If you’ve done therapy, what are some tips to start getting comfortable with your therapist?

If you’ve done therapy, what are some tips to start getting comfortable with your therapist?

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  1. If the therapist is worth their salt, I’ll tell them about any reservations or nervousness I’m having with them. I’ll go about it politely and respectfully of course – I don’t want to insult them. Just think of it this way; if they know how you feel, they’ll be able to help you with it.

    Edit: removed word

  2. In all honesty, it just takes time. But, I’d say maybe try make things more personal? Like, your favourite color, to maybe an experience you’ve had. Share those. It’s like starting a new friendship, but with someone who also wants to help you mentally / emotionally.

  3. I swear kind of a lot when I talk, even when I’m not upset about anything. I absolutely cannot work with a therapist who has any issues with my swearing. I’m not in the business of code switching when I’m talking about my emotions or stressors or unbearable symptoms. I *need* to be able to express myself *exactly* the same way I do in my head, or the whole therapy thing doesn’t work for me. So if my therapist is okay with me swearing, then I’m comfortable.

    Maybe your thing isn’t swearing. Maybe you have some personal manner of communicating that you absolutely *must* be able to use to express yourself. Think about what that thing might be & then if your new therapist has an issue with it, get a new one. Because in the very beginning of therapy it’s essential that you’re able to communicate in the ways you’re most comfortable with. Anyone who’s going to put any little roadblock between you & expressing what’s going on in your head right off the bat is someone you’ll likely never be comfortable with.

    I also have a bit of a quid pro quo thing. If they ask me about pets, I ask them about pets. If they ask me about hobbies, I ask them the same. It’s the *exchange* of personal information that allows me to feel more comfortable telling them something more deeply personal. I’m not an open book with anyone. So before we get into all my troubles & trauma, I want to know if the therapist has a dog & if the therapist won’t answer that, especially after they’ve just asked me that, then I’m going to have a hard time talking with them.

    It’s some weird little stuff like that which help me build more rapport with therapists.

    My current therapist I’ve been working with for a few years by now. Sometimes our sessions are really emotionally heavy. Other times, we only talk about the goofy stuff our pets have been up to. But one condition of me being able to receive medications from my psychiatrist is that I have to see a therapist at least once per month. Sometimes I talk to my therapist every week or two. Other times, things are stable so I won’t talk to her for a whole 30 days. Those stable moments are when we get into the not serious stuff & can just talk about whatever. Those non-serious appointments, for me, are equally as important as the serious ones.

  4. Be honest about what you are comfortable with. If the therapist reminds you of someone then tell them. If you can’t seem to connect with them, then tell them. I tell my patients all the time that I take no offense and I would rather they “break up” with me to help themselves find someone they can connect with better.

    Also, so many people hop into therapy and try to go straight into core issue or trauma work. That’s gonna make you uncomfortable and possibly retraumatize you. Take it slow. There’s nothing wrong with taking a couple sessions to talk about regular day to day things. As a therapist I prefer it.

    The more I can get to know you before doing core work the better. That way you can trust me and I can help you learn how to take care of you during tough times.

    That’s my psa for the day. Thank you.

  5. My two cents… do your research. I have had problems finding one I connected with. Called an assistance line I have through work, and was explicit on exactly what specialties I needed a therapist for. They couldn’t answer right away, but assured me they would call me back within 24 hours.

    They did. And when I met my now therapist of two years, every single box was checked for what I asked for, and she is wonderful. I have already noticed significant changes in how I cope with things, and the specific issues that pushed me to go into therapy NOW are all resolved.

  6. Depends on the therapist
    I mostly met the ones that just seem extremely robotic
    Now I have one that’s literally acting like a friend, so I did get comfortable with him pretty quick
    I’d say a good thing to do is keeping a notebook where you write the things you want to discuss on sessions and then show it to the therapist, it’s a small thing but it actually helped me
    Also writing some sort of an introduction to you as a person and giving that to them as well
    I always do that in the form of showing my sketchbook since my drawings describe it best

  7. Let them know that you’re having issues with getting comfortable. One thing that I will always advocate for, when trying to establish comfort in a group, is eating together. Ask if you can bring snacks in or maybe more of a meal for you both.

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