Hey there! Starting therapy can feel overwhelming and two of the most common fears people have are being able to develop a sense of trust with their therapist and the fear of being judged. I want to share some insights on how to establish trust with your therapist. As someone who’s spent nearly a decade in this field, I understand how critical trust is in an effective therapeutic relationship.
Be open and honest: In order for the therapeutic relationship to be effective, it’s critical to be open and honest with your therapist from the get-go. It’s super normal to feel nervous about sharing intimate and personal details but remember, your therapist is there to help you, not to judge you! The more truthful you are about your feelings, thoughts, and experiences, the better equipped your therapist will be to help you reach the goals that you set out to accomplish (not to mention to help you feel more comfortable in the process!).
Set realistic expectations: When you are already struggling, it’s common to be a bit impatient about the length of the healing process. You want change, and you want it fast; however, it takes time to build trust and see progress. It’s important to manage your expectations and be patient with both yourself and your therapist. Remember that everyone’s journey is unique, and progress may look different for each person and sometimes it may feel like you’ve taken a few steps back before you start seeing progress, but get discouraged!
Establish boundaries: While therapists are trained to maintain professional boundaries, it’s also important for you to communicate your own boundaries. If there’s a topic or issue you’re not ready to discuss, let your therapist know. They will respect your wishes and work with you to create a safe environment where you feel comfortable sharing when you’re ready.
Take an active role: The more engaged you are in your therapy sessions, the stronger the trust between you and your therapist will be. Ask questions, provide feedback, and express your concerns. Your therapist cannot read your mind, and being an active participant from goal setting to openly sharing will help you get the most out of therapy.
Evaluate progress together: It’s important to check in with your therapist every so often to evaluate your progress and discuss any adjustments that may be needed. This open communication not only fosters trust but also helps to ensure that your therapy remains aligned with your goals.
Remember, it’s okay to switch therapists: If you feel that you’re not connecting with your therapist or making progress, it’s okay to consider finding someone else. Therapeutic relationships are built on trust, and it’s essential to work with someone who resonates with you and your unique needs. Building trust with your therapist is a crucial aspect of the healing process. By being open, setting realistic expectations, establishing boundaries, actively engaging, evaluating progress, and remembering that it’s okay to switch therapists, you’ll be well on your way to creating a strong foundation for lasting change. As a therapist who’s walked through my own share of life’s challenges, I’m here to help you navigate the changing tides of life. Remember, you’re not alone on this journey.
Wishing you all the best,