At some point in our lives we could all use someone to talk to. An unbiased 3rd party that wants what’s best for you, not necessity what you want.
Over the years and moves I have had the opportunity to meet many psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers. I have had some pretty awful ones over the years, but I should mention I’ve also had some awesome ones that have changed my life.
Instead on focusing on the bad I want to write a bit about my relationship with my current social worker. Let me start by explaining that this woman is amazing, I first met her back in 2016 and even though we no longer live in the same city we still have regular phone sessions.
When I first met her I didn’t have good expectations. I had previously met a counselor that made some pretty wild and serious accusations about my family and was really not looking forward to a similar experience. Instead I was lead to a nice comfortable room and asked what I was looking to get out of the experience.
By right away acknowledging that I needed to get something from the interaction made me open up a bit more. She continued this trend until we had a good working relationship with each other (she still asks from time to time to make sure I’m still good).
But what happens when you don’t like the person? It can literally be from anything, but sometimes you don’t get along with your counselor and it just can’t be avoided. In this instance, they aren’t going to be very helpful so it’s time to move on. You can ask your counselor for a referral elsewhere or talk to their office staff if that makes you more comfortable (during my time as an office coordinator at a mental health clinic this came up several times, I would refer the client either to another counselor in our office or elsewhere if that made them more comfortable).
For the counseling relationship to work you must have a level of trust and you must have complementary styles. It may take time to find the right person for you, ask around for personal references and read reviews. We all need our very own cheerleader and coach from time to time.
What is something a mental health professional has done that stands out in your memory as a good thing?