What Type of Therapist/Therapy Do I Neeed?
Which therapist or what type of therapy will work for me?
It can be dizzy-ing to look for a therapist/healer especially when you don’t know exactly what might work for you.
There’s tons of offer in the social media from quick solutions, live webinar coaching events, group calls to 1:1 deep work. How can you possibly know which healer is the one for you when everyone is vouching for steep results and transformation?
To add to this, your mouth salivate from testimonials shared by others by working with a particular healer or program. It makes sense that you want to be the one writing a testimonial. The hope that what worked for others will work for you.
If this is the first time you’re seeking therapy, it’s like being in a dark room. During your complimentary consult, which is the same as a discovery call, you might feel like you want to know everything about your prospective practitioner but may have difficulty putting a question together.
This is quite normal.
One has to lend a light ( the practitioner) so that you can begin to see through the dark room. Once your eyes begin to squint and adjust to the stuff in the room, then your question will find you.
TYPES OF THERAPY & HEALING MODALITIES
There are many types of therapies from a somatic (neurobiology) informed therapist to a therapist that focuses on solution-oriented approaches and dismantling negative beliefs and schema.
The type of therapies I will describe here is not the clinical approach but how offers are packaged, such as 1:1, in groups, and e-courses. Leaning on these platforms, I will attempt to share the healing modalities that underscore such offering.
I will join therapy and coaching as a platform but will emphasize that therapy is a more in-depth psychological process of healing while coaching is a more change-oriented process. Even when I say this, I am critical of my words, because, therapy aims for change in the now but takes to account the whole of the story rather than chapters of it.
If you’re grown confused with the difference between coaching and therapy as many coaches are now working with trauma and childhood memories, I’m with you. There are many ethical coaches who continue to practice within the scope of their expertise (unless the coach is also a mental health clinician), the choice to see a therapist or a coach is yours
Why would you consider group therapy or group coaching?
From a therapy standpoint, certain individuals can benefit from what they’re working on individually in the setting of a group. For example, if Marie is working with her therapist to increase her self-esteem, eventually, Marie may benefit from entering spaces where others can provide her the positive feedback she needs.
Support groups for caregivers, individuals who lost someone by suicide and/or parents of children with ADHD can find solace in these groups. The feeling that the yoke you’re taking on is a burden shared by others can be a space for relief.
Group coaching for individuals who seek personal growth may be a viable platform for improvement, to get a sense of community, the feeling that a thread is shared amongst the group coaching members can be comforting and even empowering.
One caveat is that group coaching can create an immediate high, a surge of motivation especially when members of the group are sharing their own personal transformation. Humans tend to want to belong and thereby, want to find something, similar to what was found by others as not to feel left out.
Another consideration is the person left out in the group who may actually need 1:1 support first can internalize these feelings of inferiority- that is, I failed to be coached rather than the program didn’t work for me. This is a problem because when this person reaches therapy (if at all) they may be more deflated than when they began the group coaching. In addition, the coach may echoes this by saying, “ I don’t have expertise with your issues. You need to speak to a therapist.” Well and good, only that such statement should’ve been uttered prior to the individual starting the program.
Group coaching/therapy has a place in your healing but you must be mindful of a cloth cut in the same fabric approach. No one approach works for everyone.
One on One Therapy/Support
If you’re an introvert or prefer the intimacy of working with a practitioner, 1:1 support may be for you.
If you’ve tried groups, and/or 1:1 coaching but feel that deeper healing is still a yearning, finding the best-fit therapist is a priceless endeavor.
One of the challenges of 1:1 therapy is finding the best-fit therapist for you. Some people say this is like going on a blind date. During my 30- minute complimentary consult, I encourage prospective clients to interview 2-3 therapists to get a sense of what may feel good to them? What qualities feel good to you when you’re speaking to someone?
It’s important that you feel that your practitioner is a credible guide. Therapy is both an art and a science. Ask your therapist to describe himself/herself as a therapist. This will provide you some useful insight.
If you’re brave, ask your therapist what they do for self-care. This will give you insight on what exercises or tools you will learn from them.
It’s quite alright to change your therapist if around 3rd-4th session, you find that its hard for you to warm up and open up to your therapist. Be mindful that therapists are humans and they, too, are warming up to you! But, that’s more their job than yours (I must admit); give space for human connection to take place.
If you’re receiving therapy that doesn’t sit well with your soul, or you find yourself lonelier than ever except with your therapist, consult with another therapist, or try another one completely. Practice what you’ve learned in therapy by kindly asserting to your therapist your concerns, viewpoints and your plans to change course. A well-rounded therapist would understand and may even be proud of your assertion.
Unfortunately, whether you decide to see a coach or a therapist 1:1, bad therapy happens.I have a clump in my throat as I write this because I honor the intention of any healer to alleviate someone else’s suffering. In truth, we all have the potential to inflict harm. It’s all been too often that a therapist has to clean up the aftermath of such infliction of harm.
