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Starting therapy can be a very important, yet difficult step. Maybe it is a decision you’ve been mulling over for some time. A few times you may even research a few places or therapists. But you’re not sure how you can find the right therapist for you and end up convincing yourself that your problems are not that big or important. 

Therapy is not exclusive to people with diagnosed mental disorders. Rather, it can be beneficial for anyone who wants to feel better. It can help you understand the root of your problems, overcome emotional challenges, and make positive changes in your life.

Many people seek help during tough times, such as a breakup, the death of a loved one, or a professional crisis. Others start therapy to tackle everyday distress, like low self-esteem, stress, or relationship problems. 

Giving voice to your worries and talking about the things that are weighing you down can be very healing. Especially, with someone who is a professionally-trained listener that wants to help. But to reap its benefits, it’s important to choose the right therapist: someone you trust and feel connected to.

The Importance of a Good Connection

Therapy in Baltimore, MD at New Connections Counseling CenterThere are so many options of therapies and therapists that deciding can feel overwhelming. Just keep in mind that there’s no such thing as “the best therapy” or “the best therapist”. It all depends on what is right for you, your needs, and your goals. 

The relationship between the therapist and client is the most important factor in determining how successful treatment is. Multiple studies show that the therapeutic relationship matters more than the type of therapy that is used. 

Therapists and clients work together. So, it is crucial to establish a therapeutic alliance. This means feeling heard and understood, as well as comfortable sharing your most intimate thoughts and emotions. In essence, feeling a good connection with your therapist and trusting that you will achieve your purpose together. 

What Makes a Good Therapeutic Alliance?

It’s common to assume that liking your therapist is the same as having a good therapeutic alliance. However, establishing a true and positive therapeutic relationship goes beyond that. 

There are three key ingredients to growing a healthy working relationship in mental therapy:

  • Relationship quality: You and your therapist share a connection. You feel understood, validated, and supported and believe your therapist truly cares about you and your problems. While difficult, you feel comfortable talking about intimate issues of your life. These are all indicators of a positive therapeutic relationship. This means your therapist is empathetic and incites a sense of trust and safety that allows you to explore your emotions and personal history. 
  • Shared viewpoint and direction: You and your therapist agree on the main goals of therapy and have a mutual understanding of the steps to get there. If you have a shared vision of your story and problems, the treatment goals will naturally stem from there.
  • Agreement on the path for change: You and your therapist share a view about the methods and modalities you will use to activate change and ultimately achieve your goals. Both commit to taking up and following through with specific tasks.Find Couples Therapy in Baltimore, MD at New Connections Counseling Center

Therapy can be a painful endeavor. Stirring up your most distressing emotions and experiences can make you feel intensely vulnerable, scared, or even ashamed. This is why creating a trusting relationship with your therapist is so important for the success of the whole process. By connecting with the right therapist, you will begin to open up and walk towards a greater sense of well-being, mental health, and happiness.

How Can I Find the Right Therapist for Me?

Choosing the right therapist may take time and research, but it’s well worth the effort. When you find someone you feel comfortable talking about difficult issues, you’re much more likely to benefit from therapy.

Before scheduling your first appointment, you can make a brief consultation over the phone. Take this opportunity to get to know the therapist or team, and clarify any doubts you may have.

So, what aspects should you consider before choosing a therapist in Baltimore?

Experience: Therapists often have areas of expertise, such as depression, anxiety, or eating disorders. Look for a therapist who has experience with the problems that you are struggling with. Experienced therapists have dealt with the problems you’re facing many times and in many forms, which gives them more insight and resources. Also, for some problems, such as trauma or PTSD, seeing a specialist can be especially recommended. Learn more about our therapists in Baltimore.

Treatment orientations: Learning a bit about different therapy approaches can be a good idea. As much as the connection with your therapist proves to be the key factor for success, the model of therapy can still affect your therapist’s way of relating and the suggested length of treatment.

Credentials: There are many variations in credentials and licenses. However, the most important is to make sure the therapist you choose is a licensed mental health professional that follows guidelines and a code of ethics. For this, it can also be good to check for complaints.

Find Online Therapy in Baltimore, Maryland at New Connections Counseling CenterLocation: If you are searching for a therapist in Baltimore you may be weighing the options between online and in-person therapy. Depending on your needs, the privacy of the therapist’s office can be a major plus to consider. Also, you may feel more comfortable confiding to a person that you meet face-to-face. On the other hand, if you want to save up on travel time, expense, and hassle of fighting traffic, online therapy can be the better solution.

Our Team of Therapists in Baltimore, MD

While therapy can make you feel challenged at times and have you face negative emotions and fears, you should always feel safe. Our therapists at New Connections Counseling Center will work with you to make you feel at ease and ready to pursue your goals.

Individual therapy for teenager Baltimore New Connections Counseling CenterKeep in mind that, it can take a few sessions to fully determine if you and your therapist share a connection. So, give it at least three to four weeks before deciding on continuing therapy. 

After that time, if you feel that the therapeutic relationship is not working, talk openly with your therapist. Sometimes, for one reason or another, you won’t feel the click. And if that’s the case, it’s ok to keep on your search. The most important is to find someone that you feel comfortable with, so you can truly benefit from therapy.

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About the Author:

Cathy Sullivan-Windt

Psychologist (Ph.D.) & Owner

Cathy is a licensed counseling psychologist with almost 20 years of experience. She specializes in women’s counseling, anxiety treatment, sexual assault recovery, life transitions, and relationship issues.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature, traveling, reading, and being with her family and friends.

Read More About Cathy

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