How and Why to Choose a Therapist.
I felt rubbish at the weekend… You know those days when you just lose your mojo and end up moping about feeling sorry for yourself? Do you get those days? Well, I certainly do. They don’t happen too often, luckily enough, but when they do I just try to tell myself to tread water until they are over. These things are temporary.
Sometimes our mood can be triggered by a specific event. Maybe we have an exam coming up, or an important meeting? Perhaps a job interview that is making you doubt yourself?
Of course, in these days of social media its a bit “not the done thing” to admit you are feeling like a wet Tuesday afternoon, or that you feel like more a little child inside than the adult you are. Aren’t we all supposed to be bright and bushy tailed, chanting positive affirmations over our organic meusli? Aren’t we all supposed to be full of confidence and verve, after all… everybody else is…aren’t they? Well… it might not be that widely talked about, but I think we all have those days when all we want is to crawl back under the duvet and eat chocolate biscuits. We just don’t tend to admit that we feel that way. And as for everybody else being mega confident… well you’d be surprised to hear just how many people feel decidedly wobbly on the inside.
And the thing is… that’s ok. Its normal to have days when you doubt yourself and you just feel rubbish. As I said, some days you just have to try to tread water and that feeling will pass. You are allowed to have a rubbish day and, to be honest, you’re allowed to just be kind to yourself. Let today be a “be kind to yourself day” and if you fancy a chocolate biscuit then just go for it!!
What happens when its more than one bad day?
So… the odd day here and now where you feel miserable is normal. Its normal to feel a bit nervous about job interviews and exams. The tricky time is when that feeling of anxiety or nerves or misery lasts more than the odd day. When the feeling starts to really impact on your life in a negative way, what do you do?
Well, for me, the first thing to do is to talk about it. Talk about it with someone you can trust to listen and understand. That might be your partner, your parents, a friend. And if talking with those people near to you doesn’t help, then your GP is the person to go to.
For some people, talking about their problem, whatever it might be, is ok. They might have to gird their loins and take a deep breath, but they can do it. For other people, maybe most people, its not an easy thing to do. Letting your vulnerability show, even to your closest friends or family, can be hard. Taking the decision to make an appointment with your GP can feel like a big step.
I remember, when I was going through PND, the day I decided to visit my GP was the day I felt I had failed. In the depths of despair, not coping with my problem, I felt that I was weaker than anyone else. When my GP told me “You are not a failure. You are a strong woman who has had the strength to ask for help. This is the day you start to get better.” it was a moment I will never forget.
So, you see, asking for help, talking about your problem… it’s not weak, it’s strong and it’s the first step on the way to getting better. It’s the first step on the journey to being who you really want to be.
So How Do You Find a Good Therapist?
It might be that your doctor refers you to a therapist, or it might be that you want to find your own. But how do you know who to choose?
Ask for Recommendations
Depending on the nature of your problem and how happy you are to talk to other people about your desire for therapy, its always a good idea to ask for recommendations. If someone you know and trust has had good results with a therapist then its worth considering them.
What are their Qualifications?
What are their qualifications? Are they a member of a professional body? Are they insured and do they keep up to date with training and developments in their field? Any therapist should have their professional qualifications and memberships displayed. They should also be able to talk you through what those qualifications and memberships mean.
Are They Someone you can Feel Comfortable with and Trust?
Whether you have been given a recommendation or you have found the therapist through other means such as the internet, you need to know that you can feel comfortable with and trust them. Rapport in the therapeutic alliance is essential and if you have any doubts then keep looking. There will be the right person with the right therapy for you out there. You should be able to ask questions before you sign up for any therapy and if you don’t feel the therapist is for you then you are not obliged to choose them. You need to feel comfortable in their presence so that you can work together in trust to achieve a positive outcome.
Does the Therapist Explain their Aims and Enthuse about Treatment?
A good therapist will explain how they work and will be positive and open about what you are going to do together. They should be honest and if your needs are beyond their remit they should do their best to help you find someone who can help, or refer you back to your GP.
Its OK to be Scared.
More and more these days people are going to talk to therapists, but if its the first time you have considered it you might feel a bit scared, or nervous. You are not alone in feeling this way, and therapists understand this. You might feel that you are wasting people’s time or that your problem is not that important. Well… every problem is important. If it wasn’t then it wouldn’t be called a problem, would it? You will not be wasting anyone’s time. I cannot tell you what a relief it is to be able to share and to know that you are on the road to getting yourself sorted. If your life is being affected by something then take a deep breath, be brave and choose to talk. You can do it.
If you have a problem or fear with which you need help you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange a complimentary telephone consultation. You could also contact me on 07894564287
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