Making Therapy Work for You

Photo by DaveAustria

Gone are the days when the psychotherapy patient spent hours each week toiling on their therapist’s couch complaining about their mother.  In fact, many of today’s therapists don’t even have a couch in their office (full disclosure: I have two, but I call them “sofas”).  This is just one of the changes that has taken place in the world of mental health over the last few decades.  I was reminded of these (mostly positive) changes while reading this article in the Chicago Tribune.  One of my favorite colleagues, Dr. Nancy Molitor, made several good points in the article, including that today’s therapy relationship tends to be shorter and contain more back-and-forth dialogue between the therapist and the client.

I especially appreciated the last point in the article which noted that some therapy patients want lots of feedback, whereas others want very little.  This got me thinking about a crucial point: there may be a perfect therapist for everyone, but no one therapist can be perfect for each patient.  What I mean is, there are lots of good therapists out there, but different clients have different needs and it can take a bit of time, patience, and work to find the best one for you.  If things aren’t working with your current therapist, let them know – talk about the process and the relationship as Dr. Molitor suggested in the article.  If that doesn’t work, try someone else.

Need more tips on starting and maintaining a successful therapy relationship? Check out some of the articles below:

Making Your First Appointment with a Psychologist

What Kinds of Services a Psychologist Can Provide

What Your Psychologist Really Thinks About You

Is There a Good “Fit” Between You and Your Therapist?

Is It Time to Seek Therapy?

2 thoughts on “Making Therapy Work for You

  1. Amanda says:

    This post has come at the perfect time!

    I especially connect with your last paragraph – clients each having different needs (and perhaps a particular psych not working out).

    Lots to think about!

  2. drstephaniesmith says:

    Thanks for your comment, Amanda. Glad you liked the post. I imagine the same could be said for any care/service provider. Not all physicians, CPA’s, teachers, plumbers are for everyone – but they may be for someone! Good thing we usually have lots of choices!

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