How to select a therapist who will help and not hurt. A project of Metanoia Communications


8 - Non-judgmental acceptance: you deserve it

You have a right to expect acceptance. As you begin to feel safe with and held by your therapist, you may begin to talk about some pretty painful things. You should be able to know that your therapist will not pass judgement on you, or be repulsed by anything you say, no matter how awful. You should feel that your therapist will not react negatively, even if you become enraged at him/her. He/she should respond to you therapeutically, allowing all your feelings, good and bad, to be released in a therapeutic frame which is strong enough and secure enough to hold them.

An important addendum: if you are a survivor of abuse, there is a strong possibility that your unconscious mind will deliberately lead you to choose an abusive therapist, one who does not respect the therapeutic frame. Hopefully, this article will, at the very least, lead you to have some awareness of it, if that is happening to you.

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Table of Contents


  1. Why I wrote this article
  2. How to tell if a therapist is competent, or not
  3. What psychotherapy isand why you need to know
  4. The secret that you already know
  5. How a good therapist makes you feel safe
  6. The perfect therapist
  7. Privacy: the essential ingredient
  8. Non-judgmental acceptance: you deserve it
  9. How to choose a therapist to call
  10. How you find out about the therapist
  11. Therapist credentials: the truth revealed
  12. First contact. Watch out for these red flags!
  13. Your first session: what should happen
  14. Safety is in the details
  15. Now what?

Copyright 1991,1996, 1999 Martha Ainsworth. All rights reserved. Please refer to reprint information before reprinting or distributing all or any part of this text.


This resource is hosted by mental health information at Psych Central.