One of the most common questions I am asked is; “Do therapists judge you?” This is a difficult question to answer as there are no written rules or regulations that dictate how a therapist should evaluate a client. Some therapists use personality disorders like depression, bipolar disorder and so on as part of their evaluation. The client is usually held responsible for coming to therapy and for their own healing. While, this may seem cold or impersonal, it is not.
A good therapist will take personal responsibility for their actions. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the therapist will always be right. No matter how well you come to understand the workings of the mind and body, there is always going to be room for error. As with anything worth having, there will be those who try to abuse power and position, then be surprised when their victims find out what they did. This does not mean that all therapists are bad, or even purposely abusive, it just means that sometimes people make mistakes.
How do therapists judge behavioral issues in therapy? There are many different categories that can be used to evaluate your therapy sessions. In my experience, a good therapist will first ask themselves what caused the behavior in the first place. If it was obvious from the start, such as if the client was shouting at the therapist in response to unhelpful behavior, then the issue is likely behavioral. If not, it is probably an emotional issue. I will address emotional/behavioral issues separately from behavioral ones.
If a therapist is using a cognitive behavioral therapy model, which holds that clients have fixed patterns of distorted thoughts and behaviors, then they will look for the consistent patterns. If these patterns are not found, the client will usually be evaluated based on other aspects of the person’s life. That is, sometimes clients with major mental health issues will be evaluated as a outpatient. If the mental health counselor does find the client has a behavioral issue that is more severe, the patient will be required to go through inpatient treatment at a local hospital.
How do you know if you are being judged by the professionals in your counseling office? Usually if you call to make an appointment, you are being checked into a research unit or behavioral clinic. If nothing is wrong, then this is the normal procedure. When you ask how you will feel comfortable being treated in this setting, you should be told if the facility will respect your privacy. It is also a good idea to find out what the policies are regarding confidentiality.
As for your mental health insurance coverage, it may not cover some aspects of therapy. If it does not cover it, you need to inform your health insurance provider about it. If they do not cover it, and you decide to go ahead anyway, be sure to read the fine print carefully. Be careful not to sign up for more than one therapy session. You may get charged for both sessions.
If you are thinking about seeing a therapist for help with your anxiety, depression, or other disorders, you need to know what to expect when you first sit down with your counselor. First, you will have a one on one opportunity to interview your counselor about your goals and objectives. In the next part of your initial consultation, your counselors and therapists will decide whether or not you are a good candidate for therapy. This includes whether you feel comfortable talking about your issues with them, your expectations, and what parts of your life are most problematic.
As you can see, the questions about what therapists really do when you ask them “What do therapists judge you?” can be a bit confusing. Hopefully now you understand a little bit more about what this industry is all about. With the right information, you can find out for yourself if psychotherapy can help you. Or, if you need help with a specific psychotherapy concern, you can find it with qualified therapists from the comfort of your own home. Good luck!