"Therapist" is a general term for practitioners who have been certified to give professional treatment and rehabilitation. While this term is commonly associated with mental health professionals, it can also refer to counselors, social workers, and life coaches.
Although the word is not a protected occupational title, many kinds of therapists require a license to practice. Clinical alcohol and drug abuse counselors, marriage and family therapists, and other health specialists fall under this category.
No matter the type of therapist you're seeing, they are an important part of your recovery journey. That's why it's essential to know the roles of a psychotherapist.
Understanding your therapist's capabilities and limitations will help you set realistic expectations for your recovery journey.
A good therapist is always expanding their expertise. While your psychotherapist may be a specialist in particular aspects of human psychology, this does not imply that they are knowledgeable in all areas.
They may be unfamiliar with some of your issues. When this situation arises, your therapist should be upfront and strive to expand their limited knowledge. They can study research papers or even consult with their peers to get a better understanding of your case.
A licensed psychologist guiding you through rehabilitation can conduct regular check-ins to monitor your progress. During these check-ins, they can ask you how your therapy sessions are doing and adjust their plan accordingly.
However, there are situations when you can't form a meaningful connection with your therapist. When the talk therapy sessions aren't working for you, it's a therapist's job to urge you to voice it out. They can even refer you to another psychotherapist who can be a more suitable match.
There is no universal strategy for mental health issues. One strategy may work for one individual but may not work for another. An experienced therapist must always be open to considering other strategies. With that said, your therapist can try alternative techniques to help you develop new coping skills if the original intervention doesn't help you.
A mental health treatment can use different approaches toward self-improvement. Some entail presenting challenges to irrational thinking patterns, and they should be done objectively and politely without making you feel bad. It's time to reassess your choice of practice if you feel like your new therapist is using strategies that hinder progress and positive change.
With this insight into red flags and warning signs, you can determine when it's time to find a new therapist. If some of the mentioned red flags appear during your counseling session, it may be time to reconsider your counselor or therapist.
The therapeutic relationship between a licensed psychotherapist and patient should be built on trust and confidence. After all, it's hard to open up about your life difficulties to a stranger.
An experienced psychotherapist should start the therapy session with simple topics like your hobbies, favorite food, and pet peeves. These topics are straightforward and easy to discuss, thus making it easier for you to open up.
After establishing a rapport, they can work their way into the more serious matters directly related to your mental illness.
Your therapist should practice professionalism at all times. Their topmost priority is to guide you through healing. However, it's important to set boundaries and step up when you feel like your therapist is out of line. A psychotherapist should not:
Finding the right therapist will take some time, but it's important that you do. It will determine the course of your treatment, whether you will open up to them or not and whether they will be able to help you overcome your struggles or not.
For a psychopharmacologist Boston patients trust, inquire at Luminous Vitality Behavioral Health. Our resident psychiatrist, Dr. Ronald Lee, is experienced in treating depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and insomnia.