The importance of finding a solutions-focused psychologist.
One of my gurus, Michael Yapko, published a new book today called “The Discriminating Therapist” which is available as a download on Amazon.
Dr Yapko is a seasoned therapist, hypnotherapist and presenter. You can find his website and his new book at http://www.yapko.com/the-discriminating-therapist/
He came out to South Africa a few years ago and I was fortunate to be able to attend a hypnotherapy workshop that he presented in Pretoria. His approach to therapy is so practical and useful that I use his ideas and his strategies routinely in my therapy with clients, both in individual and in couple’s counselling.
Why is his approach so useful? Ironically, Dr Yapko would disagree with this question but would no doubt restate it it this way: how can the therapist be of help in enabling their clients to reach their stated goals? The client’s goals may involve achieving a desired state, such as becoming calm and content (if they suffer from depression or anxiety) or gaining mastery over some aspect of life, such as conquering procrastination or improving communication in their marriage.
Dr Yapko maintains that, in life, “how” questions are more useful that “why” questions.
Why does he say this? If you think about it, we can look for reasons for our behaviour until the cows come home! However, this doesn’t help us to identify, and change whatever behaviours (or patterns of behaviour), thinking patterns or thinking strategies that maintains our problems, such as depression or anxiety. Once the therapist has helped the client in this regard, positive change can be facilitated.
This brings me to the topic of choosing a therapist that will be right for you. Dr Yapko would ask “How do you go about choosing an effective therapist”!
I would ask a psychologist upfront whether or not you could have a short, free (15 minute) introductory session with him or her so that you can have an opportunity to assess whether or not his or her approach seems to be right for you in terms of how you relate to each other and also in terms of whether or not you are both on the same page regarding their focus, approach to therapy and envisaged time frame for the achievement of your desired goals for therapy.