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“How Do I Find a Good Depth Psychotherapist?”

February 2nd, 2014 · No Comments · psychotherapist

Many people might want to do some meaningful personal work, but might wonder how to find a good depth psychotherapist.

psychotherapist

The simple answer: look for someone with the right personal characteristics.  “But how do I do that?“, you might ask.  Well, here are four really good signposts to follow.

1.  Don’t Pick a Psychotherapist with “All the Answers”

The first step in picking a good depth psychotherapist is not to pick a bad one.  Sounds obvious, but here are some important things to think about.

It’s very wise to avoid therapists who rely on glib slogans, or who only look at, feel, or think about the life situations of their clients in superficial ways.  (Example: a therapist who thinks the work is all about the Law of Attraction, or one specific technique.)

Also, watch for the use of psychological bafflegab (e.g., “power words” like “poststructuralist”, “dialectical” or “Lacanian”).  Especially watch for psychotherapists who are always emphasizing the power, insight  and authority of the therapist relative to the subordinate status of the client.  Hiding behind power can indicate a really, really bad psychotherapist.

This seemingly daunting task may come down to trusting your gut.  In other words, how do I actually feel about this potential psychotherapist?

Is the Person Actually a DEPTH Psychotherapist?

If you’re looking for a depth psychotherapist, it’s presumably because you actually want to get into a really in-depth understanding of your inner reality — to really get down to what’s fundamental.  If that’s what you want, then be sure you’re seeing a psychotherapist who wants the same thing.  Some therapists have training that enables them to foster this kind of inner connection.  Some therapists are trained to work in different ways that deliberately avoid this type of connection with the self.  I’m not saying that ‘s wrong, but it is a very different kind of approach with very different goals — and a very different understanding of the human being.

Example.  If a therapist emphasizes strict common sense, logical understanding and rationality, and doesn’t want to engage with feelings, or with aspects of personality that aren’t rational —  you’re probably not dealing with someone who is a depth psychotherapist.

Does the Psychotherapist Listen, and Care About My Story?

This is just pretty darn fundamental.  As Columbia University Professor of Psychiatry Deborah Cabaniss tells us, many studies suggest that the “alliance” with the therapist or counsellor is the single most important indicator of good therapeutic outcomes.

psychotherapist 

If I’m going to undertake a major journey with a psychotherapist, I really need to feel that he or she is really, truly listening to me — taking in the unique dimensions of me, and fully understanding how the things that I’m relating actually make me feel.  I have to feel that he or she is really “there with me” in those experiences, whether painful, joyful, meaningful or completely baffling.  And I need to know that this individual deeply cares about my story — really feels that my story matters.

Has This Psychotherapist Done His or Her Own Personal Work?

Closely connected with the point just above,  in choosing a psychotherapist, it’s very important for me to know that the person I’m going to sit with has done their own personal work.  By this  I mean, does the therapist have a good level of understanding of his or her own strongest feelings, motivations and inner life?  This is important because , as the old psychotherapeutic saying goes, you can’t take anyone anywhere that you haven’t been yourself.

psychotherapist

With the right depth psychotherapist, the exploration of Jungian therapy can often make a profound difference in an individual life.

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© 2013 Brian Collinson, 2238 Constance Drive, Oakville, Ontario (near Mississauga)

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