What Makes For A Good Therapist?

I’ve had therapists come into my life and I’ve had them go out of my life.

Looking back, I think my every therapist has been excellent.

Here’s what I’ve appreciated in them:

* They’ve made it easy to connect with them. I’ve never felt like I had to put up fences or pretenses. They’ve never preached at me. They’ve never pronounced damning judgment.

* When they’re late, they’re appropriately apologetic. Timeliness is very important to me. Tardiness is theft.

* They ease me out of my story while never fighting my need to talk.

I’ll sit in the waiting room before therapy and review things I need to talk about, but often my therapists will ask me questions right at the outset taking me out of my story. They’ll pick up things in my posture in the waiting room and the glint in my eye — or lack of it — when they greet me. They’ll remark on how I situate my chair next to theirs.

* I find their attention intoxicating. I love it when people pay attention to me. Unless I’m in a good relationship, I’ll find my hour a week with my therapist the highlight of my week.

* I often want to beat up on myself during therapy. They help me let go of that need.

You might say, big deal. If anything, you need to beat up on yourself, Luke.

Well, when I get stuck into myself good and proper, it’s never long before I feel driven to get stuck into others. When I learn ease with myself, I have more ease with others. For instance, I was at Beth Am the other night studying Torah and you’d never find a more easygoing and gentle soul than myself. I felt no need to lambast myself or others.

* A good therapist helps me become more aware of how I think, feel, and act. They gently point out unhelpful ruts I get stuck in. They open up my thinking to greater possibilities in the way I react to life. Without therapy, I tend to feel stuck in my responses to certain stimuli such as hot chicks. With therapy, I realize I don’t have to sleep with everything that moves. Such freedom. Such spirituality. Such holiness. Book me now to speak in your shul.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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