The Five Things You’ll Get From Your Psychotherapist

The Good PsychotherapistA good psychotherapist should give you five things: help, wisdom, support, advice, love.

 

1. Help

Therapists are experts on human nature. They are there to help you help yourself. They understand that becoming more of who you want to be is a process. They know how to guide and facilitate your process of growth.

Therapists know techniques. These techniques can help relieve your depression and anxiety. They can help you feel better about yourself. They can help you heal the pain of the past that can deeply impact your life in the present.

Therapists can help you understand yourself. They can make it possible for you to make better choices.

Therapists understand relationships. They can help you connect and communicate better with your partners, children, family, and colleagues.

Therapists can help you grow in confidence, strength, and courage. They can deepen your ability to feel, think better, do the right thing, and be more loving.

 

2. Wisdom

As students of human nature, therapists do not only draw on scientific techniques, but also the accumulated wisdom of the ages. Therapists can help you understand the underlying laws of nature that can lead to our happiness or despair.

 

3. Advice

Therapists can offer advice. Traditionally, therapists are not suppsed to tell you what to do. And we don’t. We are not supposed to have a viewpoint, or offer an opinion in how to handle a life situation. At our best, we help you come to a decision for yourself. We help you figure out what is right for you. But many people come to therapy looking for guidance. They may have no other trusted source of information that can help them tease out a solution to a life problem. A good therapist admits personal bias, and tries in no way to coerce a client into taking action, but is available to give his or her viewpoint, and a direct response, when solicited. A therapist should, under certain circumstances, answer a question when a client says, “what do you think?”

Therapists can offer coaching. You can come up with goals together, and the therapist can offer inspiration, challenge, and accountability to get where you want to go. Therapists can offer mentorship. They can see what is great in you, and push you to achieve what you never thought possible.

 

4. Support

Therapists offer support. When you are going through difficult emotional times, it is important to get all the support you can. You may need a shoulder to cry on, someone to give you strength to get through the day, or someone simply to talk to who will listen without judgment or comment. Sometimes you just need someone who will understand. Therapists are there when you need them.

 

5. Love

Therapists give you love. The main thing that heals in therapy is the relationship you have with your  therapist. Your therapist may be the only person in the world that you can share everything with. The therapist cheers you on when you are doing scary things, comforts you when things don’t go your way, and celebrates when you succeed. They know better than anyone the meaning of your struggles and victories. The good therapist works to enter your world, and see things through your eyes. They recognize the best in you. They care. Some people think that therapists are only in it for the money. Yes, we do have to get paid. But money cannot purchase the deep care, concern, and interest that we therapists have for our clients. It is this connection, more than anything else, that is at the heart of what you get from your therapist.

Dr. Glenn Berger is a psychotherapist, relationship counselor, business and artist’s coach, and young person’s mentor. He sees patients in New York City, in Mt. Kisco, NY, and around the world by Skype.

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