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The 10 main requirements to be a good therapist

The 10 main requirements to be a good therapist

April 29, 2024

To be able to practice as a psychotherapist is not only to have "a special sensitivity" or the fact that we like to deal face to face with people. There is a series of competences, both theoretical and practical, that must be mastered in order to offer the best possible service.

The requirements to be a therapist , in short, they have to do both with our skills practiced and our knowledge acquired through training and study. Let's see what they are.

  • Related articles: "10 essential characteristics of a good psychologist"

The basic requirements to offer psychotherapy

The ones you can find below are a series of basic requirements that every psychotherapist must meet.


Of this it will depend that it offers or not guarantees that a quality service is being offered , so it is convenient to master all those areas of excellence.

1. Reject prejudices

Several years of psychological research show that, in a spontaneous and involuntary way, prejudices and labels appear in our minds when we begin to relate to someone we know little about. This, which in certain contexts is useful, should be taken into account in the consultation, and that is why it is necessary to ensure that these prejudices are identified on patients and that their influence is not extended to our most relevant decisions and analyzes.

What it is, then, is constantly review what is believed about the other person , detect valuations with little sustenance and isolate their effect.


2. Learn to master the silences

In a dialogue, like those that take place in psychotherapy sessions, silences are always something, they are never "nothing". That is to say, They give us information and also produce an effect , just like the words.

That is why among the requirements of the good therapist is the ability to master the silences; we should not avoid them, but use them in the most appropriate way for the sessions to progress.

3. Self control

Psychotherapists must learn to separate their own preferences from the objectives of the sessions they offer in consultation. Because they can not get carried away by impulses , within what is considered ethical. Although their work relies heavily on dialogue, this does not mean that they offer informal conversations in which both parties try more to give a good image than to make the exchange of ideas useful.


4. The ability to read between the lines

Often, patients do not reveal certain information directly, but insinuate it. This is something that happens very often, beyond the psychoanalytic interpretation about the mechanisms in which the unconscious is expressed. It may be that the other person, totally voluntarily, prefer to give only part of the information because you are ashamed speak more directly

In the same way, sometimes the interlocutor escapes an idea that can be intuited if we analyze the type of discourse that is used.

5. Ability to work in a team

Psychotherapists increasingly work in collaboration with other professionals in the field of health and well-being. That is why, although in front of the patients the only part that acts from a professional role is the therapist, once the session has finished the work continues establishing bridges of fluid communication with speech therapists, pedagogues, parents, teachers, etc.

6. Knowledge of the deontological code

An essential point to ensure that we act according to an ethical code . Providing treatments whose efficacy has not been validated scientifically, for example, or talking to other people about details of the life of a patient that this patient has revealed in the sessions, are clearly unethical behaviors that can be reported.

7. Ability to establish a therapeutic link

The therapy sessions not only consist of the information that is treated in them, but also in the therapeutic relationship that is created between the different parties. To do this, we must gain the trust of patients, demonstrating that we do not prejudge or make judgments about what is counted, among other things.

  • Related article: "The Rapport: 5 keys to create an environment of trust"

8. Professional assertiveness

Therapists often find themselves in a situation where they must try to get the other person to talk about painful aspects of their life, or to produce embarrassment. Necessary know how to deal with these issues without avoiding them so as not to bother the patient. Now, it is necessary to do it with tact.

9. Knowledge of the most effective techniques

The therapists must be sufficiently trained to know the tools available to psychology at the time of intervention.In addition, it is necessary to take into account that there are no universal solutions and that each problem has a treatment that has been scientifically validated for these cases.

10. Knowledge of the diagnostic criteria

Finally, therapists must know what the characteristics of different mental disorders are and how they are detected. This it requires a lot of study and continuous training .


The Pros & Cons of Being a Therapist || mental health w Kati Morton (April 2024).


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