There is no such thing as resistant clients, just resistant therapists.

At Conversations With Impact we like this maxim. We like it because it places responsibility on therapists like me to ensure therapy works.

At first I didn’t quite know what was happening. The therapist just sat there in silence. I asked them if they were going to say anything and they said ‘What would you like me to say?’ It was really upsetting and yet I felt it was my fault.”

Too may clients assume responsibility for indifferent, unhelpful therapy. People seeking support are struggling in one way or another and their mindset can be primed to assume fault lies with them. As a form of support, therapy can be life-changing and sometimes life-saving. At Conversations With Impact we believe therapists need to take significant responsibility for ensuring such outcomes.

So, if you are unhappy with your current therapist or are anxious about returning to therapy due to negative prior experiences, how do you find a therapist who is right for you? In this blog we provide a helpful checklist of what to consider and look out for.

Effective therapy – what to look out for

Below are a series of thought-provoking statements that address key aspects of the therapeutic relationship and process. Have the statements to hand when speaking to a potential new therapist. Use them to help you feel confident, they are someone you can work with. And with the evidence indicating that effective therapeutic relationships are formed – IN THE FIRST SESSION! – it is important that you feel able to respond positively to all or most of the statements below STRAIGHTAWAY!

  • I trust the therapist
  • I feel respected by them
  • They do not judge me and accept me for who I am
  • The conversation follows my agenda, not theirs’
  • They give me the time that I need
  • They respect my need for confidentiality
  • I can say what I really want to them
  • They understand me and what I need from them
  • They have the ideas, skills and knowledge I need
  • I am not too close to them
  • They believe in me and my potential for change
  • I feel challenged by them in a good way
  • I feel they genuinely listen to me
  • They are truly interested in me
  • My conversations with them make a difference
  • They help me set clear goals and strategies
  • They help me find solutions
  • They have the X-Factor

A positive experience

Therapy should be a POSITIVE EXPERIENCE. From the start you should feel inspired by what your therapist says and does. Each session should leave you feeling hopeful and excited to return. And when your therapist gets it wrong, which they will from time-to-time, they should welcome your feedback and adjust their practice accordingly.

“I chose the counsellor because on their website they said they specialised in anxiety. In the first session she asked me about my past. I told her this wasn’t what I wanted, but as it was the first session, I thought ok. In the second session I said I wanted practical ideas to help reduce my anxiety. She said that’s not how she worked. She said something about me having all the ideas. If I had the ideas why would I ask her? Two days later she called me and said she couldn’t help. Two sessions and £100 I could ill-afford to waste.”

If you would like further help and advice in finding the right therapist, please get in touch. We would love to work with you, of course, but the most important outcome for us is that you find the right therapist for you. Read our other blogs on what to look out for when finding a therapist.