Who is a therapist?
Therapists are licensed mental health professionals who hold a Master’s degree in psychology or counselling. A therapist begins his/her career by assisting mental health professionals which includes internships and extensive training, after which a therapist is eligible to help and deal directly with clients for counselling and guidance. A therapist helps the clients to overcome their challenges and improve their emotional wellbeing and mental health. Some counsellors have training in the distinct field of therapy which they might be interested in and can futher pursue as a career option.
Now as we are talking about therapists there are different types of therapists with specialization of their field which include:
● Art therapist
● Marriage and family therapist
● Occupational therapist
● Child therapist
● Music therapist
● Behavioral therapist
● Sex therapist
What does a therapist do?
The first and foremost task of a therapist or a counsellor is to understand the core issue the client is facing and in which domain he/she needs more guidance and help to overcome their challenges. The client may need help to develop better cognitive, social or emotional skills or to help them cope with their life challenges that might be hindering the normal functioning of daily life routines.
Therapists are service providers to their clients and work in a systematic order, and make them believe they will be heard and guided until they are capable enough to resolve their issues independently with newly acquired perspective and techniques.
The duration of the therapy depends on the severity of the case the client is dealing with, which can last for a week, month or even a year.
Therapy is a safe space for a person to express exactly how the individual is feeling. The therapist builds a rapport with their client and assures them their confidentiality and privacy will be respected in all terms.
It is witnessed during sessions the counsellor or a therapist follow up with the client by encouraging them to let their fearful thoughts and emotions come out by creating a non-judgmental environment and accepting the client’s situation he/she are in with warmth and empathy.
Referring to empathy therapists understand and can associate what it’s like to stand in someone else’s shoes and give the client satisfaction and a feeling of being heard and understood.
What makes a good therapist?
The effective work of a therapist makes them best in their field, the certain skills and traits that require to be a successful therapist and professional counsellor.
Here are personal skills a good counsellor or a therapist should have:
Creates a healthy environment:
To begin with the sessions the therapist must take time to make the client feel safe and comfortable. The space for conducting a session should be quiet and private enough to listen to what the client is saying without any outer disturbances.
Evolved Listening skills:
A therapist requires not just listening to their client but being an effective listener to gather the information they are providing about themselves and connect with their past experiences to resolve the problem from its root. Also, a therapist before coming to conclusion or suggestion gives time to the client to finish what they want to say and then reflect on their thoughts.
A good therapist must be clear about their appointments and remember the time and date of their sessions. Once the client is given an appointment it must be professional and the therapist should be there at the place of therapy before the client reaches this also builds a sense of availability and respect in the client and feel they are taken seriously and valued.
Confidentiality and appropriate ethical boundaries:
Certain boundaries need to be maintained to make a good therapist.
Except during sessions, there should not be any other time when a therapist tries to contact the client or ask the client to meet them outside of the sessions. Personal boundaries should never be overstepped by anyone in the therapy involved.
When the therapist understands the challenges the client is facing they prepare a treatment plan. The treatment plan requires a lot of critical thinking and questioning how to reach the solution or if this does not go according to plan what will be the alternative treatment for the client. The therapist is supposed to be 2 steps ahead of the ongoing therapy.
A good therapist is someone who can make the client resolve their issues by themselves creating a space and make the individual think from a new perspective in their lives.