Searching for a Mental Health Therapist in Chicago? Look out for these Qualities
Did you know that in February 2023, about 28.7% of adults in Chicago showed signs of mental illness? However, 32% of this population has not gotten therapy in the past month. If you are in Chicago, mental health professionals are available to help you.
Mental health therapists are vital in helping people cope with and heal from mental illness and trauma. They are trained professionals who dedicate their time to the well-being of the people. These therapists have taken several educational steps, which include gaining a master’s degree in counseling, social work, or a related field. They have also undergone supervised clinical experience and are licensed to practice.
Nonetheless, this training is not the only thing that makes a good mental health therapist. Certain qualities gained in practice enhance the abilities of the therapist. These qualities are discussed below.
Top Qualities of a Mental Health Therapist
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person, and to connect with someone on an emotional level and view things from their perspective. An empathic therapist can build trust and rapport with their clients. As most people can be hesitant to share their struggles, it is the therapist’s role to create a safe and supportive environment.
Empathy helps build the self-awareness and emotional intelligence of the client.
The therapist can also help clients develop empathy for themselves, which can be a powerful tool in managing their mental health.
Active listening is a practice of paying rapt attention to the speaker, in this case, the client. The therapist should be able to actively listen, observe, and understand the verbal and non-verbal communication of the client. This quality helps the therapist relate to the client, ask clarifying questions, and quickly identify patterns of behavior and emotions that are affecting the client’s mental health.
Active listening is not the same as just hearing what the client says but also includes putting it into perspective and understanding the client on a deeper level. Therapists with great active listening qualities make the client feel heard and welcome.
Patience is one virtue that is easily taught yet challenging to master, but as a therapist, patience should not be a struggle. The ability to remain calm in the face of challenges and maintain a long-term view of the situation is a vital aspect of work as a therapist.
Clients may not be willing to trust a new therapist, even if they are empathic and listen actively, but with patience, the battle is not lost. In that patient moment, the client understands that the therapist is willing to wait until they are ready, and the therapist can navigate setbacks that may arise during therapy.
Flexibility in mental health therapy involves the ability to adapt to the client’s specific needs. A therapist can only be flexible if they are open-minded and willing to adjust. However, as clients’ conditions differ, so do their mental health needs, and it takes a flexible therapist to understand this and adapt as required.
Every client has different experiences and emotions and experiences them differently. The therapist must try various strategies, techniques, and interventions until they find what works best for that particular client.
All the qualities listed above would be wasted if the therapist cannot communicate effectively. Using language and words that are easily understood gets the job done easily. Also, active listening helps the therapist to know the best communication approach.
The therapist can use stories, pictures, or illustrations to communicate treatment goals, build trust, show empathy, and reduce misunderstandings between the client and therapist.
To wrap up, mental health wellness is in the hands of the client, but the therapist plays a lead role by influencing healthy habits and coping strategies. Chicago mental health therapists play a huge role in promoting healthy practices for all citizens. The qualities listed above will help you pick the right mental health therapist for your needs. Be sure to remember that mental health is a journey that yields the best results when committed to long term.