How to find a good psychotherapist

If you are interested in therapy the first, and most important step, is to find a therapist that you can trust and build a strong relationship with.

Opening up about intimate details of your life can feel daunting, overwhelming, and even unsettling. Your chosen therapist should offer you support, understanding, and guidance through your therapy journey.

With the right therapist, psychotherapy can be life-changing and help you find ways and develop skills to improve your emotional and physical well-being. But how can you find a good psychotherapist that can help to change your life? Keep reading to find out.

What makes a good psychotherapist?

A good psychotherapist will earn trust and build strong relationships with their clients and patients. Trust is one of the most important aspects of therapy to allow the client to become calm, open, and relaxed.

To forge a trusting relationship with clients, psychotherapists must have a genuine passion for helping others and strong empathetic abilities. By validating the client's thoughts, feelings and emotions, the therapist acknowledges the problems and struggles the patient is facing.

However, a good therapist does not make any judgement and will avoid making approval or disapproval comments about what the client says or does during the therapy journey.

Professional therapists will never force the client to do something against their will and are strong communicators that can explain symptoms and educate clients in a way they can understand.

Overall, a good psychotherapist wants what is best for the client and is prepared to respect their boundaries and choices surrounding therapy treatment.

Do sensitive people make good psychotherapists?

Sensitive is described in the Oxford dictionary as being ‘aware of and able to understand other people and their feelings. Often, sensitivity is viewed as a negative term but being sensitive is a positive trait that allows you to be consciously aware of your surroundings and increasingly empathetic.

Research suggests that twenty per cent of the population are categorised as being a ‘highly sensitive person’, and Dr Elaine Aron, a clinical research psychologist, explains that highly sensitive people make the best leaders.

Studies have shown that highly sensitive people have increased brain activation in areas of awareness, integration of sensory information, empathy, and action planning. Therefore, sensitive people are just as likely to be good psychotherapists as their counterparts.

How to find a good psychotherapist

Finding a good psychotherapist can be one of the biggest challenges of therapy but finding a therapist you can trust and connect with is an important first step.

Ask someone you trust

Asking for recommendations from people you know and trust that been through the same process, or are familiar with the process, is one of the best ways to find a good psychotherapist.

If you are comfortable, you could ask family or friends for therapist recommendations however, if you don’t feel ready to speak with loved ones, trusted organizations can also help.

Schools have specialised mental health and psychology departments that will be able to refer you to a psychotherapist within their network. Likewise, doctors and other work professionals will have a network of healthcare resources and recommendations.

Check online resources

There are many online resources that can assist you in finding the right therapist. Online databases will list a number of mental health and emotional well-being professionals available in your area.

Using online resources means you can narrow down and create specific searches to find a psychotherapist that can help with your goals.

Ask questions that are important to you

Asking your psychotherapist questions can help you understand them, how they work, and whether you think they are the right fit for you. You can ask questions about their expertise, specialisms, and their approach to therapy in order to get to know them and create trust within your relationship.

Don’t expect to find the perfect psychotherapist on your first attempt. Many clients who choose to begin therapy try out several therapists before meeting their match.

Did you know that you can support people’s mental health and emotional well-being by becoming a psychotherapist? If you're interested then why not check out our Level 5 Professional Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. Get in touch with us today to see how you can make a difference.