred to as your gut instinct.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA