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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What do I ask to determine if the therapist is a good match?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • I am a psychologist in private practice.I also lecture and supervise psychologists/psychology students at University.I work with clients who suffer from depression and anxiety. I … View Profile

    The best way to determine whether your therapist is a good match for you is to make sure that you choose someone who has experience working with your particular problem. Then you need to meet with them and see if you feel comfortable with their personality. Do not be afraid to change therapists if you do not feel helped by your current therapist.

  • My research interests include immunology and the mechanisms of amyloid formation. The latter has implications for people who are dealing with Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease … View Profile

    I agree with what Jennifer wrote.

    For me the most important thing has been rapport/mutual respect between me and my therapists - IMO this is at least as important as the clinical skills/experience of a mental health professional.

    Eg, I had zero rapport with the first psychiatrist who I saw though I am sure that (for others), she is a fine clinician. So, by mutual consent, we ended our therapeutic relationship. I then found a new one with whom I have excellent rapport.

  • Karen Amos

    Counsellor, Personal Trainer

    Walk and Talk is just what you need to begin living a life that you love. I'm Karen Amos and at Walk and Talk Australia … View Profile

    This is the kind of question that i believe many people think but are afraid to ask.  And I am certain that finding the right kind of help is sometimes hard to find.

    I am also in agreeance with both Simon and Jennifer's comments.

    Just to add an extra, I believe that as a counsellor I am up there with your hairdresser and your GP.  As a client I need to be able to tell you that it's a bad haircut and to ask the question without fear of feeling like a dummy.  Your instincts will guide you as to whether the therapist is who you gel with even in a short over the phone conversation or simply an email.  

    Another factor that can play a part is where you are at in your journey.  Very much right place, right time.


  • Rhonda Gibson Long

    Psychotherapist

    I work with clients who have depression and anxiety but also I work with relationship issues, stress, addictions, grief, trauma, low self esteem and sexuality … View Profile

    So I think it is really important to have a good match and also to feel comfortable with your therapist. If you are just looking around for a therapist I think it is a good idea to call them up and have a chat. When you hear their voice and you get a sense of where they are coming from, then you can check out whether you can eventually trust this person.
    Ask yourself could you form a relationship with them, and are they sensitive to your needs and wants? And also can this person take me to a healthier, stronger me, a more accepting me, a more confident me.
    If you ring them up and talk to them and have a few questions written down about what is important for you. What do you want out of therapy? What do you want to get?
    There are a lot of different therapists out there so it is important to find someone on the same page.
    There are therapists who work with cognitive behavioral therapy-which is more short-term goal oriented and there are therapists who work with mindfulness like myself. I weave meditation into the therapy. I have also creative ways of working with clients, like pushing work, sand play, art therapy and dream work.
    If you are interested in that sort of thing then I would be good to work with.
    There are therapists out there who can be very direct so it depends on how you want them to treat you. It is whether you want someone who is going to walk beside you. Show you the way, and show you yourself, as you can build a good relationship in that respect.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Ralph Graham

    Counsellor

    Ralph Graham, Counsellor, Psychotherapist, helping those who are affected by:grief, loss, anxiety, phobias, panic attack.And those who have been traumatised by:crime, assault, sexual abuse and … View Profile

    Hello, the questions you ask will be somewhat geared to your expectations and if you have not had therapy before you may not be aware of the different approaches therapists use.

    I can say what I would ask if I were seeking help: -

    1 Will you accept what I tell you as my view of things without judgement?

    2 Is your approach person centred, that is do you place a lot of faith in me being able to discover my own empowering answers with your guidance?

    3 If you get something wrong will you admit it and seek to remedy the problem?

    4 Does your approach include using a method of discovering if something in my past is the root of my current trouble?

    5 what methods do you use and where can I read about them?

    So my concerns are influenced by my training and experience and of repairing damage caused by my client's former therapists. 
    Dont worry.
    Trust your intuition in the first or second session and be brave enough to try someone new if it doesn't feel right. It is your right to be particular about who is going to work with your mind.

    See also
    Person Centred
    Audition your therapist
    Which therapist?

  • Vicky Manikas

    Psychologist

    Vicky is a Melbourne-based psychologist, currently working in private practice in Melbourne. Vicky has a diverse background with training in both developmental and clinical psychology. … View Profile

    I also agree with the answers already given. Most psychologists would happily chat with you on the phone prior to your first appointment so you can ask about their approaches to therapy and what treatment/s they may suggest for you (obviously this would be limited as they have not gotten to know you or your specific set of circumstances). 

    Then during your first and second visit you will be able to judge for yourself how comfortable you feel with the psychologist. If your personalities match or at least work well together. How comfortable you feel to open up and be honest with them about your self and your thoughts and feelings.

    All the best and hope you find somene you can work well with.

  • Georgina Watts

    Counsellor, Psychotherapist

    I am passionate about journeying with people on their road to wholeness. I work with males and females who are needing to work on self … View Profile

    I have to say that the above answers are great answers and while not much else needs to be added i just want to add a couple of things: sometimes what a client will come into counselling for is not always the real problem - that might come up many sessions down the track so if you are not 100% sure what you actually "need" from the counsellor/psychologist it's okay.

    also studies have shown that the client-counsellor/psychologist relationship is the most important aspect for client satisfaction and "healing" so while someone experienced in the area you want may be preferable sometimes it all depends on who you do and don't click with.

    Good luck in your search and enjoy the process of interviewing prospective counsellors.

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