Frequently Asked Questions
How can I determine if a therapist is right for me?
Often we try to choose a therapist based on characteristics like: geographical location, gender, age, race, or theoretical orientation. Any of these characteristics could be important in finding the right person for you.
Because therapy is often times a deeply personal, emotional experience, it is important to find someone with whom you can form a strong personal bond. Someone who can listen without judgment, who can tolerate strong emotion, and who can help you sort out a myriad of emotions that emerge from current relationships, as well as those emotions and conflicts that carry over from your family of origin, and childhood.
Because of the unique relationship you can have with a therapist, it is important to trust your intuition and gut reactions upon first meeting a therapist. If you have questions, concerns, and doubts, raise them. What can happen very early on can be illuminating, and offer a different perspective of this person, which can then help in making a choice. I would also add that because of the complexity of the therapeutic relationship, many questions about the therapist’s competency, reliability, dependability, and emotional availability cannot be answered quickly. Sometimes we must simply engage, give it a try, and be mindful of how things go.
How does talk therapy work?
Bringing to light secrets, self-doubts, traumas, symptoms, and relationship concerns can feel freeing, and produce a flow of energy. This happens because it takes energy to keep emotions bottled up. Discussing personal issues and problems with a trusted figure who listens empathically and without judgment enables us to see ourselves and our problems with fresh eyes, and from new perspectives.
Ralph Keith, Ph.D.,
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Northville, MI 48167