In my last post, and my admitted technology-challenged brain, I inadvertently posted an image of the cereal aisle of a grocery store….so you might have asked: What’s up with the cereal boxes??? On a counseling practice website????
A very wise woman once told me that finding a therapist is like choosing a cereal from the grocery store aisle. There are a LOT of choices, some may like Fruit Loops, or plain ole Cheerios, some may go for the Granola (crunchies) or prefer Bran Flakes. Choosing cereal depends on you – what you like, what comforts you (let’s face it cereal is not-just-for-breakfast-anymore) or what you feel will help your hunger. Same with therapists, there are some of us that are a little on the Fruit Loops side and some who are waaaayyyy Granola (crunchie), some who are solid and reliable as Bran Flakes… you have to find the right one for you and your taste. You get to choose and it seems once we know what we like, that’s what we choose…and we stick with it.
Speaking of sticking with it – the reason it’s so important to know you can choose from a wide variety of therapists (approaches, personalities, treatment interventions, locations, etc) is because there is solid (and long held) research evidence that the client-therapist relationship is ESSENTIAL to healing mental health. Known as the therapeutic alliance, this relationship is crucial to clients feeling heard and understood, to clients believing they can be vulnerable and courageous in the presence of their therapist, and to clients knowing they will not be judged or shamed for speaking their truth to their experiences. All of these factors, and many more, contribute to the therapeutic alliance and to finding relief and regaining our mental health.
When our staff sat down to discuss our practice mission, vision and values, the therapeutic relationship was foremost in our minds and as a result in our statements of how we will ‘be’ in our service to our clients. I invite you to take a look here.