Most of my work is short-term. I give homework as part of a treatment plan. I expect work between sessions, so couples and individuals will not need extended therapy. There are some complex cases which require longer term therapy, but most do not.
I get lots of couples and individuals who have been in both long and shorft-term therapy where the client experienced plenty of nods, and “how do you feel?” questions, with little direct input to solve the problem. Then they come to me for a more direct approach with specific advice.
I do not subscribe to the “you talk and I’ll listen” brand of therapy. I listen before I develop a treatment plan. I believe that a good therapist offers feedback to help solve problems.
I refer to trauma therapists when it is clear that the person needs to deal with and put trauma behind them, usually with EMDR, Eye Movement Therapy. I work with trauma therapists, and I usually continue seeing the couple or individual to complete my treatment plan.
No one needs to stay in therapy unless they are working toward clear goals with a real treatment plan. We all need mirrors for our growth, and a good therapist provides reflective mirroring with relevant suggestions.
Scope of practice is a huge issue, as a client is likely to make little to no progress unless the therapist is trained for the type of therapy they advertise and do. A blatant example of going beyond one’s legitimate scope of practice is a person who says she or he is a sex therapist, when they have little to no actual training, and no board certificationas a sex therapist. Look at Psychology Today’s website for numerous examples of therapists who claim to be qualified in a given area who clearly are not. Unfortunately, Psychology Today uncritically accepts what a therapist says they specialize in, without checking for the truth of such a claim.
Shop for a therapist that you are comfortable with who has clear and comprehensive training to help you with your specific issue. I use a lot of humor, which provides a balanced perspective. I find it deadly to be serious about everything. I fully understand that my approach is not the norm.
Talk with therapists on the phone, check out their websites, and if you wish, set up a time to meet with a prospective therapist before committing to therapy. If you are not happy with a therapist, let them know what you are missing, and if you are still unhappy, try a different therapist. You are the consumer!