Your progress in therapy is the ultimate indicator of whether or not you are working with the right therapist. After all, regardless of how competent or skilled your therapist may be, getting better is what really counts.
It is important to realize that just because you may not be making progress that doesn’t mean your therapist is bad or incompetent. Therapy is highly subjective and is effected by the varying factors, including the needs, readiness, and styles of both you and your therapist. Maybe it will take longer for you to see progress because of the specific problems you are dealing with. Or, maybe, you and your therapist is just not a good fit. In the end, the only way to tell if your working with the right therapist is to notice if your changing for the better, and here is how:
You are working with the right therapist when.
1. You notice that you are feeling better. You notice that you are happier, at ease more often and more hopeful about your future.
2. You are solving your own issues and not looking to your therapist to do so for you. It is my belief that a good therapist guides you to become stronger and better able to solve your own problems. That a good therapist does not pretend to be a “rescuer” who is there to save you from your issues. Instead, your therapist is there to help you achieve insight into yourself so that you can make the right choices for yourself, and eventual end treatment and move forward in life.
3. You handle life’s ups and downs more easily and with more control over your emotions. You see the difficult times as part of life and are less likely to become overwhelmed by them.
4. You are more forgiving and accepting of yourself.
5. You are more connected to your own emotions, to those around you, and to life in general. You look forward to living your life and not just moving through it.
6. You are beginning to see things differently. Your perspective on life and everything around you is changing, and you see solutions where you may have seen problems in the past.
39. You are making different choices and looking at your own needs more often. You recognize that you have choices you didn’t used to think you had.
40. You smile or laugh more; your whole demeanor is more positive and future-focused.
41. Other people are noticing differences in you, and they are beginning to react to you in different and more positive ways.
42. You are getting along better with the other people in your life—from your friends and family members, to your coworkers, to strangers you come across on a day-to-day basis.
43. You have more hope for a brighter future for yourself and for your loved ones.
44. You have some sort of plan or goal for what you want your life to be, and you’re working towards that goal.
45. You are setting healthy boundaries with the people in your life and actually building stronger relationships because of it.
46. You notice that you’re feeling better outside of the therapeutic setting and not just while you’re talking to your therapist.
47. You feel safe both emotionally and physically.
48. You feel important, competent, and significant in the lives of those around you. You know you have value to them and to yourself.
49. You feel stronger and better able to express your own needs and desires. You don’t feel victimized by the actions of others.
50. You are making your own healthier choices for your behavior, for your thoughts, and for your feelings.