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Wellness
Published Wednesday May 16, 2018 by Robyn Costanzo

Is Your Therapist a Good Fit for You?

Expert Advice
Personal Growth

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:


Question #1: Do I want to come back?

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.


Question #2: Am I managing things more efficiently?

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.


Question #3: Can my therapist admit when he or she messed up?

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.


Question #4: What if I don’t think I’m working with the right therapist?

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! 

Robyn Costanzo
Written by
Robyn Costanzo
Contributor | Licensed Clinical Social Worker
About the author
Completing an intensive post-graduate training program in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, Robyn provides online therapy to working women while residing with her young family in Armonk, New York.
Prenatal Fitness - MINDBODY
Fitness
Published Wednesday Sep 11, 2019 by Whitney English

The Do’s and Don’ts of Prenatal Fitness 

Yoga
Pilates
Barre
Strength Training
Cardio
Expert Advice

For many pregnant women, exercise can take a backseat. I get it. You’re exhausted and uncomfortable—slipping into a pair of tight leggings and sweating your booty off doesn’t exactly sound like a great way to reduce your discomfort.
 
While working out may sound like the last thing you want to do when you’re carrying another human inside of you, engaging in regular, low-impact activities during pregnancy is extremely beneficial to both you and your baby. In fact, some studies show that prenatal exercise may help to reduce aches and pains, improve sleep, and boost mood. But figuring out which exercises are safe for you and your baby can be confusing. If you Google prenatal exercise, you’ll find a wide range of conflicting opinions on what moms-to-be should and shouldn’t do.
 
As a dietitian, a Certified Personal Trainer, and a mom to a 16-month old, exercise has always been a priority for me. During my pregnancy, I was determined to continue my regular routine as long as possible, so I spent a ton of time researching and speaking to experts to learn the best practices for exercise during pregnancy. Here is my list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to prenatal fitness, no matter where you are when it comes to motherhood. 
 

Yoga

First up, yoga. You want to avoid any poses that cramp your baby’s space or put pressure on your stomach. It’s easy to modify most poses to make them safer and more comfortable for you and your baby. For example, instead of trying to do a regular forward fold, open up your legs for a wide leg forward fold, which gives your belly more space. 
 
Some poses can be fine during the first or second trimester, depending on your prior yoga experience, but may be less safe later in pregnancy. If you are comfortable doing full wheel, it can be fine early in your pregnancy. I did this pose until about 25 weeks, but everyone is different. Keep in mind that pregnancy is not the time to push yourself with new poses. Additionally, after the first trimester, it’s best to avoid lying face down. Instead, try doing certain poses on your knees rather than on your stomach—like substituting camel pose for bow pose.
 

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Yoga

First up, yoga. You want to avoid any poses that cramp your baby’s space or put pressure on your stomach. It’s easy to modify most poses to make them safer and more comfortable for you and your baby. For example, instead of trying to do a regular forward fold, open up your legs for a wide leg forward fold, which gives your belly more space. 
 
Some poses can be fine during the first or second trimester, depending on your prior yoga experience, but may be less safe later in pregnancy. If you are comfortable doing full wheel, it can be fine early in your pregnancy. I did this pose until about 25 weeks, but everyone is different. Keep in mind that pregnancy is not the time to push yourself with new poses. Additionally, after the first trimester, it’s best to avoid lying face down. Instead, try doing certain poses on your knees rather than on your stomach—like substituting camel pose for bow pose.
 

Pilates + Barre

Similarly, with both Pilates and barre, you want to avoid doing any stretches or poses that put pressure on or around your abdominal cavity. During the early stages of pregnancy, you may not need any modifications, but the most important thing is to listen to your body and not push the limits. As your pregnancy progresses, remember to ask the instructor for modifications, so the exercise feels good for both you and baby.

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Pilates + Barre

Similarly, with both Pilates and barre, you want to avoid doing any stretches or poses that put pressure on or around your abdominal cavity. During the early stages of pregnancy, you may not need any modifications, but the most important thing is to listen to your body and not push the limits. As your pregnancy progresses, remember to ask the instructor for modifications, so the exercise feels good for both you and baby.

Hot Exercise + Heated Classes

Another crucial thing to avoid during pregnancy is hot exercise. There is a lot of misinformation regarding hot exercise, but be wary of anyone that tells you that it is safe. Increasing your core body temperature is known as hyperthermia, and it can be extremely dangerous for pregnant women. It is especially dangerous in the first month just after contraception, but hot exercise and heated classes should be avoided at all stages of pregnancy.

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Hot Exercise + Heated Classes

Another crucial thing to avoid during pregnancy is hot exercise. There is a lot of misinformation regarding hot exercise, but be wary of anyone that tells you that it is safe. Increasing your core body temperature is known as hyperthermia, and it can be extremely dangerous for pregnant women. It is especially dangerous in the first month just after contraception, but hot exercise and heated classes should be avoided at all stages of pregnancy.

Strength Training

When it comes to strength and circuit training, exercises like lunges and jumping may put excessive pressure on your belly as you get farther along in your pregnancy. Trust your body and discontinue these if they feel unsafe. Any exercises that cause you to hold your breath or could result in trauma to your belly, (for example kettlebell swings or powerlifting) I would advise against.

4
Strength Training

When it comes to strength and circuit training, exercises like lunges and jumping may put excessive pressure on your belly as you get farther along in your pregnancy. Trust your body and discontinue these if they feel unsafe. Any exercises that cause you to hold your breath or could result in trauma to your belly, (for example kettlebell swings or powerlifting) I would advise against.

Cardio

With cardio, the rule is that you should be able to continue to hold a steady conversation during exercise. For some, running may be fine up until the end of your pregnancy. Others may find this puts too much pressure on their pelvic floor. Some low-impact alternatives include walking (on both a flat surface and uphill), swimming, elliptical machine, rowing machine, and low-intensity aerobic exercise.
 

If you’re looking for exercise classes to take while pregnant, I recommend searching for something mellow on the MINDBODY app, such as restorative or gentle flow yoga, beginner Reformer Pilates, or any other light, introductory classes.
 
As a general rule, if you’re questioning whether or not something is safe to do during pregnancy, it probably isn’t. Remember that the most important thing is the safety of both you and your baby, and no form or intensity of exercise is worth sacrificing that!
 
For more information on a healthy pregnancy, including nutritious recipes and exercise ideas, check out my Predominantly Plant-Based Pregnancy Guide!

5
Cardio

With cardio, the rule is that you should be able to continue to hold a steady conversation during exercise. For some, running may be fine up until the end of your pregnancy. Others may find this puts too much pressure on their pelvic floor. Some low-impact alternatives include walking (on both a flat surface and uphill), swimming, elliptical machine, rowing machine, and low-intensity aerobic exercise.
 

If you’re looking for exercise classes to take while pregnant, I recommend searching for something mellow on the MINDBODY app, such as restorative or gentle flow yoga, beginner Reformer Pilates, or any other light, introductory classes.
 
As a general rule, if you’re questioning whether or not something is safe to do during pregnancy, it probably isn’t. Remember that the most important thing is the safety of both you and your baby, and no form or intensity of exercise is worth sacrificing that!
 
For more information on a healthy pregnancy, including nutritious recipes and exercise ideas, check out my Predominantly Plant-Based Pregnancy Guide!

Whitney English - MINDBODY
Written by
Whitney English
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
About the author
A former journalist and entertainment reporter in Los Angeles, Whitney English found her passion in wellness and nutrition. Tired of the quick fix promises she encountered in Hollywood, she became a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer, making it her mission to research health trends to help determine the best ways to eat, move, and live for long-lasting health.