The most important thing I've learnt as a mental health professional is that therapy is a collaborative process underpinned by a therapeutic relationship informed by courage, compassion and respect.
Research consistently shows that the most crucial factor effecting therapeutic change is the relationship between therapist and client. Therefore, when choosing a therapist, it's important that we ask ourselves "Would I be able to open up with this person?"
Some of us seek therapy following a major life change or crisis, such as bereavement, divorce or redundancy, when our familiar way of life and even our sense of identity feel crushed and overwhelmed. At other times, we seek therapy when the habitual strategies stop working and a sense of dissatisfaction, stuckness and dread seem to pervade our everyday lives. We might become aware that we've been going through life without really choosing, but we can't figure out how to start living more purposefully.
Regardless of what prompts you to look for therapy, this can be a rare opportunity to pause and reflect in order to review and reframe the questions, assumptions and values according to which you want to live.