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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Jennaholt Offline
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Is my therapist right for me? - May 9th 2019, 04:45 PM

So I started therapy few weeks back. 2 to be exact. I really like him (not attracted. I like him as my therapist.) I'm comfortable talking about everything, he's understanding. But I'm not sure if he's right for me. He's young and not so experienced. I'm not sure if I'm wasting time and money. So far, we've only talked about my past. I also have anxiety. And, he asked me how I wanted to overcome my anxiety, for which I didn't know the answer to. He said I should start thinking about those things so we can work on them. But if I knew, then I wouldn't be going to a therapist for help. I was expecting him to know the answer and help me. Shouldn't he be helping me figure it out?

Should I wait it out for a few more sessions and see how things progress?
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Re: Is my therapist right for me? - May 10th 2019, 09:13 PM

I think it would be good to address these concerns with him in session, after all, that's what he's there for.

I think when he asks what you want from it he's likely looking for your goals. For example, the way my therapist approached it was to ask me what my life would look like if I wasn't dealing with anxiety and body image issues. For, for me, overcoming my anxiety would look like building healthier coping skills, it would look like going to therapy regularly to deal with the cognitive stuff, and it would look like not thinking about how I am fat or how gross that is all the time etc. and changing negative pathways around that.
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Re: Is my therapist right for me? - May 12th 2019, 12:11 AM

From what you've described, it sounds like you've misinterpreted his role as a therapist, and from those misinterpretations, have certain expectations of him.

A therapist does not have all the answers. They do not know you. They only know you as far as you tell them. He asks you all kinds of questions about your past so he can paint a picture in his mind on the kind of person you are. This way he can figure out how to help you best.

He isn't going to be able to snap his finger and say, 'Ah yes this is why you're like this, this is what you need to do to fix it.' - Nobody can do that. All he can do is provide you with tools to help yourself. Unfortunately you're the one who has to apply those tools. He's asking you those sorts of questions to get you to think about yourself on a deeper level. To consider where you think your anxiety came from, and the past is a good way to start because it's often the root of all problems.

It's up to you how you proceed, but if I were in your position, I would continue with the sessions, lower my expectations, and stop hoping he will have the answers. He won't. He can only support your journey to recovery, not fix it for you.

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Re: Is my therapist right for me? - May 12th 2019, 03:32 PM

As it has been said, therapists won't tell you exactly how to fix things. They are more of a person to bounce ideas off of and they will help you develop tools to use throughout your life. Even if a therapist has an exact idea of how you can fix something, they generally don't share it because they want you to come up with solutions of your own.

That said, some feedback from time to time is something some clients like and others do not like. If you want more feedback, or feel like you need to address something with him, give it a try. A good therapist will talk about it and a lot of times the therapeutic relationship is strengthened as a result.

Even if a therapist is doing what they are supposed to, clients don't always "click" with them and that's okay. You might benefit from giving it some more time, however. I wasn't sure whether or not I wanted to stick it out with my therapist and it ended up being the best thing I ever did. If you have a few more sessions and don't feel like you click with him, don't be afraid to 'shop around' until you find one that is right for you.

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Celyn Offline
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Re: Is my therapist right for me? - May 12th 2019, 07:33 PM

I'm wondering how your first session with your therapist went? Sometimes therapists will have an initial session of just getting to know you- why you have to come to therapy, what you are finding difficult, what you want to work on, what you hope to get out of therapy (e.g. goal setting), what you are doing at the moment to help yourself etc. Doing this allows the therapist to try to tailor the therapy sessions for you.

It's good that you feel comfortable with your therapist and have talked a bit about the past, and I hope that has helped you a bit. It sounds like your therapist may want to focus on your struggles with anxiety, which is why he asked about how you want to overcome it. As others have said, therapists are there to help you by exploring your thoughts and feelings and helping you to figure out how best to manage these things. They can't really tell you what to do or 'cure' you either.

If you'd like to continue with your therapist, you might want to focus on the anxiety specifically. Think about when you notice yourself feeling anxious and whether there is a trigger or specific situation that you find yourself feeling anxious in. Maybe think about the aspects of the anxiety that you struggle with the most- the physical aspects such as fast breathing and heart rate or the 'butterflies' in your stomach, or maybe it's the constant worrying and negative thoughts etc. And then if there is a certain situation that you feel anxious in, how would you like to feel and behave instead? For example, if you feel anxious in social situations, say at a party, and you find yourself not talking to anyone and then leaving, maybe you would like to feel less anxious and talk to others as well, and be able to enjoy yourself more. Thinking about these things and perhaps reporting back to your therapist will allow you to get more of an idea of how you struggle with anxiety and how you can take small steps to manage it better.

It's also important to remember that therapy doesn't work overnight. It's a commitment that you have to make as you will have to practice what you learn in therapy in the situations that make you anxious. And even then, it may still take some time for your anxiety levels to drop.

Therapists may come from all sorts of backgrounds and may range in ages. Depending on your area and the laws in your area, many therapists will also have supervision to make sure that they are practicing well, so even if your therapist hasn't had much experience yet, it shouldn't matter too much. Since you've only had therapy for 2 weeks, you might want to stick it out a bit longer and perhaps focus more on what you hope to get out of therapy. If you feel like it just isn't working for you, that's okay too. Therapy can be complicated in that it can also depend on the right 'fit' between you and the therapist as well as what therapy they practice e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is often used to treat anxiety and depression. You are free to shop around and find what works best for you

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