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Starting Therapy: Key Considerations

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Hi there! Welcome to our blog.

Starting therapy can be a life-changing experience, and we're here to guide you through essential factors to consider before taking the leap. Let's dive in and discuss some things that can help set the stage for a successful and empowering therapeutic process.

Starting Therapy

1. Clarify Your Goals:

Take a moment to think about what you wish to achieve through therapy. Whether it's managing specific symptoms, improving relationships, boosting self-esteem, or gaining deeper self-awareness, identifying your goals will shape your therapeutic path and communication with your therapist.

2. Explore Different Therapeutic Approaches:

Familiarise yourself with various therapy types, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR), counselling. Each approach has its own unique focus and techniques, so finding the right fit is essential, or if you are not sure, ask your therapist what approach they think you may benefit from.

3. Consider Therapist Qualifications, Experience and Confidence:

When choosing a therapist, ensure they are qualified, accredited, and appropriately experienced in the specific approach you're interested in and in working with the specific issues you have. A skilled therapist can make all the difference in your therapy journey.


We have had situations where clients have come to us looking for support who have said that they have had a certain therapy in the past but it has not 'worked' for them. There can be a range of reasons for this, which we address in another blog post, but in the case of the examples we are using here, after speaking about the previous difficulties these clients had with a particular therapeutic approach, sometimes it did come down to the previous therapists delivery of the therapy rather than the therapy itself. This makes sense, as for example, a therapist who is not confident in treating a particular condition, or is not up to date with all aspects of the protocols may not be able to provide the same quality of therapy as someone who is.


We would also like to add here, that while years of experience contribute to competence, it's important to acknowledge that competence involves many other things than just experience or time spent doing something alone. Competence/proficiency is a combination of experience, learning, skills development, adaptability and passion for growth. Someone with fewer years of experience may actually do an as good or better job than someone with greater years of experience. So we wouldn't recommend just going by number of years alone because 'what's in a number, right?'

4. Find Time for Therapy:

Therapy requires a commitment of time and energy. Consider your schedule and assess how often you can attend therapy sessions. Consistency is essential for progress, so finding a suitable time without overwhelming disruptions is crucial.


5. Cultural Sensitivity and Compatibility:

Consider the importance of cultural sensitivity in therapy. If cultural or identity factors are important to you, find a therapist who understands and respects your cultural background. It helps when the therapeutic relationship involves mutual understanding and compatibility.


6. Support Systems:

Think about your support system and identify individuals you can lean on during challenging times in therapy. Therapy can evoke strong feelings. A strong support network can provide comfort and encouragement.

7. Assess Readiness and Commitment:

Therapy requires openness and a willingness to explore difficult emotions and thoughts. Reflect on your readiness for personal growth and change, as commitment is vital for the therapeutic journey.


8. Communicating Expectations:

Have an open conversation with your therapist about your expectations, goals, and any questions or concerns. Clear communication ensures a collaborative therapeutic relationship focused on achieving your desired outcomes.


Conclusion:

Starting therapy is a big decision that can lead to incredible changes. By considering these essential factors, you'll lay a solid foundation for your therapeutic journey. Remember, therapy is a personal experience, and finding the right fit with a qualified therapist sets the stage for a positive and effective outcome.


If you're ready to explore therapy with us, don't hesitate to get in touch. We're here to support you every step of the way!

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