Going to a new mental health professional could be intimidating. You are going to tell the person things you might not have told anyone else in your life. Meeting a new mental health professional is about you, what you need, and understanding the professional is there for you with good intent. Like every relationship in your life, building a therapeutic relationship starts slowly as trust develops. When the relationship is based on trust and respect, you will be comfortable with therapy. Below are some tips on how to strengthen your therapeutic relationship with a mental health professional.
Give Yourself Some Time
Building a trusting therapeutic relationship does not happen right away. Your relationship will grow and become more comfortable upon each visit. As your relationship grows will come to understand they are there for you, no one else. Next, you will begin to develop trust. Trust happens when you know you can share something with them and not be judged or ignored.</div?
Respect is another key component to building a strong relationship. During therapy, you will be encouraged to deal with scary emotions. Dealing with things that you cannot confront on your own is what therapy is all about. Having someone show you the attention and respect you deserve allows you to open up and create a better healing environment.
Between therapy sessions, you will come up with questions brought up by the last session. Write them down, put them in a note on your phone, or journal about it. Then, be sure to take those questions to your next therapy session and ask about them. The therapy is about you, and there are no “wrong” questions. As you bring your questions to your mental health professional, your therapeutic relationship becomes stronger.
Remember to Listen
Listen to the answers, even if you do not want to hear what they have to say. Sometimes it is painful to hear the answer, but the pain is part of the healing. Past trauma must be addressed so the two of you can find the path to overcome the issues. If it seems too much to deal with, tell the professional about it. A lot of times, the reason behind the pain gives you avenues to address the issue in a different way.
Confront Difficult Emotions
When going through therapy, you will need to confront difficult emotions. The challenge comes from confronting past trauma and working on ways to address it. Getting into the painful past is difficult but necessary for healing. You may try to avoid these emotions. Remember, confronting a painful memory or trauma is hard, but you must do it to get past it. Therefore, developing a strong therapeutic relationship with a mental health professional will help you cope with these feelings. Recovery from a mental disorder caused by traumas from your past requires that you face these traumas.
Exercise Honesty in Every Session
Honesty is the pillar of therapy. At the start, you will feel vulnerable when you begin opening up to the therapist. In the beginning, you will not open up a lot; professionals understand this and will not push you too far. Addressing the painful parts of your past life takes a while. But, you must be honest from the early stages of recovery because only being truthful in therapy will allow you to alleviate yourself from a mental health disorder, and lead to a strong therapeutic relationship. If you are hiding parts of the puzzle, then the professional will not be able to help you get to the root of your disorder and help you.
If You Don’t Feel a Connection, Seek a New Mental Health Professional
Building a good relationship with your mental health professionals is hard, but it is needed. If you have several sessions and you still do not feel connected with the therapeutic relationship, you might need to find another therapist. At first, talk to them about it. Tell them why you do not feel like you are connecting. Understand that sometimes it is not about the professional; it is about the fear you feel. Starting therapy is a daunting process. It is hard to open up to another and expose your fears, pains, and vulnerability.
Move at Your Pace
Having a good rapport with trust, respect, and honesty is essential for your therapeutic relationship to work. Take your time and let it grow organically. Once you have started it, you have all the time in the world. Do not push yourself into a place you are not ready for. Communicate with your therapist, tell them where you are at, and they will be there for you.
Find a Mental Health Professional at the Phoenix
At The Phoenix Recovery Center, we understand that finding the right mental health professional is a hard but crucial part of your recovery. You must feel comfortable with your therapist and trust them enough to reveal the scariest parts of your life. Our programs help nurture the time it takes to develop trust, respect, communication, and honesty essential for a strong therapeutic relationship. If you or a loved one have a mental health disorder and are looking for a mental health professional, we can assist you in that search. We understand your struggle to reach out for help, and we are happy to support you in finding what you need. We will be with you throughout the entire journey. We want to help through the obstacles and rough roads along the way. To learn more, call us today at (801) 438-3185.