How To Choose A Therapist After Treatment
In treatment, I learned more about myself in 3 months than I did in 20 years. I wasn’t really expecting that, I figured treatment was just about learning to not use drugs and alcohol, but really it is so much more than that.
During long term-treatment, of 90 days, I had no choice but to look at myself, my behavior and my thought processes. I also looked into my past, which meant delving into some pretty bad memories. I had some counseling sessions, and worked through a lot of things in groups and with my sponsor. Some other tools I found that helped me get to know myself better include journaling, step-work and meditation.
Why Go To Therapy After Treatment?
After treatment, I continued on with my recovery and my journey of self-exploration. I began to see that I had some specific issues that kept coming up, particularly in my romantic relationships. I also noticed I had some difficulties standing up for myself and some anxiety. It was suggested to me that I try doing some therapy to help me work through these things.
One of the things I love about recovery is that it really opened me up to all the different ways I can improve my life. It started with getting clean and sober, but it didn’t end there. Therapy has just been one more tool I can use to help me get grow into the best possible version of myself.
It’s easy to think that once you get into sobriety all your problems will disappear, but that’s rarely the case. It’s true that some things in your life will improve drastically, but other things may come up, and when they do, it’s important to address them.
How To Choose A Good Therapist
I began searching for a therapist to work with, and found that it isn’t always easy to find one you are compatible with I was really looking for a therapist that specialized in DBT. I had some counseling in my teens, but I just went with the first therapist I saw. This time, I wanted to make sure we were a good match.
Therapy is an investment, in both money and time, so you owe it to yourself to take the time to choose a therapist that you feel good about.
For me, it was important to have a female therapist. You may find that you have a preference for one over the other and that is okay. I have had a male therapist in the past, and for me, I just feel more comfortable with a woman.
A good therapist also wants to make sure that the two of you work well together. He or she will often refer you to someone else if this isn’t the case. If you have a therapist who tells you after a few sessions that he or she thinks someone else may be better for you, try not to take it personally, there is always a reason behind it.
When I met with my current therapist for the first time, she spent some time talking about the way that she worked, what her philosophies were and she talked to me about confidentiality.
Confidentiality is an important element of the therapeutic relationship. It’s something that a good therapist will bring up right away. There are strict regulations around privacy, the sharing of information and patient rights and privacy. My therapist made sure I understood all of this up front.
Next, she wanted to spend some time getting to know me. She asked me what my goals were for therapy. This is another important point. By asking me what my needs were, and what I was hoping to achieve with our sessions, it made me feel that we were partners and that what I want mattered.
It Might Take More Than One Try
Before I started working with the therapist I have now, though, I met with two others. The first one was nice enough, but she primarily worked with children. The way she interacted with me, you could tell she spent a lot of time around kids. It wasn’t bad or anything, but it did feel like I was sitting with my kindergarten teacher. My second try was with someone who I felt was too stiff and formal. I met with each of them once, and it just wasn’t right for me, so I let them know I would be continuing to look for someone. I felt uncomfortable doing that, to be honest, but I knew that it was important for me to find someone I could connect with.
The third time was a charm, and I am glad I kept looking. A lot of people don’t realize that you sometimes need to shop around for a therapist, and you don’t have to just settle for the first person you meet with.
Therapy is just one part of the work I do on myself. I also continue to participate in recovery activities. I believe that recovery isn’t just about remaining abstinent, it is a process of healing, growing and uncovering your best self.