If you’re a comic book geek like me, you would understand that Harleen F. Quinzel is the outrageous Harley Quinn. Harley Quinn was once a therapist. I doubt you want to make an appointment with Harley Quinn as your therapist. I doubt you want anybody that irrational to be your therapist. So how can you avoid getting a bad therapist? Stay tune after these commercial breaks!
Do your studies. I know, you thought your studying days were over. WRONG! You’re going to check which therapist goes under your insurance. That’s very important, because it will affect payments for each session. That reminds me of payment sessions, check how much the therapist charge per session. So then you can see if it’s in your budget.
If you personally know a few people that are seeing a therapist, ask recommendations. At least, getting suggestions from someone you trust will be more beneficial and brings a little reassurance. If you don’t know anybody that can suggest someone, go online and check on reviews of therapists near you. You can get a general idea of what type of therapist the individual is. Do they keep reschedule appointments? Are they late for sessions? Do they accommodate to their patients? These are some of the key factors to look over.
See if want a male or female therapist. To some people it matters, to others it doesn’t. I don’t think gender really matters as for doing the job. Just as long the therapist follow codes and manage his/her job properly, then there isn’t a better gender as for tackling the job. This is just comes down to preference.
Also, check what kind of specialist you want. If you have depression, you don’t want to go to a therapist that specialize with people that have eating disorder. Some therapists specialize in childhood trauma, PTSD, general depression and etc. Find the ones that works specifically to your need.
Okay, the studying is done! You made it! Before you celebrate, there are a few more steps to go. After you’re done doing your research, do an consultation before making your appointment. In the consultation, you will be asking questions like, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” and “Will I win hundreds of millions of dollars?” Hahaha! You obviously ask questions like, “Are you licensed?”, “How many years have you been doing this?”, “How do you normally conduct your patients?” and the big question, “Do they or have they ever been to therapy?” I say that’s one of the big questions, because a therapist that hasn’t been on the other side of the spectrum may cause problems with your well being. This person may have issue and can cross line with you and that’s a big no-no. I see it this way, Seeing a therapist who doesn’t do her own therapy is like going to a priest who has no relationship with God.
Now, if the consultation is to your pleasing then go ahead and make an appointment. If you feel uncomfortable or it won’t workout, I hope you saved your list. You might as well check your runners up. You never know, they may surprise you. If you, tossed it out, unfortunately you’re back to square one. This may take a long process for some and for others a snap of a finger. It all depends on everyone situation.
Hurray! You found a therapist! All is well with the world. Time to sing on top of a huge hill as happiness will be bestowed upon you. Not so fast buddy. It doesn’t end there. Think of it as trial subscription. Some people test is out for 30 days, some for 60, and others go as long as 90 max. I suggest you keep a journal during the time length you choose for this trial. Keep in track of session. Write down what was discussed. How did you feel and think when the session was over. Note what the therapist said and the kind of questions they ask. It’s all important to grab details, because when your trial is done, review your everything you have been tracking down.
If you feel you have been improving and positive outcomes have been emerging, then continue seeing the therapist. Obviously, if the therapist is not working out then end it and try another one. I know you have invested money and time on this therapist, so changing to another one will be a pain the ass. But we are talking about your mental health. You have to do what is right for you and taking care of your health. So please don’t stay out of convenience.
If things have been indifferent and nothing have really change, you can either extend your trial or try another therapist. There can be number of reasons why there hasn’t been any change. Maybe due to personal life, there has been constant rescheduling; which can cause a delay on your progress. Some individuals are extremely complex so it may take a longer time to crack down. Some individuals need therapy AND medicine. So the therapy kind of helps, but they’re struggling finding the right meds (will discuss that in future entry). In this case, going to therapy is the half way point, but needing the right meds completes the “marathon”. There can be many reasons as to why there has not been any changes.
However, if nothing of what I have mentioned have been going on or any other activities that can affect your treatment, then I suggest on changing a therapist. Maybe this one hasn’t been challenging or “pushing” you in a way that you need. Maybe the therapist is failing to provide perspective and enlightenment. Or they are, but not communicating it to the way you can understand. People are complicated and retain sources differently. Someone can say one thing and person A thought it meant one way and person B can take it in a different direction. You need a therapist that can speak to your own “language”.
But, god forbid, if they’re REALLY terrible, you don’t have to stay for the entire 30, 60, or 90 days. They try to get physical with you, said something inappropriate, seem too occupied to care for your well being, and etc. then my friend, you have a Harley Quinn in your hand. Don’t feel obligated to stay until the trial is over. Don’t make excuses for the individual. Again, this is your health we are talking about. Exit the building like Elvis! DEUCES! Of course if verbal and/or physical assault have happened, please file a report. Not only you will be helping yourself, but others who may be too scared to say anything.
Okay, let’s say the trial is over and you found your therapist soulmate. Match made in heaven! Now things can get cooking! Eh… depends. Studies show it takes people between 6 months and a year for them to be fully comfortable with a therapist. As well, an additional 6 months to tell the truth! Lol! Everybody is different. Some people take time to trust a complete stranger with personal/traumatic information.
I’m not going to lie, it’s a bit weird at first. But it’s not like the therapist sits there and said, “tell me the hardest part of you life!” They slowly ease you in and the conversation slowly develops. I will say this though. You are NOT obligation to say anything you are not comfortable to discuss about… YET. When a therapist ask me something that I’m not ready for I say, “I am not ready to answer that/I am not ready to tell that story; but we will circle back around it when I am” That’s me politely declining, yet, recognizing that the topic is needed conversation, but for later. BUT… do realize you will have to talk about it. As uncomfortable it may be, it will have to be discussed. If it’s essential to your treatment, then yes. If you keep pushing it off, then expect the hammer from the therapist in the future. Trust and believe, your emotional state is going to scream, “I wasn’t ready!” when it does occur.
Find a way to express it when you are emotional and mentally stable enough. If it’s difficult let your therapist know. “I think I’m ready to talk about ______ but I will need your assistance and patience to unravel this” Saying that statement is you showing growth and want to progress, but admitting you may not be all the way there to take that step. Therapist should be able to guide you along the way. If it get too intense, even a quarter along the way. You can stop and pick it up another time. Again, you are not obligated to spell everything at once. This is a process. It takes time.
Which leads me to this… it all takes time. It is a journey. Your journey. This is not race. Understand your therapist is just a person to help you to come to your own realization. I am sure many wishes to tell their patients what to do and how to think. In few occasions they do, but for the most part, they understand that this is your life and it’s something you have to map out yourself. I say this because people think therapists has all the answers and they will do all the problem solving for them. Nope! They can show you the formula to solve the problem, and explain and show you how it’s done. It’s up to you to choose to follow through. It’s up to you to see if there is another formula out there that works better for you. It’s up to you to solve it. They are just there to monitor you as you’re trying to find the best answer for yourself. If you need help as you’re solving it, they will do their best to help you get there. Does that make any sense? I hope it did. Lol!
I think I have covered everything. If I cleft something out, please comment below and I will try to answer to the best of my abilities. Thanks for reading and I hope my advice and insight helped. Like I said, this is all a process, but it can all be done by adulting one day at a time.
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