What sort of therapist will most likely help you reach your potential? Numerous research projects have shown that, no matter what kind of therapy you choose, the therapeutic relationship is all-important in healing.
Here’s what to look for in a therapist:
· Does your therapist have the skills and training necessary to understand your particular issues?
· Do you feel your therapist “gets you?”
· Do you feel respected in the relationship?
· When you leave a session, do you feel better than when you came in? Or at least hopeful for your future?
I hope these guidelines will be helpful to you, and I’d be happy to hear from you if you’d care to share a story about either good or bad therapy.
Recently I got an email from a woman who’d been in talk therapy for 14 years, trying to deal with her traumatic childhood. Only recently, she began to make real progress in her healing. Why? Because she found a body worker skilled in releasing the trauma stored in the body. She wondered what I thought.
Here’s what I told her:
- I learned from Dr. Eugene Gendlin (originator of Focusing) that nothing changes unless change happens in the body.
- Talk therapy involves the left brain and will take you only so far.
- Trauma lives in the right brain and requires therapy that changes the brain (which, after all, is part of the body.)
- There are many different, effective treatments for trauma. It’s a matter of which one is available to you and which appeals to you.
Personally, I recommend that everyone learn to Focus and integrate Focusing with whatever other modality he/she prefers.
In my next blog post, I’ll talk about my views of what makes a good therapeutic match.