An important matter to consider when choosing a counsellor or psychotherapist is how the professional relates to his or her client(s). Every person’s personality is different and how they manage situations, challenges and blocks that come up in therapy can range significantly. Since the foundation of counselling is based on the therapeutic relationship, this is a major factor to consider.
First, take into account your needs as a client. Here are some questions to consider. Do you need mainly a listening ear with some gentle guidance? Or are you in a place in your life where you are looking for direct feedback? What is your philosophy regarding life, spirituality and relationships? Are you open-minded regarding relationships? Is pre-marital sex and living together acceptable or not? Are you conservatively religious or into new age philosophy?
Each counsellor should ideally be non-judgmental but reality dictates that the professional is still a human being and can at times be biased toward their own beliefs and outlook of life. Most of these issues should be addressed either during an interview before choosing your counsellor or during the first session. It is important as a client to ask questions regarding their style of treatment and their directness and to judge if that approach is suitable for your personality. It should be noted that it is not appropriate for the psychotherapist to delve deeply into their own personal life but a general sharing of beliefs that are significant to them and can influence their interaction with you as a client should be duly noted.
Once these matters have been investigated and you have chosen a compatible counsellor or psychotherapist, a solid therapeutic relationship based on trust and mutual respect can be been established. What follows is a connection with another to assist you to maneuver through life’s challenges and learning opportunities. The outcome can result in changes and insights that can be mind blowing and positively life altering.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA