You finally have come around to the fact that maybe you need a bit of support for this season of your life. CHECK! You've worked up the nerve to actually Google a Therapist or search on Psychology Today. CHECK! But how the heck do you decide which one might actually mesh with your personality?? Dare I say that choosing a Therapist is like dating someone? Well it totally is!
You have to figure out if the therapist's personality, style + treatment options mesh well with what you want/need. You might be a shy person, but a firm stoic therapist may suite you best! Exactly what characteristics should be looking for as a baseline? This can be personalized to fit your needs, but here are 7 basic characteristics every EPIC therapist has..! Once you're done reading here, click the image below to snag your worksheets to help you sort your thoughts!
7 Characteristics of An EPIC Therapist:
7 | Specialty.
An EPIC Therapist has a specialty. "Jack of all trades...master of none." Did you know that quote ended that way? Most people don't pay attention to the end of that quote + the reality it sets before you. If you "dabble" in everything how can you perfect your gift? In reality there are some people we just don't work well with - not because we don't want to, but our experience isn't as vast as the client may need. Therapists receive generalized training, but when you have an issue who would you rather consult? If I play sports + got injured in a game, a family doctor would suffice. However a doctor who specializes in athletic injuries would be a better option. Why? Because they have experience with the exact issues I'm struggling with.
6 | Let It Go.
An EPIC Therapist knows when to let it go! This can apply in more ways than one. For example, if we consider the example above: a good family doctor would most likely refer the client to a doctor who specializes in athletic injuries. If you've been through significant trauma a therapist who specializes in working with women during pregnancy may not be able to provide the same level of treatment that someone who specializes in working with trauma victims might. Many clients who struggle with self-harming behaviors have felt hopeless after therapy, because they most likely were working with someone who didn't specialize in self-harm. An EPIC therapist refers to their colleagues when they're unable to provide adequate treatment.
5 | Personal.
An EPIC Therapist establishes a personal connection effortlessly! How do you feel when you've had an interaction with your therapist? Do you feel inspired? Motivated? Safe? Every session will not leave you with a positive feeling, because sometimes you tackle tough issues in session. There are also times when the therapist will push you to your limit + you may grow frustrated with him/her. If you can't look beyond those frustrating sessions + feel like you're being supported, valued + given the space to explore your feelings...you might need a new therapist.
4 | Commitment.
An EPIC Therapist has a commitment to lifelong learning! How can you develop a specialty/craft without going to regular professional development seminars? The world is so fast-paced + new treatments are constantly advancing! For example, in 1988 cyber-bullying was unheard of! Teens rarely had access to computers - let alone their own computers. Now cyber-bullying exists, someone's location + instant access to their phone is possible if you download the right app! An EPIC Therapist must have a commitment to continue learning not only through professional development, but also part of a professional consultation group. Why? Because sometimes you just need someone to confirm you're on the right path in providing the best possible care for your client.
3 | Patient.
An EPIC Therapist is exercises patience! Does this even need to be explained? Therapy is a unique journey in that you make your final decisions. The Therapist is a guide/facilitator/ someone who can hold a safe space for you to process feelings; however, the decision rests solely on you!
2 | Compassionate.
An EPIC Therapist is compassionate yet firm! Most people enter this field, because they have compassion for others. Compassion is necessary for Therapists who work with people who have abused kids when the world has turned their backs on them. When a person struggling with drug addictions has messed up for the 120th times + needs a firm conversation on honesty. Compassion has its' place; however, there must be a delicate balance. A Therapist acts as a guide/facilitator/coach + sometimes the coach has to speak firmly/matter-of-factly when others in your life may enable/lie to you.
1 | Grateful.
An EPIC Therapist is grateful for their position! How can you not be grateful to watch lives transformed right in front of you? Each time a new client approaches me, I'm honored that they chose me to walk through their journey with them! It takes a great deal of courage to admit that you need additional support, even more courage to call a Therapist to find out if they're right for you. Whether a client is an appropriate fit or not, it's my job as an EPIC Therapist to make sure they get the help they need.
What do you think makes an EPIC Therapist? Is there anything you would add to this list? Leave a comment below, tweet me or message me in the Tribe Lounge!