Telltale Signs Of Good Therapy

By: Gabrielle Seunagal

Updated February 09, 2021

Medically Reviewed By: Lauren Guilbeault

Therapy is only helpful and effective if it's conducted in a good and proper manner. Although quite rare, there are cases of therapy gone wrong where a therapist has made a mistake, overstepped their bounds or otherwise done something which they were not supposed to do.


While there are countless success stories associated with therapy, it's still advisable for everyone to have an idea of what good therapy is and what its telltale signs are. Thankfully, there are a variety of actions, cues, and other indicators which people can look for. While both the therapist and the patient contribute to the process of therapy, the power inherently falls in favor of the therapist. For this reason, therapists have a responsibility to ensure that they do their due diligence and practice appropriately.

What To Look For In Good Therapy

The telltale signs of good therapy are well-documented. Nevertheless, one should still make a note of the following indicators and ensure that they are present during sessions in which therapy is involved.

Proper Conduct From The Therapist

How your therapist conducts themselves is one of the biggest indicators of good or poor therapy. First and foremost, therapists should have the proper licensing and credentials to practice. This is absolutely imperative, although, virtually anyone who is hired as a therapist has to go through certain steps to practice and work with any given firm or agency.

With the basics out of the way, your therapist should behave professionally. This means explaining how the process of therapy works, noting the benefits, and going into the various ways in which you can benefit. Your therapist should not make any grand promises, but they should explain how working with them can help improve your situation or whatever it is you may be going through.

As you continue working with your therapist, they should be effectively communicating with you and focusing on your needs and objectives. They should not be preoccupied with anything else during therapy sessions. After listening to you, the therapist should then go into what they view as the best treatment process for you. Of course, this will vary from patient to patient and will depend upon a variety of factors.

Therapists should also not be overly emotional. This doesn't mean that a good therapist is always stoic or neutral, even when difficult subject matters come up. However, there should be a certain level of control which your therapist maintains even when tough or trying things come up. How your therapist conducts themselves is always a very telling sign about the quality of therapy which you are receiving.

Provision Of Solutions

The provision of solutions is another thing which you should keep a lookout for during the process of therapy. Granted, it will take time for the therapist to get to know you, your situation and the factors involved. Understanding who you are and why you came to therapy does not happen overnight, but after a while, your therapist should be doing more than simply nodding and listening to you.


Your therapist may have you set certain goals then see how you are doing in terms of achieving those goals within a certain period. Likewise, a good therapist will provide good advice, healthy coping mechanisms and other appropriate forms of treatment which can be beneficial to you. What works for one patient could be disastrous for another. At the end of the day, the right treatment and solution depend upon a multitude of factors, and it's up to the therapist to make the right call.

If you feel as though certain solutions are not yielding the desired results, don't be afraid to let your therapist know. Additional time might be required, or a different solution may be better suited for you. Either way, it goes, the job of the therapist is to help and be of service to you. Remember this and don't be afraid to let your therapist know if you believe certain changes are in order. A therapist's ability to adapt and successfully work with their patients is another telltale sign of good therapy.


Progress Over Time

With therapy should come improvement. The things here is that the time in which improvements can be seen certainly varies. The nature of the situations which attracted you to counseling, coupled with the proper solutions, the time it takes for your therapist to build rapport with you and more will each have an impact on when progress is seen.

However, there are still certain things which people should be aware of and look out for. Even if your therapist is still getting to know you, your situation and what brought you to therapy, there should still be minor improvements and steps which manifest in a fair amount of time. Some examples of such improvements include feeling better, having an easier time with managing your emotions, and feeling happier. You should also struggle less with certain obstacles or challenges, although, depending on your reason for attending therapy, this can take some time.

At the end of the day, you are attending therapy because you want to improve and have a better quality of life. To ensure that this happens, your therapist should be doing their job properly and working with you accordingly. Noticing small amounts of progress and micro-steps forward is one of the strongest indicators that you are working with an amazing therapist who has your best interest at heart.

Improved Relationships With Others

No person is an island unto themselves. No matter how strong, smart or independent someone may be, they have to have relationships with other people. This is simply part of living in this world. When someone is experiencing good therapy, they should gradually notice a certain improvement in their relationships with other people.

These improvements could involve feeling more comfortable with others. It could involve better reception from people. In certain cases, improving your relationships with other people could entail recognizing when a relationship is toxic and then removing oneself from it accordingly. There are many people in this world; there are many opportunities in this world and life is way too short for one to squander time on remaining in relationships which do not positively contribute to their lives. As a matter of fact, good therapy ought to give people the courage to leave relationships which are not good for them.

Improved Relationship With Self

Feeling better about yourself overall is another telltale sign of good therapy. When issues in your life are being resolved, when you see improvements and steps forward, this inherently contributes to who you are as a person and how you feel about yourself. The relationship that you maintain with yourself is so important, and the way you feel about yourself sets the precedence for everything else in your life.


If you don't love and respect yourself, how can you expect others to love and respect you? If you don't have high standards, how can you expect to attract the best relationships and experiences into your life? If you're working with a therapist who knows what they are doing, then your relationship with yourself should definitely be seeing some strides forward, hopefully, sooner rather than later.

The Process Of Going Through Good Therapy

Despite the telltale signs of good therapy, it's also important to remember that good therapy does not happen overnight. It takes work, time, and commitment from both you and your therapist. While your therapist goes significantly contribute to the quality of therapy sessions, so do you.

If you are truly serious about undergoing good therapy, then it's going to involve trust and opening up to your therapist. This may seem challenging or slightly uncomfortable, particularly in the beginning, but it will pay off. No matter how great or amazing a therapist is, they cannot help you if you are not forthcoming and honest with them. A good therapist has to know you to be able to help you. The willingness to take therapy is always the first step which one ought to be proud of.

In Closing

Whenever you are taking therapy, you should always know what your desired outcome is. What are you hoping to improve? What needs to change? Which betterments would you like to see in your life? Think about these things and even if you're not 100% certain about everything, that's fine. That's why your therapist is there to help and guide you.

If you are unsure of where to look for the best therapists, then you've come to the right place. BetterHelp has tons of amazing therapists who would be thrilled to work with you and be of service to you. Life can be tough regardless of who you are. Knowing that you have someone to turn to can make all the difference in the world.

You can make the rest of your life the best of your life by getting started with BetterHelp today and clicking here!

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