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Everyone has a breaking point and can feel like they’ve run out of choices. Whether the problem is family conflict, unresolved trauma, substance abuse or something else, a qualified therapist can help you work through it and find solutions. To get the most from this process, pay attention to the patient-therapist relationship and make sure it remains healthy and productive. Here are a few questions to keep in mind:
Are You Confident Your Therapist is There For You?
According to Brynn Cicippio at BCA Therapy, your therapist’s outside interests should never interrupt your process. “You don’t need the therapist to be unbiased or a blank slate,” she points out, “but they should have clear boundaries.”
Above all, this means keeping the relationship on a professional footing. This includes:
- Not sharing inappropriate information about themselves, especially if it causes you to censor yourself.
- Understanding and empathizing with your point of view, even when theirs is different.
- Looking at difficult subjects without reluctance or discomfort. You should be able to talk freely about anything you need to without fear of judgment.
Are You Able to Talk to Your Therapist About the Process?
You might feel confident in your therapist’s ability to help you, but it’s a good idea to check in now and then and make sure you’re both on the same page regarding the challenges you’re working on and how you’re proceeding.
It’s even more important to speak up if you’re not comfortable with the direction things are going. “As the client, you’re in charge,” Cicippio observes. “If you hire a painter for a color, you can change the color. The same goes for therapy.” If you don’t think it’s going in a productive direction, you can change it.
Speaking up is also important if there’s something you worry about sharing. Simply asking, “How do I share things that make me uncomfortable?” is a good place to start. Together, you and your therapist can create a framework for bringing up difficult subjects.
How Do You Know When It’s Not Working?
Sometimes, a patient and a therapist are just not a good fit. If you don’t feel you’re able to play an active role in setting the direction of your therapy, it might be time to find a new therapist. The same is true if your therapist expresses discomfort with the issues you bring up or seems unable to see things from your point of view.
And when sessions start feeling more like chats with a friend rather than the difficult work of therapy, you’re probably not getting what you need from them anymore. “This doesn’t mean you can never come back,” says Cicippio, “but what you came for is completed.”
About BCA Therapy
BCA Therapy is a group of skilled and supportive therapists treating people of all ages in individual, couples and family therapy. BCA has offices in Wayne and Yardley.