marcus2013

How to spot a good therapist

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Hey guys,

 

I'm thinking about starting a psychotherapy. Being thinking about which one. I think Reichian/Bioenergetics are good because they are much into the body, not so much into the mind. Things I don't like about this kind of therapies is that they (apparently) focus a lot on the past, your parents, etc...

 

For a long time I wanted to get over some some psycho/emotional/cognitive stuff on my own (related to liver qi stagnation) but I think I need some professional help in the form of therapy. I just need to talk about this problems with someone. Doing some workshops here and there, some meditation, shamanic works, breathings, random pieces here and there isn't helping me. In fact it might have created an "spiritual bypass". I somehow need a framework, a way to put some order into mundane internal/external life, so to speak. Plain emotions like anger, sadness, etc. Plain cognitions like worthless feelings, guilt, auto-boycot, etc. Plain stuff like where to live and where to work. Just normal issues, nothing related to higher conciousness/spirituality.

 

I somehow feel like in a psychotherapy supermarket ... all different products and flavours, horrendous sensation. Also I feel like there are loooots of therapists that can damage you more than can fix you. Specially now a days where everyone has jumped the bandwagon of "New Age" stuff, at least on my country. I'm overcautious. There's energy exchange, belief systems exchange, authority transference and so on... Or am I overworried about it?

 

My question is : How would you chose a therapist ? How can you spot if it's a good one ? How many sessions will you allow yourself to decide ? Would you go with your "gut" sensations ? Would you flip a coin ?

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks

Edited by marcus2013
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Hi Marcus,

 

I think the right therapist is the one you trust and feel willing to open up to. Sure, there are tons of different modalities but nothing counts more than the interpersonal connection, or lack thereof. Good luck.

 

Liminal

Edited by liminal_luke
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There is a good school of psychotherapy called Core Process Psychotherapy, which combines modern psychotherapy with Buddhist psychology and some body work. I can recommended it personally.

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Finding a good therapist can be a minefield. In my opinion the first thing to do is to decide what it is you are wanting to work with. Narrowing it down can help with finding the right therapeutic approach.

 

Therapy models usually work in the either a top down approach (starting with the mind and not focusing so much on the body) or a down up approach (focusing on the body and not engaging the mind so much) or a mixture of the two.

 

I am not a fan of traditional psychoanalysis type models, as I feel they can be somewhat unbalanced.

 

More modern approaches like mindfulness based CBT and core process mentioned above, can be more well rounded.

 

I've found the best way to find a therapist who resonates is to call up a few and ask them lots of questions. Essentially interviewing the therapist for the job, before spending any money. Most will not expect this, as they are used to people talking about themselves, but it's worth doing this as you can get a feel for what they are like.

 

The ones who are willing to open up and talk about their own experiences are usually a good starting point.

Edited by kudos100
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There is a good school of psychotherapy called Core Process Psychotherapy, which combines modern psychotherapy with Buddhist psychology and some body work. I can recommended it personally.

 

Thanks Jetsun. It looks quite good though there doesn't seem to be any practitioner of that therapy on my country. :mellow:

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Better feedback might be obtained if the country is made known... maybe?

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Two methods that I can recommend are kinesiology and family constellation. See if they're available in your area.I can write more about them if you like.

 

Fwiw, I don't agree that a good therapist has to be someone you "feel" good about.

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Thanks for the advice.

 

Two methods that I can recommend are kinesiology and family constellation. See if they're available in your area.I can write more about them if you like.

 

I didn't know kinesiology could be applied to psychotherapy. Can it ? How does it work ?

 

I've heard very good things about family constelations but I think it's not psychotherapy. It's just another useful workshop. It's something you do once, twice, whatever but you aren't with a therapist in a weekly basis for a few months to give some structure to everything. I feel more like I need the later.

 

Fwiw, I don't agree that a good therapist has to be someone you "feel" good about.

 

Somehow I agree with this but then what's going to happen if you don't feel good about him/her? You're going to treat core issues with someone who you don't feel good about ? Hmm... don't really see the point there.

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Thanks for the advice!!! Good points. A few things :

 

I am not a fan of traditional psychoanalysis type models, as I feel they can be somewhat unbalanced.

 

You do mean Freud/Lacan/Jung/Klein/Winnicott/Adler etc ? If the answer is yes, I agree with you. Their TOO much on the mind.

 

Some of them I even think they can be dangerous. For instance I never liked any pure Freudian I ever met (not that I have met dozens but a few). They look greyish, boring, rigid, and somehow decrepit. A big no-no for me. In fact my TCM doctor suggested me a colleague of him who is a Freudian Psychotherapist and I have strong feelings against him even without having met him. Even seeing his picture on the internet (I found it) I don't like him.

 

Btw, would you include Reich/Lowen in that group ?

 

More modern approaches like mindfulness based CBT and core process mentioned above, can be more well rounded.

 

How can a CBT be more rounded if its COGNITIVE in nature ?

Edited by marcus2013
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How can a CBT be more rounded if its COGNITIVE in nature ?

