10 Signs Of A Good Therapist To Ensure You Get The Most Out Of Your Therapy Sessions

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10 Signs Of A Good Therapist To Ensure You Get The Most Out Of Your Therapy Sessions
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In today's society, mental health care has become something that more and more people are starting to take very seriously.

If you're like me, you're in therapy (or in the process of finding a therapist). Having experience with multiple therapists, I can proudly say that no two therapists are the same and the most important part of improving your mental health is knowing how to find a good therapist.

The signs of a good therapist should be evident even in your first session. You want your experience in therapy to be useful, so you need to know how to avoid sticking with a therapist that doesn't work for you.

RELATED: How To Find The Kind Of Therapist You Truly Need

Below are the signs of a good therapist to look for.

1. A good therapist listens to what you have to say.

Shocker, I know, but some people honestly don't listen to what you have to say. It's as if it goes in through one ear and out of the other.

A good therapist will listen to your issues that you're paying them to discuss and will help you deal with those issues in a constructive and practical way. Conversations tend to be a multiple-person thing, and are usually between two people. Your therapist shouldn't just be a soundboard. They should be listening to you and helping to direct the conversation.

2. A good therapist makes it clear that they are on your side.

Bouncing off of the first point, your therapist needs to listen to what you have to say. Once that happens, it's usually time for your therapist to comment on what you had to say for yourself. I would say that this is a part of establishing boundaries, but when your therapist comments on what you said, make sure it's not a direct attack against you. The last thing that you want is for your therapist to be going after you just for expressing the most minute detail.

If you don't like the way a therapist talks to you, then it's probably time to find a new therapist. You're not a dog, so you don't need to be barked at for no reason.

3. Good therapists set boundaries.

Bouncing off of the previous point, it's essential to establish boundaries with your therapist. Boundaries are basic rules that should be understood by all parties involved, and if not, some serious issues might arise.

For example, if your therapist doesn't want you to communicate with them via text, then don't do that; simple. However, if you don't want to talk with your therapist via email, that's something that you need to mention — and they need to be okay with it.

A sign of a good therapist is that they let you know what makes them uncomfortable upfront so you can consider those things when spending time with them in your session or when you're communicating with them. Of course, every therapist will be different when it comes to communication outside of sessions, so that's another conversation to have so that you don't violate any boundaries.

4. A good therapist will refer you to others if it's not a fit.

Having to switch therapists is not a good or bad thing, but it certainly does take work. However, if the two of you aren't vibing with one another, it's probably best that you see someone else.

A therapist that might not be a good fit for you is supposed to refer you to at least three other therapists, and a good therapist will do so without getting salty about losing the patient.

5. Good therapists take notes.

Now I've had therapists that don't take notes and those that do take notes, and I find that the therapists that take notes are often more likely to remember more about you as a person. Not that not taking notes is a bad thing since it all depends on personal preference, but it certainly helps with memory. The last thing that I would want is for my therapist to go on a rant about a dog that I don't have when she knows that I have a cat.

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Another thing about having a therapist that takes notes is that they could always ask questions based on their notes, which helps time pass by through sessions. Sometimes, a 45-minute session feels like forever, but if you have things to discuss, then it's not so bad.

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6. Good therapists address what's concerning you.

If it bothers you that your therapist is always late, then say something. A sign that they're a good therapist is when they'll try and work on it, and they won't tell you that you're crazy for mentioning it to them.

Therapists are people too, and while they're not perfect, that doesn't mean that they're horrible human beings. Therapists can't read your mind, so when you're feeling concerned about something, you need to speak up and out about it. A good therapist can't help you if you're not letting them know what's wrong, so don't be afraid to communicate your worries to them.

7. Good therapists try their best to meet your needs.

If you need therapy more than once a week and your therapist can provide that for you, then that's worth discussing. I know with my therapist, I vocalized that I want to meet three times a week as opposed to twice a week, so now we have therapy three times a week.

If you find something that your therapist does to be helpful, ask your therapist to do that thing more often. Let them know that what they're doing is helping you out, and they'll consider that. On the other hand, if there's something that you wish that they wouldn't do, mention it to them.

8. A good therapist isn't passive-aggressive with you.

While I haven't had this happen to me, not all therapists are the same as one another. A therapist that goes out of their way to make demeaning comments towards you is not a good therapist and needs to be dropped stat.

There are tons of therapists out there, so you shouldn't have to settle for one that ticks you off. The last thing that you want is a bully of a therapist, and if you feel like your therapist is going down that road, it's time to let them go.

9. Good therapists push you to be a better person.

Yes, you're going to be uncomfortable at times, but if your therapist is a real one, they're going to want the best for you. Maybe they're going to be the one that pushes you to brush up on that language that you once started learning, or maybe they're going to be the one that tells you to do that hobby that you've forgotten about completely.

Whatever the case may be, they're going to be there for you every step of the way and would want to see you blossom into a better person. They might not always be there to hold your hand, but know that they're supportive of you in every way, shape, and form.

10. Good therapists don't make excuses.

Whatever the case may be, they don't beat around the bush. Your therapist should be reliable and hold up their end of the bargain, too, so if you find that they're not doing that, it's time to break up with them.

If your therapist says that they're going to do it, a good therapist will then do it. Sure, they might not be able to get to it stat, but the fact that they did what they said that they were going to do is what matters in the end.

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Liz Abere is a writer who focuses on food, love, and mental health. Outside of writing, Liz is a grad student that lives with her 11-year-old cat named Spock in Brooklyn, New York.