Choosing to hire a therapist is a big decision and it’s important to find the best person for the job. There are thousands of therapists out there, all of whom have unique expertise and therapeutic techniques.
Although every therapist is different, there are certain qualities that any professional therapist should possess. Qualities such as empathy, great communication skills, and authenticity are part of what makes a therapist great at what they do.
What Qualities Should You Look Out for in a Therapist?
When you’re searching for the best online therapy provider or in-person therapist, look out for the following five essential qualities.
Therapists often deal with difficult and challenging topics. You might need to divulge your deepest and darkest thoughts, and this can bring up a range of negative emotions.
A great therapist is able to stay optimistic and provide a sense of hope for you, while also being practical. They should be able to create a positive environment without being unrealistically hopeful or giving you false expectations.
You might find that you need to prepare yourself physically and mentally before a therapy session. The last thing you want when you’re reading to head to the clinic or log into your virtual appointment is your therapist canceling the session just minutes before it’s due to start.
Your therapist should be reliable and trustworthy. You should be certain that they’re going to show up for every session on time. If they do need to rearrange an appointment, they should give you at least 48 to 72 hours notice.
Great at Communication
Great communication is central to a successful therapy session. Your therapist should be able to communicate complex therapeutic techniques in an easy-to-understand way, and provide suitable coping strategies for you to take on board.
Part of effective communication involves being great at listening. Whether in person or online, your therapist should be an active listener and must be able to respond appropriately to everything that you say during your sessions.
To succeed as a therapist, passion is a must. The therapist that you hire must have an interest in helping others and treating individuals with a range of psychological and emotional difficulties.
When your therapist displays passion and love for what they do, you’ll feel more relaxed and able to open up during your therapy appointments.
Picking up on subtle body language cues can be difficult during virtual therapy sessions. However, the best therapists will still be able to identify certain mannerisms or changes in your tone of voice over a video call.
Therapists must be observant to pick up on all of the subconscious cues that you are sending as you open up about your difficulties.
They can use their observations to provide suitable therapy interventions and techniques. For example, they might suggest Qigong meditation, guided discovery, or journaling to help you cope with or overcome your problems.