Here is an excerpt:
It is often much easier to spot a good therapist than it is to spot a bad therapist. We all look for kind, loving, compassionate, and caring people to connect with. Yet, we are hardly able to pinpoint when we are being taken advantage of for a variety of reasons. It’s who we are and how we have been molded in society and even in our families to think about “professionals.” The first few nonverbal signs we look for when we meet someone new is genuine smiling, eye contact, and maybe touch (a touch on the arm or hand) to convey friendliness, and a positive tone of voice. When we do not see these things, we often do one of two things:
- Ignore the behavior: Because the therapist may offer cheap rates, may be close to home, or offers other incentives, you may be more willing to ignore any signs of incompetence.
- Make excuses: “Maybe she/he is having a bad day,” or “maybe he/she just doesn’t like me.” “Maybe he/she needs time to warm up to me!” Does this sound familiar?
Editor's Note: While a psychologist may not do any of the 10 signs, there are probably other activities that we do during therapy that may be countertherapeutic or unhelpful. Asking for honest feedback from patients about what we are doing well and not doing well may help your overall skill level and competence. Many times, psychologists ask patients to self-reflect. Maybe it is important for psychologists to take the time to self-reflect.