Therapy’s no fairy tale, but it turns out that “kissing a few frogs to find your prince” is true in the mental health game as well. If you’re searching for a great Brisbane counsellor, read on to find out how to make the most of your time and energy.
In the vast realm of mental health, the fit between the therapist and client is everything. And that’s not just a ‘good vibes’ kinda thing – science backs it up.
The Science Behind the Match
Studies show that the therapeutic alliance (fancy name for the quality of the relationship between therapist and client) is a major predictor of therapeutic success.
Dr. John Norcross, a prominent psychotherapy researcher, noted, “The therapeutic relationship accounts for why clients improve (or fail to improve) at least as much as the particular treatment method.” (Norcross, 2011).
Basically, in other words: You’re going to get a lot more out of therapy if you’ve found a counsellor who is a good match for you specifically.
Why It Matters
Mental health counselling isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Just as you’d tailor a physical workout to individual body needs and tastes, you’ve got to approach mental health with specificity.
Your unique history, personality, and goals should resonate with your counsellor’s approach, methodologies, and temperament.
In fact, one study in The Journal of Clinical Psychology showed that clients who felt they had a good rapport with their therapists were more likely to stick with therapy and also showed greater improvement (Ackerman et al., 2001). So, it’s not just about feeling good in the moment — the right match can determine the trajectory of your entire therapeutic journey. (Phew.)
If you’ve had a less than stellar therapy experience, it’s possible that it was due to a mismatch between you and the counsellor. Maybe they were super dry and literal and you’re more of a feelings girlie (or vice versa). Or maybe they were on one about meditation and you didn’t feel comfortable sharing that it’s just not your thing.
This type of thing can lead to feeling like you’re banging your head against a wall. And worse: you might miss out on all the good stuff that comes from investing in therapy.
Finding Your Perfect Brisbane Counsellor Match
Here are a few practical tips to help you start finding a good local therapist match in Brisbane.
- Starter Questions: Before diving into the Brisbane therapist search, take a moment to reflect on what you want. Are there specific issues or challenges you want to address? Do you have a preference for a therapist with a certain background, gender, approach? If you’re not sure, I’d encourage you to grab a pen and – without pressure – write down the answers to these questions as they pop to your head. Your responses might surprise you.
- Research and Reviews: Websites like Psychology Today offer directories of therapists, often complete with bios, specialties, and sometimes client reviews. (Reviews are a tricky one in the therapy game – an ethical therapist won’t risk confidentiality by requesting reviews.) You can also google local Brisbane counsellors and skim through some of their websites to get a feel for personality and fit.
- Trial and Feedback: This can be a tricky part. Don’t get disheartened if the first therapist you meet doesn’t feel like “the one”. Just as you’d move on to another date to find the perfect partner, give yourself permission to meet a few therapists before settling in for the long haul.
- Open Communication: Consider your own concerns and reservations about therapy, and share them during initial sessions. A good therapist will appreciate your honesty and may even help refer you to a better potential fit.
Remember, finding the right therapist isn’t just about expertise and friendliness, but also about a unique blend of personality, trust, and understanding. When you and your therapist feel connected and invested, the pathway to your own mental wellbeing not only becomes clearer but also feels supported at every turn.
Ready to find a counsellor in Brisbane?
If you’re interested in booking an initial session, have a look through our website to see if you think we might be a good fit. Here at Golden Thread Therapy, we’re a human-dog counselling team working with clients from our comfy practice in Ashgrove, Brisbane.