 

Approaches which combine a cognitive element with tools from meditation/mindfulness can be more balanced IMO. Traditional CBT in many cases can be a bit rigid. Perhaps a better example would be ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy)

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acceptance_and_commitment_therapy

 

My own personal experience has shown that it is more about the person than the specific therapy, with the caveat that some therapeutic methods work better for certain things. Some therapists will hide behind the model, which is why I like to ask lots of questions and try and get a feel for what a person is like as a human being.

 

Someone may have a bunch of fancy degrees and achievements, but if I do not resonate with them as a person I will find it hard to trust them and open up.

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I didn't know kinesiology could be applied to psychotherapy. Can it ? How does it work ?

 

Sorry, I meant "Applied Kinesiology", it's an alternative medicine offshoot of Kinesology. If you look into it, you'll find a lot of criticism, and lot of that is justified, but a good therapist can solve deep, deep psychological issues. How it works is pretty simple, but the therapist hast to be legitimate, objective and sensitive. Basically, you'll be asked questions and the therapist will be able to know the source of the answers you give based on changes in your muscle tension. S/he'll allow the direction of the questioning to change dynamically, depending on your reactions. Sessions typically become a journey back through time, back to your birth, and before. A session can last hours, but you generally only need to do it once. It's a lot more complex than my short description, but that's basically it in a nutshell.

 

The only way to know beforehand if the therapist is good or not, I guess, is to hear from other clients.

 

Gotta go, can get to the other stuff later

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Somehow I agree with this but then what's going to happen if you don't feel good about him/her? You're going to treat core issues with someone who you don't feel good about ? Hmm... don't really see the point there.

I don't think SC means you should dislike the therapist...

But when you have powerful chemistry with someone that can be a good breeding ground for projections, or projections could already be there.

 

IME if the first session is noneventful i come back :)

If I walk out saying "OMG THAT WAS AWESOME" I might come back but I've stopped to expect consistent quality.

Dunno why.

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I think a certain amount of rapport with a therapist is essential, otherwise nothing else gets done. But it´s also true (perhaps this is what SC was getting at?) that good therapy is work and will often feel challenging.

 

If you only want support a good friend will do; a good therapist knows how to push.

 

Liminal

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Hi Marcus,

 

I think the right therapist is the one you trust and feel willing to open up to. Sure, there are tons of different modalities but nothing counts more than the interpersonal connection, or lack thereof. Good luck.

 

Liminal

 

 

Look for a big broad loving warm smile! :D

 

for the record, my comment re feeling good about your therapist was motivated by these two posts. While I agree with the spirit of Luke's statement, I wouldn't make it the priority. The worst scenario is finding a therapist that confirms your convictions and prejudices for you, and that generally happens with the ones who you feel the strongest attraction to.

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My question is : How would you chose a therapist ? How can you spot if it's a good one ? How many sessions will you allow yourself to decide ? Would you go with your "gut" sensations ? Would you flip a coin ?

 

Any help would be much appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

I made the decision to work with a therapist several years ago.

I looked through some photos and descriptions of local therapists and picked one that "felt right" to me.

She happened to specialize in a method called Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT - http://contextualscience.org/act)

It proved to be exactly what I needed.

I guess I was lucky but I would recommend you go with your gut feeling, if you trust that.

If you feel drawn to therapy, do it!

If it isn't working, don't be afraid to change.

Good luck

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Hakomi is another good method, but I am not sure there are any practitioners in Spain.

 

Ideally the best therapist is one who could hold a non-dual space, but I expect there are probably not that many of them in the world at the moment, yet they are increasing. But otherwise I think it is better to find someone who is trained in a modern person centred form of psychotherapy. Most of the old techniques like Psychoanalysis wont do anything except send you round in circles in the mind and many of the things tried in the 1960's-70's like Primal methods will only give you temporary release.

 

Basically a half decent person centred therapist is simply someone who can hold a compassionate space for your emotional life to be met with acceptance and some degree of compassion,things don't necessarily need to be any more complicated than that.

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I can recommend someone specific. He addresses all the things you mentioned - but not necessarily in a way you might 'like'.

 

He also uses all this 'stuff' as fuel for awakening - imo, any other use of your 'stuff' is a shameful waste of good compost! :)

 

He's not based in Spain, but does consultations over skype. PM me if you'd like to know more.

 

PS. His level of presence is beyond most spiritual teachers that I've met (and I've met a fair few).

Edited by freeform
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Reich and Lowen aren't traditional psychoanalysts, though they do use some of their concepts. If you want a good source that integrates the characterological ideas of Reich and Lowen with the developmental models of modern ego psychology AND more of the popular modern methods (cognitive-behavioral) check out the work of Stephen M. Johnson. Character Styles is a good start.

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'.

He also uses all this 'stuff' as fuel for awakening - imo, any other use of your 'stuff' is a shameful waste of good compost!

 

That's a great perspective.

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He also uses all this 'stuff' as fuel for awakening - imo, any other use of your 'stuff' is a shameful waste of good compost! :)

 

funny, when I read something like that, I feel more turned off than attracted to this person.

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