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By Maddie Lukens, MA

If you’ve ever thought about going to therapy, but never have, this post is for you!  

If you’re the person who has considered talking to someone to help you discover the best version of yourself, but felt hesitant, I hope you’ll read through to the end.

I want to first start by saying that as a therapist, it is an immense honor to be chosen as the person who comes alongside; to help an individual, family, or couple, find healing and wholeness.  It is a responsibility we at Lime Tree Counseling don’t take lightly.

With that being said, not every therapist is going to be the right fit for every person – we sincerely hope that you”ll find what you need in a therapist so you can live a life you love and enjoy.  Because finding the “right fit” matters to us so much at Lime Tree Counseling, I’ve made a list of the 5 characteristics you’ll need for success when choosing a therapist:  

#1: Someone who you feel understands you

It’s important the person you choose to work with understands you.  More importantly, it’s necessary they understand where you’re coming from, what has led you here, and where you’d like to go.  Empathy is important and a big piece of feeling understood, but feeling understood also creates a sense of emotional safety that should also be present in your therapeutic relationship.  Feeling both understood and safe (emotionally) is a great combination to foster growth, healing, and change.

#2: Someone who doesn’t ask anything of you in return

Part of being a licensed and practicing therapist is abiding by the ethic of not asking anything from our clients.  As a therapist, my main goal is to help you become the best version of yourself, not to have you help me become a better therapist.  This is an important dynamic to be aware of in a relationship with your therapist: you should never feel (as the client) like you are “taking on” any personal burden from your therapist. After some sessions you may feel angry, sad, “heavy” or tired, and this is normal from time to time, but these feelings often come from working through difficult parts of your story; they shouldn’t come from the therapist themselves. 

#3: Someone who works at your pace

Many of us have experienced difficult things in life.  It is normal that it takes time to feel comfortable enough to share hard parts of your story.  Finding a therapist who is the right fit for you will be someone who works at your pace.  This is especially important in anxiety therapy and trauma therapy.  

#4: Someone who is responsive to your feedback about how you’d like sessions to go

Being in a therapeutic relationship, like any other relationship is a partnership and requires participation from each party.  It is important that you communicate your needs and preferences in regards to the content, detail, and pace of your counseling sessions.  As a therapist, I often have an idea of what might be helpful to work through in session, but I don’t always know what you need.  It’s important to let your therapist know what you’d like to talk about if you aren’t addressing what you wish to address.  The therapist who is the right fit for you will be receptive to this feedback. 

#5: Someone who keeps you accountable for behavior change and is supportive

One of the most difficult things to do, is make a change.  Big or small, change is hard and many of us face speed bumps along the way.  The therapist who is the right fit will never encourage abusive or unhealthy behavior or communication – whether you are engaging in it or receiving it.  The therapist who is the right fit for you will also follow up and check in about the plans you had or the changes you indicated you would make.  Remember, we’re here to help you be the best version of yourself so you can show up and live your best life 🙂 

We have the right fit for you!

If you’re still considering therapy, or are still on the fence about contacting a specific therapist, Lime Tree Counseling in Pennsylvania and Colorado offers free 15 minute phone consultations.  You can set up a consultation with one of us and we’d be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you might have.