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Most mental health professionals agree that when a patient and therapist really connect, a positive outcome follows. So, what does a good match look like? Since many therapy sessions address confusion surrounding our personal relationships, it only makes sense that we question the relationship with our therapist, too.
When it comes to finding a professional to confide in, most of us have the nuts and bolts covered—location, availability, fees, credentials, types of therapy offered, etc. But, how do we know we’ve found “the one”? While you might not find the perfect therapist, we can (and should) try to gauge the “goodness-of-fit” we have with that person.
Goodness-of-fit can vary from moment-to-moment, and stage-to-stage, so you may experience your therapist differently at various points in times. Some people work with the same therapist intermittently over a lifetime, while others engage with several therapists. No matter your experience, finding a good fit can be a challenge—unless you know what to ask yourself.
These four, straight-forward questions can help you determine if you’ve found a good match:
This is an easy one to answer when it comes to most situations. Engaged, nonjudgmental, empathetic—yes, yes, yes—all objective qualities that make for a great therapist. What does this translate to though? If the trend includes feeling safe, understood, and that returning to talk more will be helpful, these are indicators you’re currently working with a therapist who is right for you. Therapy requires us to dive deep into difficult and uncomfortable aspects of our lives, so it’s crucial to feel create a foundation of trust.
Making progress with your therapist isn’t necessarily about your life improving. It’s about your ability to cope with life improving. Hey, things change over the course of therapy—you might move, become ill, or experience a loss of some kind. But, if you notice that situations which used to make your blood boil now lead to more of a simmer, that’s another positive sign you found the right therapist for you.
A therapist’s ability to own up to their flaws is critical. Like any human being, we have times when we struggle or drop the ball. Your therapist should be able to receive negative feedback from you. Some do this with more ease than others, but we expect it. Sometimes we even invite it.
Your therapist should be able to discuss this uncertainty with you. There’s a range of comfort levels in this regard. The conversation should either confirm your decision to move on or help you reconsider it. If you’re met with defensiveness, there’s your answer. Your therapist might help you realize that wanting to end the work is really about a difficult topic coming up in the treatment. You might decide to stick around or return when you feel more ready.
After you’ve asked the questions, it’s okay to see your therapist on a trial run basis. If it doesn’t feel right, keep looking. That therapist might not be a “good fit” but, with time, someone else will be!
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.