The benefits of a good therapist

by Dandy

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now than you’ve probably figured out that I’m a strong advocate for counseling and therapy.  I have benefited greatly from psychotherapy.  It has changed my life profoundly in so many ways.  I sought out therapy for depression and anxiety, as well as the need to know myself better and be aware of my own needs and emotions.

The overall benefit of therapy is to have a safe and secure place to talk with another person without the fear of judgement.  Having a sounding board releases an incredible amount of pressure and stress, which allows the person to be happier and more centered; this goes for all people, and doubly so for anxiety sufferers.

Another benefit of therapy is it places a high value on the worth of the individual.  A good therapist will praise and encourage their client to seek help.  A therapist can help to determine which kind of therapy the person will benefit from, whether it be cognitive behavioral therapy, Pastoral, Humanistic, Gestalt, Interpersonal, Transpersonal, or Positive Psychology.  Therapists may present other techniques to the client, but the client has the ultimate say of which technique, he or she feels works best for them.  The client works with the therapist to establish goals that the client wants to obtain from therapy.  Therapy is all about the client, while the therapist does their best to help the client seek and reach those goals.  For many, being in the position to make significant choices over their own well-being is a new experience.  This can be intimidating to some, but again this is what the therapist is for.  Working through this can be incredibly empowering.

Therapy is a gentle process.  Therapist are trained to be very emotionally gentle because they realize that if they make even slight comments or mistakes that are perceived as threatening, or judgemental, that they have begun to jeopardize the therapeutic relationship.  Clients who feel judged withhold information, which impedes progress.  Going through therapy isn’t always easy.  When one is willing to make changes in their lives it can be very distressful.  Therapists help to reduce transitional stress so that they can aid their clients to lead the healthy and happy lives they want to live.

Some important things to know when seeking out a good therapist…

*  Ask your general practitioner for a referral, or ask your religious community if they can recommend someone.

*  Interview the therapist.  Ask them their area of expertise and how they’ve helped people with your presenting concern.  If it is important to you, ask if they will respect your Spiritual views.

*  Listen to your inner voice or instincts.  Not every therapist will click with a potential client. 

*  Go with experience over degrees.  Not everyone with multiple doctorates can be helpful.  But make sure they are licensed to practise.

*  You do not have to tell anyone you are seeing a therapist.  This is a very personal decision.  It is entirely up to you who you tell.  unfortunately, there is still a stigma over mental illness and it is a profound shame.  If someone you know thinks that only, “sickos go to head shrinks,”  then it may not be in your best interest to let them know your personal business.  But this must be discussed with your therapist.

*  If after a few sessions you find that you are not comfortable with this therapist than it is ok to seek another one.  I’ve had this experience and was so glad I kept looking for a therapist that could really help me.  I’ve never regretted it.

If you know of someone who may need help encourage them to seek therapy.  Let them know there is no shame in it at all.  Refer them to my website.  Let them know they aren’t alone and that they can lead a happy life.  Ok, now que the soundtrack to Good Will Hunting:)

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37 Responses to “The benefits of a good therapist”

  1. I agree with you here. I kind of knew I needed some sort of therapy as I’ve been through a hell of a lot but didn’t want to go through a doctor and don’t have much money right now – fortunately I’ve recently found someone who is able to help me for little charge. Maybe this is the right time for me :)

    • Hi Andy,
      Oh, I’m so happy you read my post. Yes, it’s never too late to seek guidance through a therapist. Many great therapists work on the sliding fee scale, which is a life saver. I wish you all the best in your journey and I hope to hear from you again! Thanks Andy!
      ~Dandy

      • You’re welcome – I live in a fairly reasonable state of mental health now but had a difficult childhood and two breakdowns, 10 and 5 years ago. I did recover pretty miraculously but there are things holding me back and sometimes it’s hard to do it on your own.

  2. A perfect post, Dandy, to bring attention to the benefits of therapy. I think it is so very important for society to understand the value, and to begin moving past the stigma of depression and anxiety.

    Of someone who also gained much insight from therapy I can truly say that it gave me the tools to continue exploring the journey of life in a healthy way. And, it took me a few tries before I found the right “fit” Someone who I felt listened openly and understood because of similar emotions. Sometimes it is nice to have someone who can TRULY empathize because they have been through it themselves. So, I want to reiterate the importance of not giving up if you have a less than positive experience with one provider. You WILL find your fit. Thanks for your suggestions, Dandy. Awesome!
    Jen

    • Jen! Thanks so much for sharing that. I think it will really help people when they read what you wrote. Enough of the stigma already!! So many of us have benefited from counceling and we should speak out to stiffle the ignorant views of a few remaning short-sighted people. Thank-you Jen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Hi Dandy,

    Wonderful post! There is nothing wrong with seeking help Dandy. If the person is depressed, has anxiety, or any kind of problem, then it is a good idea to seek therapy if the individual needs it. Many people are too shy to seek help from a counselor or a therapist, but in reality it is very beneficial. After all, which is better to stay living in pain or seek help and get better? Thanks Dandy for a wonderful post and thanks for sharing

    • Hi Dia,
      I so appreciate your support. I’m really grateful for all your contributions too. I feel your comments make my blog better. God Bless Dia!

