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The 3 Most Important Elements of a Good Therapist Relationship

By Dr. John Mayer

Therapy can feel like a scary concept, especially for people trying it out for the first time. First-time patients are often asked to take a brave first step in trying to open up to someone who is basically a stranger. That’s why finding the right provider is so important in successful therapy.

Even the American Psychological Association agrees, and stresses how critical it is to find the right therapist specifically for you. Therapy is not one-size fits all, and someone else’s perfect therapist may not be perfect for you.

Here are the 3 most important elements of a good therapist relationship:

  • Trusting Relationship – Therapy is a process that one participates in, and great therapists act as guides for their patients in this process. One of the most important steps that helps them is to build a trusting relationship. With empathy, genuineness, and trust, a strong rapport can be built, and therapists are able to communicate and direct their patients in a way that facilitates healing. When this happens, patients feel more open and willing to communicate their thoughts, feelings, and experiences to their therapist.
  • Common Goals and Measurable Change – It is important to ensure that your goals for therapy and the therapist’s methods, skills, and experience align. Do they have experience with the conditions you suffer from? What are you looking to improve and does your therapist have the same plan? And for those of you who have already begun seeing a therapist, are you actually improving? A good therapist will help with reducing symptoms, increasing your ability to function in the different areas of your life, and be able to demonstrate this with measurable change you can see and feel.
  • Feedback and Communication – You should have a good idea of your progress throughout your course of treatment. A good therapist builds off of the trusting relationship by encouraging active feedback on what works, and what doesn’t.

In the end, finding the right therapist will give you both comfort and relief more quickly and efficiently. That is why it’s so important to spend the time to make sure that your therapist is one that’s suited for you. If your therapist isn’t “right,” then be comforted in the fact that there are other options.

With Doctor On Demand, it’s easy to search through the many therapists available to you, and schedule a visit. And because of that, we’re proud to say that we hope you can connect with a provider that’s right for you.

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dr-john-mayerDr. John Mayer is a practicing clinical psychologist, author and consultant. A native Chicagoan, he received his doctorate from Northwestern University Medical School. Dr. Mayer has been providing therapy for over 30 years with the enthusiasm, passion and energy that drew him into this field. His personal, approachable and accessible manner has consistently resulted in exceptionally high ratings in such services as Yelp, etc.