In Therapy? Questions You Should be Asking Yourself

trust me I'm a doctorIn our last post we discussed important questions to ask a therapist when seeking help for anxiety.

Anxiety is very treatable with the right help. Never forget that!

However you do have to find the right help. If you aren’t getting the results you want from therapy, questions you should be asking yourself include the following:

-Am I comfortable with this person?

-Do I feel safe here?

After a few sessions, you should begin to develop a sense of rapport and trust with your therapist. Ask yourself if you feel reasonably comfortable talking about your anxiety issue with this person?

On a forum discussion about qualities of a good therapist, one of the group members said the following (and I agree):

Experience and energy are a plus. the most important thing is that i (rather he or she) try to establish a plan of action so that your not stuck in therapy for the rest of your life. My current therapist believes that 4-8 months is sufficient as long as i am making progress and staying on track. You should be learning something and not just talking the whole time. They are meant to provide you with the tools to better cope with anxiety…

Another great point from that same forum thread:

A good therapist will teach you techniques to lessen your anxiety… point out your cognitive distortions and have you practice whatever it is you need practice in.  For instance, a social phobe needs to practice going out and meeting people.  A depressed person needs to stop isolating and start looking for activities to force themselves to get out of bed.  And so on . .

source

Other important therapy questions to consider:

-Are you intimidated by your therapist? (if so, can you discuss this with the therapist to get past it?)

-Are you treated with respect and courtesy?

-Are you able to ask for what you need?

-Do you expect them to be perfect? (Remember, they are human)

-Does the therapist say things that make you feel uncomfortable?

-After several sessions, do you feel you are making improvements and starting to feel better?

-Do you feel hopeful and energized after a therapy session?

-Are you given homework assignments between sessions so you can mark your progress and try new skills?

If you don’t feel you are getting the results you want, speak up.

Remember you are paying for a valuable service, and I bring up these therapy questions to give you pause for thought.

I wish you peace,

Jill G.


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5 Responses to In Therapy? Questions You Should be Asking Yourself

  1. Tonya says:

    I had a therapist who yelled at me and told me I was being “non-compliant” because I was too afraid to start the meds! I never went back there. He was a real jerk! Another therapist told me I was just too sensitive and needed to tell my family members I don’t give a shit anymore what they thought about me! That made me laugh! Guess it is a just a trial and error kind of process until you find the right person. The one I have now is good but I sometimes feel he watches the clock and is so ready for our hour to be up!

    • JillG says:

      Those 2 sound like nutters for sure. It’s such a shame we have to go through this because we are so vulnerable and desperate when we need help you know? That and it’s so expensive.

      I’ve had those watch the clock ones too. (sigh) Maybe prepare your questions or what you want to talk about ahead of time and that way you can get everything in.

  2. maz says:

    The points you make are really important. I have had first hand experience of the good the bad and the ugly

    It always amazes me there are actually bad therapists out there. I had one so bad I wrote a letter of complaint to her superior saying she should be digging holes in roads and not being a threrapist to sick people and believe me at the beginning my anxiety made me so sick

    By chance I found a good one what a difference it made to my life. I am not cured yet but I’m 75% better than I was

    I don’t see her now because with anxiety and panic there is only so far a therapist can go and the rest is down to you but that’s just my opinion. I felt I knew when it was time to dig in and go alone. That said I have to say your website Jill has been a more than great replacement for my therapist. I’m so glad I found this site and am forever grateful for all the tips and advice you give with empathy and first hand knowledge.

    Maz

    • JillG says:

      Thank you for the kind comments Maz, and Im always so happy to hear about your progress. Ive seen so many therapists in my life, probably more than a dozen. Only 2 were good. One of those 2 was excellent. All the others were mediocre to horrible.

      Looking back, had I asked the right questions in the first place, I probably could have weeded out a lot of the therapists that didn’t help me.

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