When one is suffering from mental and emotional problems and/or has relationship problems, they can end up looking for a therapist to assist them. This could be because they have taken this approach in the past, or it may be due to other reasons.
If it relates to other reasons, it could be a sign that someone they know has taken this approach in the past. And through paying attention to what one is going through and/or one opening up about what they are going through, they have made this suggestion.
The Best Option
However, even if someone they know hasn’t taken this approach before, they could still recommend it. Through hearing about what they are going through, they could say that one needs to get the right help.
This could then mean that one will pay a visit to their doctor and see who they recommend, or they could take this matter into their own hands. When this happens, one might end up doing an internet search and see who comes up in their area.
If one was to go and see their doctor, they are likely to be referred to someone, and this means that it should be fairly straightforward. Thus, there would then be no reason for them to put in a lot of effort.
On the other hand, this wouldn’t be the case if one was to find their own therapist, and this is because they would need to put all the effort in. Nevertheless, if one was to take this approach, it could show that they have a good understanding of the kind of support they need.
But if this is not the reason, it could mean that one likes to do things by themselves and doesn’t like to rely on others. It is then important for them to take the direct route and not to look towards others to show them the way.
Still, regardless of what approach one takes, what matters is that they are reaching out for support and are not suffering in silence. The kind of therapist they want to work with can all depend on what they are going through.
For example, if one has relationship problems, it will be a good idea for them to work with someone who has a good understanding of how relationships work. Similarly, if one has emotional problems, it will also be important for them to work with someone who can provide the assistance they need.
One could also be in a position where they have a rough idea of why they are the way they are, and this could be due to being abused and/or neglected as a child. In this case, they will need to work with someone who knows where they are coming from.
One could also find that they prefer to work with a man/woman, or this might be something that doesn’t bother them. If it does, it could be due to the experiences they had as a child or what has occurred in their adult life, for instance.
Through finding someone that meets their requirements, one will be able to arrange a time to look into what is taking place for them. This could be something that will occur in a few days, or it could be a matter of weeks before they have their first appointment.
Upon meeting the therapist, one could feel as though it is safe for them to be themselves, and this will then allow them to open up. This will be down to how the therapist behaves in their presence as opposed to them having some kind of special ability.
When they do open up, the therapist will not only listen to what they have to say; they will also empathise with what they have been going through. This will then allow them to get an idea of why one has sought therapy.
The Next Step
As a result of this, the therapist will then be able to offer them the right kind of assistance, and through being treated in this way, one will gradually begin to trust them. This will then make it easier for one to open up even more and for progress to be made.
After the first appointment, one may take the time to reflect on what took place and it could then be matter of time before they have another appointment. There is even the chance that they will have noticed a difference after their first appointment, but this can all depend on what they are going through.
During the moments when the therapist listened to what one had to say, they wouldn’t have invalidated their experience. So no matter what they said, it wouldn’t have been dismissed, denied, minimised or ignored, for instance.
This is something that would have played a vital role in them being able to feel safe and to trust the therapist. One is then going to feel respected and there will be no reason for them to shut down or to walk away.
The Real World
However, while this is something that does take place, it is not something that always takes place. Instead, one can open up about what is taking place for them (and what took place in the past) and they can end up being invalidated.
If one has recently experienced trauma, they can end up being retraumatized, or they can end up feeling even worse than they did before. Therefore, instead of being supported through working with them, one will end up being undermined.
If one is in a vulnerable place it can make it harder for them to realise when they are being taken advantage of. What can also play part is if one was abused as a child and lacks boundaries, as this can cause them to overlook what is taking place and this is because it will be seen as normal.
When this happens, it will be important for them to no longer work with the therapist and to find someone who knows what they are doing. No matter how one has been treated in the past, it doesn’t mean that they should continue to put up with bad behaviour.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.