How do you build a trusting relationship with a therapist?

How do you build a trusting relationship with a therapist?

Feeling safe is an important part of therapy. To build a trusting relationship with a therapist, you need to feel that you are in a space where you can share personal information. This is something that you can work on with your therapist, as it is our job to help you feel comfortable talking with us. 

Read on to learn what you can do to support building trust with your therapist.

Understand the nature of your relationship

The relationship with your therapist is unique. For some people, their relationship with their therapist may be their first experience of a healthy, close relationship where they feel able to share intimate thoughts and feelings.

You may feel that you are slow to open up, but this is entirely normal. Building a trusting relationship with a therapist is a process, and we expect this to take place over time. 

We provide a confidential space to help you share your thoughts and experiences. We will never make you feel judged, punished, or mocked for the things you are going through. Difficult thoughts and emotions are normal and we hold these in the strictest confidence.

Let us know if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe whilst sharing. Your emotions and reactions to the therapy experience are completely valid.

The time with your therapist is all about you. Your therapist will actively listen and offer opportunities to reflect on and understand your experiences. 

Though, it is unlikely your therapist will share too much about their own life. This is to keep a professional relationship where the focus remains on you.

Sharing goals with your therapist

People often come to therapy with clear goals in mind. For example, wanting to stop anxious thoughts or to understand why they are feeling overwhelmed.

Sharing your therapy goals can help your therapist understand why you have come to see them, enabling them to guide your sessions. Open and honest communication with your therapist will allow you to decide on suitable end-of-therapy goals together.

You may want to share life goals that are being affected by your symptoms, such as avoiding tasks that cause stress, so you can work together to achieve your goals. This might involve making small changes in your day-to-day life.

Your therapist may give you ‘homework’ to support goal completion, including certain tasks or activities. Feel free to share whether you are comfortable with the suggested task, as it helps us to adapt to what works best for you.

Finding the right therapist

It can be hard to know whether you’ve found the right therapist for you. Due to the matters you might discuss, you may not always feel comfortable with your therapist. 

However, there are signs you can look for to know if you can build a trusting relationship with a therapist.

Features of a healthy therapeutic relationship:

  • Your therapist shows a desire to understand you by actively listening
  • Your therapist does not judge your comments, actions or lifestyle
  • Your therapist validates your feelings without minimizing your experiences
  • A mutual bond of care, trust and respect is felt, different from that of friends
  • Collaboration on goals of therapy, listening to each other’s thoughts
  • Shared decision making in regards to treatment options
  • Working at a pace that you are comfortable with

Before choosing a therapist, you can look for their online materials to get to know their working style a bit better. For example, we provide video guides on our website as an alternative to text-only information. One of the benefits is that you can get a sense of who we are before meeting us.

Who are we?

Jordan Vyas-Lee is our CBT and EMDR therapist. He specialises in working with adults and adolescents with psychological disorders.

Dr Jenna Vyas-Lee is our Clinical Psychologist. She offers specialist assessment and intervention for children, young people and their families.

Watch our videos to learn more about our team.

To hear more about how our clients have found our service, visit our testimonials page.

Book an appointment

If you need to see a therapist, we can help. We will explore your symptoms with you and recommend a treatment plan that might work for you.

You can see one of our highly experienced psychologists: 

  • At various locations across London 
  • In-person at your home (if you’re in the London area)
  • Via video call from your home

Contact us to arrange an initial discussion. Alternatively, you can book an appointment here.

Prioritise your mental health today.

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