By Seija Grant, MEd CP, RP
When I talk about ‘finding a good fit’ I am referring to the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist. One of the most important factors of therapeutic success is having a strong therapeutic alliance. The importance of this is significant, as you (the client) need to be able to trust the therapist enough to share some of the most vulnerable parts of yourself. Outside of a therapy context, you probably wouldn’t go around sharing all of your most secret, private (possibly darkest) parts of yourself with just anybody, so why should it be different when it comes to therapy? As a client you have the right to try out counsellors to find one that suits you. If you don’t feel it is a good fit, don’t be afraid to ask for an appointment with a different counsellor next time (if this is an option at the agency or organization you are attending). Therapists are aware of the importance of this factor and ultimately want you to be successful and thrive in counselling…even if it isn’t with them. I personally would much rather have a client transfer to another therapist than for them to miss out on all of the benefits of counselling, just because we weren’t a good match.
There can be several reasons for a lack of ‘good fit’ between client and counsellor. Some of the factors to consider:
There may also be different therapists who can be helpful to you at different points in your life. Maybe you need a certain type of person or skillset to help with one area, and then a few years later need something completely different. That is OKAY. As humans we change, we grow, and we also have varying needs. There is a whole spectrum out there, and taking the time to consider what it is that you need in this moment can be a great way of helping yourself to find a good fit in order to flourish in a counselling setting. In short, counselling is not a one-size-fits-all sort of experience. It is a deeply personal and unique venture. As all humans have distinctive differences with individual needs, concerns/issues, and preferences, it makes sense that not every therapist will be exactly the right fit for every client. As therapists we want to be able to help our clients in a collaborative manner to attain their goals, and having strong therapeutic rapport is one of the key ingredients.
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