Research Describes 14 Qualities and Actions of an Effective Counselor (Part 3 of 2)

This is part 3 in a series of posts originally intended to be a two-part pageturner. You can check out part 1 here and part 2 here.

 

counselor with depressed manIt’s the middle of January, which is the most common month that people seek out counseling. Of course, many factors go into choosing a therapist—location, specialty, a perception that he or she can help with your concerns, fees and insurance, and so on.

 

It’s also been my guess in this series that you also are wondering how in the world to pick an effective counselor. There are online reviews but only sometimes, and therapist websites can only give us clues about a counselor’s competence.

 

It’s been my goal to help you pick a good counselor, one that you can know with a little more clarity if the help you’re getting is worth your time and investment. Ultimately, I do feel that there’s a ineffable quality of “fit” between a counselor and a client that makes therapy work, and that’s hard to write about.

Research Describes 14 Qualities and Actions of an Effective Counselor (Part 2 of 2)

woman in therapyIn case you missed it, in my last post I summarized some findings from the American Psychological Association about the characteristics of an effective counselor. You can check out the APA’s own write-up of the research here. According to the APA, an effective counselor has 14 key qualities that contribute to successful treatment. This time of year, when a lot of people are looking for counseling, these are great things to keep in mind when looking for help.

 

Of course, counseling seems simple on the face of it, but there’s actually a lot going on in your counselor’s mind in session, not to mention the ton of stuff going on in the relationship between you and your counselor. All that to say, great outcomes are the product of a host of variables in counseling, I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to say that these therapist qualities make successful treatment more likely. 

Research Describes 14 Qualities and Actions of an Effective Counselor (Part 1 of 2)

Looking for a therapist in the New Year? You’re not alone. In fact, January tends to be the most popular month of the year for seeking counseling. Why? It’s hard to say, really, but there are probably several reasons:

  1. The holidays are over. With New Year’s, it’s time for a change.
  2. Being with family around the holidays can encourage people to want better relationships and emotional wellbeing.
  3. There’s a good stretch of time before summer, so people usually are going to be able to go to therapy for some time before traveling again.

 

counselor with clientWhatever the reason, if you’re looking for counseling right now, it’s a perfect time to think about the qualities you want in your counselor. More specifically, you probably want to know more about those characteristics of a good counselor, and what a good counselor does. 

4 Tips for Safe Drinking

Happy holidays, everyone! Drinking around the holidays can be enjoyable, but if you’ve had some problems with alcohol in the past (like me), this time of year can be challenging. If you’re thinking about making some changes to how you drink or just want to drink more intentionally, here are four tips for safe drinking to keep mind. Well, okay, they’re not so much “tips” on their own as aspects of drinking to consider when planning to drink.

19 Tips for Moderate Drinking During the Holidays

The holidays are a season for laughter, merrymaking, time with family, and gatherings with friends—all of which are often accompanied by alcohol.

 

That’s why for many in recovery the holidays are a tough time. Not only does this time of year bring up a lot of emotional “stuff,” which alone can be triggering, booze is a frequent guest at holiday parties and social gatherings.

My Top Six Books for Partners of Sex and Porn Addicts

Last time, we took a tour of some of my recommended books for those struggling with porn and sex addiction. Today, we’ll consider some books for partners of sex and porn addicts. Fortunately, resources have become more and more available for partners in recent years; the mental health professionals treating sex addiction are recognizing the devastating effects of the addict’s betrayal upon his or her partner. Discovery of the addict’s behaviors is extraordinarily traumatic, so that partners too need supportive care.

My Top Six Books for Sex and Porn Addicts in Recovery

As the field of sexual addiction and pornography addiction grows, so too does its literature. It can be a little overwhelming to find trusted resources and books for sex and porn addicts and addiction that might be helpful in your recovery journey, especially if you’re just starting out.

 

That’s why I wanted to share some books that I use all the time with my clients. The books below are for those struggling with sexual behaviors that have gotten out of hand and are trying to change. If you want to pick these up, try your local bookstore or use the links below. (I’m not an Amazon affiliate and I’m not benefitting in any way by recommending these.) Next time I’ll share some resources for their partners.

How to Choose a Sex Addiction Therapist

If you think you might be struggling with sex or pornography addiction, seeking out a therapist is a wonderful way to care for yourself. Partnering with a therapist means enlisting the help of an experienced guide to help you get to where you want to go. However, the sheer number of therapists in your area often makes the choice more than a little overwhelming. So how can you determine which therapist is the right one for you?

 

I often meet with individuals in during free consultations who are looking for the right fit. Choosing a therapist is a highly personal decision that should be made with a great deal of thought and consideration.

 

So how might you determine who is a good fit for you?

How Much to Tell & When, Part 4: What to Do When Your Partner Asks about Your Sex Addiction

This post is the fourth in a series of posts called How Much to Tell and When: Disclosure in Early Recovery. Click here to read part 1, here for part 2, and here for part 3.

 

One of the most common questions I get from clients struggling with sex or porn addiction is how to respond to their partners when they’re hurting and asking for more details about their previous acting out. “What do I say when she comes at me like that?”

 

As we’ve seen, the answer isn’t so simple. In part 1, we discussed spontaneous disclosure and a little about how this traumatizes partners. In part 2, we saw how waiting to tell her about all acting out behaviors via formal disclosure can actually be healing to both partners in the long run. In part 3, though, we established that waiting until formal disclosure often sucks. Big time.

 

All of that was necessary to answer one of the most common questions in early recovery: How should you, a sex addict in recovery, respond to your partner when she asks for more information about your acting out?