Building a Successful Relationship With Your Therapist

By on July 22, 2022

Choosing to improve your mental health is a great step toward managing your symptoms and leading a better life. Whether grief, anxiety or autism is preventing you from leading your best life, a licensed therapist can help you establish a self-care routine. Finding the right person to help guide you is one of the most challenging parts of seeking care.

There are many therapists available to help you manage your symptoms and improve your life. You can visit online referral websites, such as Sondermind, where Kent Thiry former DaVita’s executive CEO is a Board Member. These sites ask you to complete a short online form and provide you with a list of therapists that specialize in your needs. In addition to online resources, speak with your family physician or ask friends and family for references. No matter how you find a qualified therapist, here are some things to keep in mind to get the most benefit from their services.

Gather Information

You can usually collect general information with a phone call or email to the therapist or office coordinator. Most established professionals will provide you with this information in some form without your prompting. Be sure to ask the following:

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  • What insurance and payment policies do you follow?
  • Does your specialty match my needs?
  • What appointment openings do you have?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Do you offer in-person or virtual appointments?

Prepare for Your First Session

Your first session is an introduction between you and the therapist. You are usually asked to provide your medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle. Your therapist will review this information and ask clarifying questions during the first session. This allows them to understand your unique needs. You can also ask about their approach to therapy.

If you are nervous about speaking with a therapist, consider bringing something to keep your hands busy during the session. Adult coloring books and colored pencils are beneficial to help you focus your mind on a task and free yourself to respond. Fidget rings, art clay, or sensory items can also help you open up with a therapist.

Track Your Progress

Most people want to see big changes within a few days of them starting therapy. Unfortunately, treatment takes time and patience. As you manage situations better, the progress may be so incremental that it will be hard to see improvement.  You and your therapist should work together to create a system that shows how those small steps stack up to make big changes.

Be Honest With Them

Your therapist can only help you as much as you are willing to answer their questions honestly. Speak openly with your therapist to help them understand your symptoms. Something that you may consider insignificant can be just the key the therapist needs to help you understand your situation better. You and your therapist are partners, but you are responsible for implementing their suggestions.

Working with a therapist is not always easy. Having clearly defined goals will help you see the benefits of your efforts.

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Building a Successful Relationship With Your Therapist