Therapy 101

Therapy 101

So you’ve decided you would like to begin therapy.

Typically, that should be the hardest part. Letting someone in, especially someone that you don’t know, to share your story in hopes of a better life is hard enough.

Unfortunately, “overwhelmed” is a pretty accurate description to how most people feel when they try to find a therapist. If you take a second and type in “therapist in (city)”, you will find hundreds, if not thousands of options.

So, how do you narrow down the field? Let’s say that you spoke to a friend and they gave you a referral, or you found someone on Therapy Den or Psychology Today. How do you know if they are a good fit for you? Below are two good criteria to look at and what Phenix does to meet those criteria.

 

 

The Therapist’s Bio

Depending on why you would like to attend therapy or what you have gone through in life, certain therapists will be more qualified to assist you. The bio on the website will tell you quite a bit about who they are and how they operate (hopefully). If one stands out to you, write down questions so you can hear more about their training and experience. 

At Phenix, each therapist took the time to write a detailed bio about our background, training, areas of focus, and how we view therapy. This way, you have a good idea of what to expect before even meeting one of us.

As a disclaimer, certifications and official trainings are great, but don’t base a therapist’s competence on only that. Which leads me to the second criteria…

 

Have they done their own work?

You can only learn so much in a training that lasts 3 hours or from textbooks in graduate school. The metaphor I use with clients is this: if I was climbing Mt. Everest, I would ideally want someone who had climbed the mountain before, not just someone who read about how to do so in a textbook. I would like someone who had done their research on how to help various people climb the mountain, learned how to help heal different wounds and levels of frostbite, AND had already made the journey. 

By climbing it themselves, they know which pitfalls to look for and which parts will be deceptively slippery.

They also know where to look to see the most beautiful sunrises.

There is a level of competence and humility that only comes from doing your own work in therapy. Everyone needs someone to talk to and process things out with. Ideally, through the therapy process, you learn how to form authentic, intimate relationships so that those are the people you begin to do life with. At Phenix, each therapist has gone down their own journey of healing and has surrounded themselves with people to continue that process. Instead of feeling like any of us has “arrived”, there is an ability to hold the unknown and simply be with whoever walks through the door.

 

Free Consult

At Phenix, we have a consult time with each prospective client. This is a free 50 minute session where the potential client can ask questions and get to know the therapist before agreeing to embark on this journey together.

When I was searching for my own therapist years ago (before the graduate school adventure), I was wary due to already having had some negative therapeutic experiences. So when I was paired with a potential therapist, I finally asked questions that I had not known to ask before.    

While our director, Andrea, implemented the consult idea during covid, it has remained due to being incredibly beneficial for both us and potential clients. My favorite part about it is that it gives prospective clients a time to ask questions and make their own informed decisions, instead of feeling like they were instructed who to see or stuck with someone. 

So no matter where you go for therapy, I encourage you to look at the above two criteria. Take into account professional training for your specific situation, as well as the therapist’s ability to stay present during the time with you due to having done their own work.

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Orlando, FL

info@phenixcounseling.com
(407) 476-6041

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