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Finding the therapist who is right for me

It takes courage to reach out and talk with a counsellor or therapist about life’s troubles. If you are finding it hard to be yourself, or facing other difficulties, perhaps you are looking for someone who will listen sensitively and caringly, wont judge you, and can help you to feel and manage better without repeating the same old patterns and problems.

With so many health professionals to choose from, how do you find the right one?  Will they be appropriately qualified, experienced and also deeply understand you?

When you contact me, I respect that you are asking yourself a question, “Is Graeme James the right therapist for me”?

When you ring me on 0412 518 024 to make an enquiry, it is likely that we will talk for around 20 minutes or so at no obligation about your circumstances.

By the end of our conversation, both of us should have some idea whether you wish to book a session and talk further with me, and whether I think I can assist you in a useful way.

What leads to good outcomes in counselling and therapy?

In the scholarly literature, there is an idea that treatments heal a diagnosis, whereas a relationship heals a person. Given my experience, I agree with the latter view and the research on evidenced based relationships that support this approach.

No two people with the same diagnosis will experience their troubles in exactly the same way. The context of their lives differs, whether it be through their experience, relationships, culture or other aspects of their life. Providing all people with the same treatment, in a cookie cutter approach, disregards what makes each person different, and is not effective. Each person needs their own tailor-made counselling or therapy to suit the context of their problems and their lives.

Longstanding research shows there are four factors that are common to all therapeutic approaches to counselling and psychotherapy. These are what lead to good outcomes in therapy more so than just reliance on technique.

  • Firstly, it is clients themselves and events outside of the therapy process that are the biggest determinants of good outcomes – things like the severity of your problems, your motivation to address problems, your resilience, or degree of supportive relationships. If something here changes, then it can lead to big improvements.
  • Next, it is the relationship with your therapist that significantly contributes to good outcomes. Therapeutic relationships that are genuine, respectful, empathic, and confiding lead to stronger client therapist alliances to make a difference in your life.
  • Then comes the therapist’s approach (for example cognitive behavioural therapy, gestalt therapy, or psychodynamic therapy). Most importantly, their therapeutic approach should provide a credible rationale for why you experience your problems and help you address them in a way that makes sense to you.
  • Finally, hope and expectancy are important too.

This means it is vitally important to find a therapist who is the right fit for you, is well trained, and conversant in a range of therapeutic approaches.

I work very relationally in order to tailor my treatment approaches to the context of your life so you feel supported and not so alone with your troubles. I work gently and collaboratively with you to help you grow and develop. I don’t tell you how to live your life, rather, I help you explore and come to understand it so you have more options in living.