Signs of a Good Therapist

I put together a list of 12 Signs that help you find a good therapist or determine if your current therapist is good for you. If you need support finding a therapist please send me a message!

Characteristics of a supportive therapist or mental health practitioner are their desire to help people in need of emotional and psychological support. We work with people to build systems within and outside of themselves that encourage their autonomy and growth. To be effective mental health professionals, we must continue to build personal characteristic strengths that aid in our development as therapists and aid in the development of our clients.

The approaches we use to support our clients will be rooted in our educational and professional experiences. There are personal characteristics that practitioners must work to possess. There are also professional elements that therapists can implement to better serve their clients. 

Personal Characteristics:

  1. Empathetic
  2. Patient
  3. Supportive
  4. Good listener
  5. Compassionate 
  6. Self-less

These personal characteristics combined build a more effective therapist. The aim of therapy should align with the intentions of the therapist and the client. To implement therapeutic improvements, practitioners must conduct their behaviors and responses in a fashion that supports a model of unconditional positive regard. These characteristics determine how practitioners will respond to clients. Practitioners serve as a means of building a strong therapeutic alliance with their clients.

Signs of a Good Therapist
Signs of a Good Therapist

By using these characteristic traits, they are laying the foundation and bases of how the relationship will develop. Each of these traits could be the difference in a client deciding whether or not to open up, continue treatment, change maladaptive behaviors, and support their journey. These characteristics allow therapists to notice the client as more than just their ‘pain point’. Practitioners serve as a representative for the client, and the attributes they possess are highly influential to clients. We are not always able to control the extraneous values that may come up, but we can control how we act and think. 

Professional Elements:

  1. Desire to learn 
  2. Problem Solving Abilities
  3. Boundaries 
  4. Ability to build Trustworthiness 
  5. Multicultural Competence
  6. Moral and Ethical Compass 

Similar to personal characteristics, professional elements serve as pillars within all domains of human health. As practitioners develop their autonomy in the field, they can choose whether or not to align their professional elements with personal characteristics. However, combining both facets creates an overall competent clinician. These considerations are an excellent basis to help the majority of people seeking therapy However, it is essential to note that not all clients will be receptive to these skills, and they will need to be adapted to each individual. A therapist will continue building upon these elements to stay relevant and on par with the changes in life.

With Intention, Sarafina