It’s also the duty of a healer to take the break they need to tend to their own wounds so that they can see clearly the suffering in front of them rather than hurting as a reflection of their own. As a therapist, I accept my scared profession to co-suffer with the clients I see. I’m only able to do this when I can return back to my body’s immeasurable portal for healing each and every time.
One on One therapy is for you if you’re interested in getting into the roots of your pain. If you prefer an intimate, tailored approach to your healing and if you need a space to practice with a witness (therapist) who knows how to dance with both the science and art of healing.
If you’re interested in a 30 minute consult with me, schedule here.
E-courses are not just webinars (at least my working definition here) but are courses that take you to the practice of healing without having the healer work with you 1:1 or in a group setting. Of course, there are many variations of these where a group coaching or therapy can be included with the e-course but for now, I’m solely talking about a healing practice delivered on-line.
Not everyone, especially in the Filipino culture is inclined to use words to convey their innermost feelings. Some people may need some warming up in their own space without someone peering over their shoulders.
E-courses may be a platform that can work for you. It’s also where you can work at your own pace. The caveat is that you can easily be distracted without a guide so the platform works with individuals who has the ability to be consistent and are self-motivated.
Do you often finish a book or other courses you’ve purchased in the past? If you get excited starting a course and yet you have a few in your computer bookmark that you haven’t even completed, think carefully about taking this healing path.
If you have an interest in trying this one out, I invite you to check out the INNER CHILD PLAYGROUND: 30 Days to Playful Restoration. This is an e-course that gives you 30 days prompt so that you bring safety back to your channel of intuition. Intuition is like a door to your true self. It’s often closed tightly or locked when culture dictates that being you isn’t the best way to be. In this course, you can slowly unlock this door, gently and playfully.
MY APPROACH AS A THERAPIST
I’ve been a psychotherapist for 15 years now as I write this article. There are a few facets about me that informs my work, here are some of them:
I’m an immigrant Filipina, born and raised in the Philippines. There’s quite a bit of diversity in my family of origin. Ethnically, my family is a mix of Chinese, Filipino, Irish-Scottish and Spanish descent. I share this because they’re not ancestral stories I learned later on. I grew up knowing my Angkong ( my Chinese lolo) and his industriousness even at the age of 95. I have memories of sleeping close to my Mestiza lola in her bed for weekend sleepovers.
My father belonged to a poor family who married my mother, belonging to a middle upper class family, a taboo today and then. Thereby, I grew up being exposed to the culture of poverty without being in that socio-economic status myself.
My approach in therapy comes from a place of understanding cultural nuances not just from books but from the many relationships I’ve formed and was formed around me. My parents were entrepreneurs and had people working for their businesses. I grew up knowing people intimately from all walks of life. During some of my summers where I worked in my parents’ shop; I ate, chatted, and walked next to people I wouldn’t otherwise find myself with. It’s more common to relate to people in your own social status strata. But, in my household,the line that separates between groups of people and societal rules are not hard-drawn.
I see therapy as sacred place where the intimacy that forms between me and a client is one of the portals for healing. When you’ve had many relationships growing up, you learn many platforms for communication and not merely words uttered, this is especially potent in the Filipino culture.
Americans may argue that Filipinos are not verbally expressive at least not like them but when you listen deeply to the intricacies of the Filipinos’ language, then, you will begin to learn how expressive Filipinos are.
I am informed as a therapist not to rely on talk therapy but in using metaphors, story telling, movement, sand tray, vocalizations, deep imagination, and music. I have a framework that I use that incorporates these based on the client’s style and personality, if you’re interested in Story Therapy, you can schedule a complimentary consult with me here.
I also believe that the process of therapy shouldn’t be as painful as the reason you came in for. My work focuses on transforming the root wounds of your pain as you learn self-soothing strategies to allow you to live more freely.
If you have a withering plant, trimming the ends of it may help if that’s all it needs. But, if it keeps showing up with the same problem, the gardener must check deeper- into the roots. Tending to both takes practice in therapy and beyond.
Slowly, reaching out for support in different guises: group, one on one or e-courses are becoming an acceptable way to self-care. The pop-up offers on the net can be confusing but over all, I’m glad you have options to choose from.
When you’re looking for a parking space and there’s only one available, it becomes a no brainer where to park your car. But, when there are several spaces open, you stop to think, which one is closer to the elevator?
Take the time to do your research, check what feels right for you by asking questions and interviewing prospective therapist/healers. I assure you that healers who aren’t just concerned with the monetary exchange are also ensuring that you are a good-fit for their type of therapy.
In summary, healing takes time and money investment. All these are worth your while and is beyond priceless when you find deep connection within yourself through a witness (therapist) who is more willing to learn what works for you (the journey) than what you should be working on ( idea of healing).
May you find peace and freedom that you deserve.
Roanne has been a Psychotherapist for more than 15 years. She has frequented at least 500 Filipino homes and counting. She is the author of the Ebook: 5 Pinoy Love Languages and the creator of the presentation entitled: Filipino Core Values & Considerations in Culturally Responsive Care. To access self-paced courses and other resources, enter the Kalamansi Juice Academy.
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