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10 Signs That Your Therapist is Doing a Good Job

By Richard J. Loebl, LCSW, BCD

If you’ve ever been in therapy – or if you’re considering counseling or therapy for the first time, how do you know if you’re with the right therapist? A great deal of scientific research now proves that therapy is effective – whether it’s individual counseling for men or women, couples therapy or group therapy. Well over 80% of clients or patients report satisfaction and improvement as a result of therapy. But how do you know your therapist is doing a good job?

10 Signs That Your Therapist is Doing a Good Job

  1. You know that your therapist “gets” you – you feel deeply understood and accepted.
  2. You feel a sense of unconditional positive regard from your therapist. Your therapist doesn’t “judge” you.
  3. Your therapist is attentive, asks good questions, and is not distracted.
  4. Your therapist remembers what you’ve talked about from week to week, and your therapist understands your goals and how to get there. Your therapist works with your agenda, without imposing his or her goals on you.
  5. Your therapist doesn’t “fix” it for you – doesn’t always have the “answer”. Rather, your therapist helps you to find your own answers – the ones that will work best for you.
  6. Good boundaries – your therapist should not be your friend. A therapist should be on time, end the session on time, and should not have frequent or regular contact with you outside of scheduled sessions. There should never be any type of romantic or sexual involvement.
  7. Your therapist keeps you on task – the focus should be on you, and what you need to do to solve your own problems. Your therapist should gently, but firmly redirect you if you are blaming other circumstances or people.
  8. Your therapist seems knowledgeable and experienced in your area(s) of concern.
  9. Before seeing a therapist, make sure he or she is licensed in that state, and find out about advanced training in the problem areas you are concerned about (for example, relationships and couples therapy – many therapists don’t have advanced training or experience).
  10. You feel seen, heard and understood as a unique individual – with a sense of empathy and compassion. Counseling and therapy isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” process. Your therapist doesn’t come up with stock answers from a textbook. Each person and situation are uniquely different, and your therapist should have a deep appreciation for your particular circumstances.

This article originated from a response by the author to a question from, a popular question-and-answer site featuring expert professional contributors. Please follow Richard’s Quora page at

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