Anatomy of a Good Therapist
If you are new to therapy or considering counselling, it is important to understand the process and have a good connection with your therapist, in the same way that it is important to have a good association with your GP or specialist. Where you have a strong rapport, feel comfortable in their presence and at ease to share your thoughts, feelings and concerns.
I practice ‘person-centred’ counselling, which means that the counselling sessions are driven by YOU the client. They are non-directive. And as the counsellor, I walk along side of you as you ‘talk things through’ and together we generate new possibilities for action through sharing and talking.
A person might seek counselling or therapy because a situation maybe overwhelming their usual problem solving/coping skills resulting in emotional distress, anxiety or stress. A counsellor facilitates a person’s self-development, providing opportunities for them to gain a better insight and understanding of self, where they want to be, and how they can get there through building skills, strategies or therapy.
As a counsellor, I don’t ‘diagnose’ or ‘label’ people. I create a safe, non-judgemental, confidential environment allowing you, as the client, to drive the counselling sessions in a safe and conducive environment, walking through the crisis or problem(s) that has brought us to meet.
A good counsellor:
is an active listener
easily connects and builds rapport with their clients
asks both ‘open’ and ‘closed’ questions at appropriate times
understands what the client is conveying and is able to paraphrase and summarise this for you
observes verbal and non-verbal cues
has good ‘responding’ skills to encourage continual in-depth story telling or story clarification
continues to learn and is abreast of latest evidence-based research
is able to suggest and teach appropriate strategies to support and empower the client
engages in a professional, non-dual relationship
is bound by their code of ethics
Counselling should not cause more stress to your life. You should leave counselling better than when you arrived.
Thumbnail art credit: @crazyheadcomics