I am a therapy client and a therapist, privileged to have a deep appreciation of both perspectives. I sometimes wish everybody was in therapy or working with some sort of coach, counsellor, mentor, or trainer. I’m at my most passionate as a mental health advocate who wants to expand our sense of normal to embrace the curious, the odd, and the exceptional. I am drawn to this work, in part because I have always felt different and a little out of step with others – the ones I assumed were normal people. I now know there is no normal, no abnormal either.
Normal or not, what I am is an advocate of therapy. I’d like to recommend it for everyone – shame about the stigma and the fear of what others will say or think if they know you are considering therapy. Conversations about therapy are rare, and we don’t get to know much about what happens in therapy, and little of what to expect. That in turn creates a further issue, because how can you assess a therapist’s competence if you don’t know what to expect? The uncertainty about what might or might not happen tends to keep people away.
As well as holding the potential to be one of the most beneficial experiences, therapy has at it’s centre one of the most private of professional relationships. The quality of that relationship between a therapist and a client is a reliable predictor of positive outcomes in therapy. It is important to find the right therapist for you, that directive is easily understood and harder to do.
I researched peoples memorable experiences in therapy for a Masters dissertation and came up with some really interesting findings and was able to put together some guidelines to help in finding the therapist for you. I now host short 60- 90 minute discussions with peer groups to pool our wisdom and advise each other about our experiences in finding good therapy, because good help is hard to find.
Melbourne based groups can contact me to book and schedule a facilitated discussion with your group.