  4. Oh, yes, I am the poster child for good therapy. At the time in my life when I decided to make some fundamental changes, I took a multi-disciplinary approach–therapy, energy healing, pastoral counseling, healing services, and lots of reading! My therapist was so skilled and wise. There were times when I thought it would never get better. I remember sitting in her office whining that I was afraid I would be like Woody Allen, in therapy forever with no real success. But we both hung in there. I ended therapy several years ago, but I went to see her several months ago just to thank her for helping me to transform my life. As I’ve said before in comments on your blog, I don’t know how I lived as long as I did the way I did. My life is so much better now, not because my circumstances are so different, but because I am.

    • Hi Galen!
      I know exactly how you feel about being different. I too look back and wonder how I managed through it all. But I’m so relieved I found some help and changed my life. Thanks for sharing too! I just know all these smart and thoughtful comments are going to inspire people even more to seek therapy if they feel they need it. Thanks so much for your terrific comment Galen! Take good care!

  5. Very good Dandy. And thank you for sharing. The most important part to therapy is finding the right person. You a right when you refer to this. You have to click wit them and know you have trust. With a therapist being a third party they can get a better view of the help one needs.

    Everyone deserves a happy life and there is nothing wrong with therapy if that is what is going to change any life for the better. Thanks again, Dandy.
    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie!
      Thanks so much for that! I really appreciate all your wonderful comments on my blog. Everytime I see your little picture come up, I smile! Take care Debbie.

  6. I saw a therapist for about a year. I thought that the way I thought and processed things was the way everyone did and that it was the only way. It was amazing to me to learn that was not so. Learning to reprogram my way of thinking was a life saver. I did not know how unhappy I was, again I thought how I felt was “normal”. Life is a wonderful journey now!

    • Hi Patricia,
      How right you are! Life is a wonderful journey. Thanks so much for sharing too! I think people will really be helped out by all the great comments! Take care Patricia!

  7. I certainly worked with a therapist for a while before I started also picking up a whole bunch of techniques to help myself. I must confess that I didn’t always have a dream to help others. However, because I have personally experienced massive changes that I decided to share with others what I had come to know.

    You are right in pointing out that others may be reluctant to see one because they find it “shameful”. It’s better to acknowledge that they are facing tremendous difficulties coping. Most certainly, where appropriate, I would recommend people in need of therapy to seek your assistance. I’m sure that you’d make an excellent, wise and gentle one!!

    • Hi Evelyn!
      Wow, thanks so much for sharing that! I appreciate your compliment too. I don’t know if I would have made a good counselor, but I know I’m a good advocate. Thanks so much Evelyn! I really appreciate all your great comments on my blog! Take good care!

  8. Dandy,

    Thank you for writing this as I know there are several people who will benefit from hearing about the positive effects of therapy in their life. I have never taken advantage of the use of a therapist because I was alway intimidated by the cost. In it’s place I force my wife to listen to me ramble on and on about my problems. :-) Great post!

    • Hi Frank!
      It’s always so lovely to hear from you! I’m glad you mentioned that there are people you know who have been helped by therapy. It’s important to know also that alot of counselors work on the sliding fee scale. That’s what got me through! Thanks and take care Frank!

  9. I think that anything that improves your sense of personal empowerment is a good thing.

    • Hi J.D.! Yes achieving personal empowerment is like getting a more focused view of ourselves. Can’t go wrong with that! Thanks J.D. Your terrific for all your comments!

  10. Great info Dandy. So much of good therapy is finding someone who serves as a deep ‘listening.’ We can all do well to practice this in our own lives — whenever we sit silently and listen deeply we are a wonderful contribution to those around us. Listening with no judgment, criticism, condemnation or eye to evaluate is art that benefits humanity and helps us come to know ourselves deeper.

    • Hi Rob!
      You are right. We can really tune in to ourselves and discover things we didn’t know! We all deserve that glimpse of ourselves that isn’t judged or criticised. Thanks for your great comment Rob. I really, really appreciate it! God Bless!

  11. Hi Dandy,

    I’m glad to learn that therapy has worked for you. The only therapy I’ve had has been physical therapy to help heal some back issues back in college.

    I think it’s great that you shared this because so many people are scared to cross the barrier. If I ever saw the need, I would be willing to see a therapist, I guess – never considered it really, because I’ve found my therapy in other sources. I guess the biggest importance is that we have a therapeutic source, no matter the venue.

    Thank you Miss Dandy – enjoy the week!

