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Author Topic: How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?  (Read 3026 times)

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Offline Assurbanipal

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How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?
« on: June 01, 2011, 12:17:21 PM »
Well, as I mentioned in another thread, change is on the horizon and I've called up a practice to see if they can give me some advice, coaching, therapy ....

There's a lot of things I need to deal with (I quit my long-time career job because the hours were too much, whether to do a career change, AIDS, identity, family relationships, broader disclosure, aging, finding meaning in life's second / third act)  Reciting the list is all very well and good, but working on it seems daunting.  And fundamentally, even though I'm a cheerful type, I know I will need some help. 

So how do you figure out what type of help you need, and whether the therapist or coach is working for you?

What questions do you ask?

5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline Joe K

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Re: How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2011, 01:46:17 PM »
For me, it's not the questions you ask so much, as your ability to build a solid relationship with your therapist.  When I see someone new, we usually spend at least a month or two, just talking about me, my thoughts, my fears, etc. so the therapist has a basis to make any suggestions.  Usually while discussing subjects, certain issues will be identified as areas to discuss further and then we form a plan of action, on what to do next.  What I find most important is having the feeling that my therapist is there to help me and that means, when necessary, she pushes against me and what I believe.

I usually start by simply discussing what has brought me to therapy, what I hope to gain from therapy and then laying the foundation for that therapy.  I need to feel connected to my therapist and generally you will get a good idea, of whether the two of you fit together, within 4 - 6 weeks.  I suggest you ask questions that are important to you and in therapy there is no such thing as a bad question.  Since therapy is unique to each person, there are really no set questions or answers.  I would take the time to explain your situation and based on how the two of you interact, you will know if you have a good fit, or you need to try someone different.
Life is what happens, when you are busy making other plans.

Though you may be only one person in the entire world, to one person, you may be the entire world.

I wish to become half the man, that my dog thinks I am.

Remember me with simple acts of kindness and I will live forever.

Offline mecch

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Re: How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2011, 02:43:35 PM »
Around these parts there are long waiting lists for psychiatrists and a bit less for psychologists.

The few times Ive been in therapy, my method has been as follows. 

Get an appointment.

Explain the situation and the immediate result, or long-term result I hoped for. 

Treat the therapist as a professional and get his/her view on my needs -- that's their job after all. 

Twice I stuck with the first therapist I met.  After a few meetings it was obvious the therapist could do the work.

Once I had to meet three and finally took the 2nd, not the 3rd. 



ďFrom each, according to his ability; to each, according to his needĒ 1875 K Marx

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2011, 01:09:58 PM »
Well, I met him for the first session and we had a good discussion -- he said he thinks he can be helpful with the things at the top of the agenda. 

We also explictly discussed whether I'd be comfortable working with him, and because I thought I picked up on some potential discomfort, vice versa.  (Oddly enough, I've been told that some people think I come on as rather intense sometimes  -- I'm sure none of you would believe that though  ;D)

So...it begins.


5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline garywales

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Re: How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2011, 01:42:42 PM »
Recently retrained as a CBT Psychotherapist here,

Very interested to hear how it goes

Best wishes

Gary

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2011, 06:56:33 AM »
Ideally you should be able to "say everything" in the therapeutic setting. It also takes time to build the trust that will make that possible. If things go well you will be building a working partnership to help you to achieve your goals and along the way work on the obstacles to accomplish that. Say everything. Good luck.
Andy Velez

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011, 09:29:27 AM »
I've gone through four therapists over the past decade, and only one of them was so-so in the "connection" level. One was gay, two were straight men, and my current one is a 29 year old straight woman (love her). I'm not the type to hold back on subject matter, and I've related a lot of racy things to all of these people. It's their job to not be phased.

Father Joe said is well down below about how to go about setting a foundation for your therapy sessions with any new therapist. It's pretty much what I've done with each of mine.

btw, I've lately been considering halting therapy session. I mean "hello" -- a decade? I've become this Woody Allen creature. I don't even explore "life issues" any longer at my sessions, I just go and make idle chit chat for at least 50% of the session. OK, so the other half I talk about serious issues, but I feel I'm now just using therapy because it's there and I pay nothing and it's a nice crutch to have.
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 12:11:35 PM »
Well, to answer Gary's question I think it has been a successful relationship -- it was set up to address a clearly defined issue and we are making progress.

I had done a lot of internet stalking before I interviewed this guy, and we seem to be able to talk freely.  It does feel oddly self-indulgent sometimes, having discussions focused solely on my concerns is not the reciprocal format that one feels is polite or customary.  But I'm over that (we discussed it) and things are moving along.

In fact, at this point, I think I should bring in cupcakes or something  :) 
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011, 12:59:01 PM »
It does feel oddly self-indulgent sometimes, having discussions focused solely on my concerns is not the reciprocal format that one feels is polite or customary. 

Naw honey, that just means you've always been uptight :)
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Assurbanipal

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  • Posts: 2,173
  • Taking a forums break, still see PM's
Re: How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2011, 03:45:28 PM »
Naw honey, that just means you've always been uptight :)

Oops, maybe I overshared  ;)
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
2012 VL UD swap Prezista/Norvir for Reyataz drop statin CD4 768-828 26.7%-30.7%

Offline TexasPOZ

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  • Posts: 46
Re: How do you know whether a therapist is right for you?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2011, 04:53:53 AM »
For me the most important thing is that my therapist be someone I feel comfortable talking to. I expect to be treated with dignity and respect without judgment, but that person has to give me that vibe that I can talk to him or her, because I plan on sharing those things that I can't talk to anyone else about.

 


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