    • Hi J.k.
      Thanks for that. It’s true we need to wipe away the stigma of seeing a therapist. I feel no shame and am happy to let anyone know how it improved my outlook on life. I don’t think I would have started a blog without it. And your right, we all need a therapeutic source of some sort. Thanks so much for sharing J.k. Take good care!

  12. luv’d this! thanks for sharing part of your story w us. i have thought often that a good therapy session is like a brain massage! it’s so wonderful. keep on.

    • Thanks so much! I never thought of it that way…as a brain massage. It’s true!! I appreciate your comment and would love to hear from you again!
      ~Dandy

  13. This post is excellent in showing the many benefits of therapy. Some people still carry the stigma that therapy means their weak and unhappy. That is so not true. Everyone has the right to happy and we all have problems. We also do not all the answers. When we can not figure out what to do it is a good idea to talk to a professional so that they can give you the proper advice. I am a psychologist and a life counselor so I know it is important that people seek the proper help and the amazing things that can happen in someone’s life when they just open up and listen.

    • Hello Paula,
      Thanks so much for your great comment. It’s true none of us have all the answers and we all have something about ourselves that holds us back whether it be limiting beliefs, poor self-image, low self-esteem, or anxiety. It’s ok to give ourselves a tune up for our minds. Therapy can open so many doors it’s incrediable. Thanks again Paula! I hope to her from you again. Take care!
      ~Dandy

  14. Dandy, I have counseled with people for many years and one thing I’ve found is that many counselors, therapists, and pastors often have their OWN therapists, counselors, and pastors. We all need an outside voice who can listen in and help us find what we need to discover in ourselves. Thanks for sharing this!

    • This is true Bryan. I’m so glad you mentioned this. Some of the best therapits out there are in therapy themselves. Thanks so much Bryan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. There’s certainly nothing wrong with therapy Dandy, what often stops us from seeking it out isn’t whether we think it will be any good. It’s usually two reasons:

    1) We’re afraid of what we might discover about ourselves
    2) We’re afraid of what others might think of you

    It all comes down to how we perceive ourselves, and how others perceive us. Do we really want to be stuck in a rut, hampered by negative thoughts and energy, for the rest of our lives? No, of course not, but we’re too afraid to make important changes for ourselves because of peer pressure. That’s all it is, pressure from others and ourself. We’re afraid that we’ll be judged as a weakling, so we don’t go and do what’s right for us.

    People need therapy, no doubt. But will they take that magic step and seek it out? :-)

    • Hi Stuart!
      How right you are. Some are afraid of what they will discover if they enter therapy, but if they are unhappy anyway there isn’t much to loose and if something upsetting does come forward, than that’s what the therapist is there for – to help work through it. Thanks so much for all your terrific comments on my blog Stuart. It is very much appreciated!!!!

  16. hello dandy
    how are you?
    most therapists do a brilliant job and show quite a lot of empathy. i think the job we do is often overlooked.
    however:
    it’s important they belong to a governing board and ensure they’ve acquired experience over time. it’s also important to know if their approach is suitable for you and where neccessary they must carry out referrals to appropriate specialists
    take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of the day

    • Hi Ayo,
      I’m doing great! Thanks so much for adding that. You are right, it is crucial to make sure the therapist is properly licensed & it is ok to ask around for reviews too. Thanks for all you do. It is much appreciated. Take care!

  17. Hi Dandy,

    Therapy sounds like a fun uplifting experience. I’ve never really sought our a purpose for therapy, but I have been curious for the experience. I could probably talk a therapist’s head off. As with many of us there are areas of improvement in my life that I’m sure therapy could help me sort out.

    Once attending therapy, at what point do you call it quits? I feel like I could potentially become attached to a person and want to continue meeting with them regularly for a long time if not a life time.

    I’ve wondered how therapist can seperate themselve from developing a friendship with their clients after dealing with them on such an intimate/personal level

    Interesting post!

    • Hi Chelsea,
      Your comment is excellent! I’m at a place in my life where I don’t need the kind of intense therapy I once did. I still have my same therapist, only I call and make an appointment when I need to talk. Sometimes that’s once a month. Sometimes a few months will go by. I don’t need to have some huge problem to see her. Sometimes we need help sorting things out and that’s ok. A therapist will certainly help with that and provide new ways of looking at what is going on in our lives. A therapist can point out things to us that we cannot see. As far as friendships, therapists are schooled heavily in boundaries. We can admire our therapists and they can admire us, we can be friendly, but crossing over the professional line is never a good idea and a good therapist won’t allow it anyway. The relationship between therapist and client is always a professional one. I’ve seen my therapist for several years and I know very, very little about her personal life. I think that’s why the therapy has been successful for me. Thanks so much for your wonderful questions Chelsea! Take care!

  18. so true Dandy
    the incorrect choice of a therapist can complicate things instead of making them better
    cya :)

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