Category: Finding a Therapist in Boca Raton

A male and female interlocking hands in what appears to be a strong, happy relationship.

The Key to “Good” Therapy and Stronger Relationships

Good therapy is an excellent means of mediating challenges within our personal relationships. Often overlooked is the relationship between the therapist and the patient. This relationship, although different from those in the patient’s personal life, can get to a very personal level. Therapy cannot be effective without a strong connection between therapist and patient. “Good” therapy is facilitated through trust and open communication, both of which are essential to the healing process of the patient. Research confirms this. In fact, one study, published in Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, revealed that among the factors that influence client outcomes in therapy include specific therapy techniques and what the authors call “common factors.” These common factors are defined as “empathy, warmth, and the therapeutic relationship,” which are shown to correlate more strongly with patient outcome than “specialized treatment interventions.”

The alliance between the therapist and the patient is not only important but integral to initiating positive change. Through this relationship, a transformation takes place, but only if a healthy connection is established between therapist and patient. The authors of the study mentioned above add that “decades of research indicate that the provision of therapy is an interpersonal process in which a main curative component is the nature of the therapeutic relationship.” Thus, they urge that clinicians remember this as being “the foundation of our efforts to help others.” Therefore, the improvement of psychotherapy as a practice lies in focusing on “improving one’s ability to relate to clients and tailoring that relationship to individual clients.”

Dr. Lisa Firestone is a clinical psychologist and Director of Research and Education for the Glendon Association, an organization dedicated to saving lives and enhancing mental health in order to address social problems such as suicide, child abuse, violence, and troubled personal relationships. Dr. Firestone explains that “a good therapist has a deep interest in their client as an individual and will see and relate to them in ways that are sensitively tailored to the person’s specific needs.” As such, there is no “one-size-fits-all” in terms of effective therapeutic treatment. This is because no person is exactly like another, therefore successful treatment must be personalized. Thus, therapists must strive to be authentic, with genuine human feelings, and able to tune in to the state of their patients to build trust and mutual understanding.

Building on Personal Relationship Skills is the Beginning to Good Therapy

Many problems that therapists often hear about stem from personal relationship issues. Knowing this, it begins to make sense why healing, then, would also come from a relationship. According to Dr. Firestone, “an attuned therapist can offer a person, not just a new way of looking at themselves but at relationships in general.” Taking note from attachment research, we learn that one of the most significant predictors of attachment patterns in our relationships is those that we have growing up and the attachment strategies that form from them. This stage of our lives shapes the reactions we have and create later in our lives, as well as those we create in others. Dr. Firestone says that “the best way to form healthier, more secure attachments is to make sense and feel the full pain of our story.” This “coherent narrative,” as it is also known, is a process of self-understanding which is one of the gifts of the therapeutic process. The therapist, through their empathy and curiosity, creates a safe space in which the patient can explore their own personal narrative and begin to make sense of it and their experiences.

Finding a Fresh Start through Good Therapy

By reacting to their patient with attunement and reflection, the patient can learn to form a new model of attachment which can benefit them in their own lives. In fact, as Dr. Firestone explains, “the formation of a secure attachment to the therapist has been shown to be significantly associated with greater reductions in client distress. By experiencing a secure attachment with a good therapist, the person can feel safe to start to resolve some of their old traumas and evolve their model of relating.” This is yet another reason why the establishment of trust is not only necessary but essential to the success of the therapy’s outcome.

Trust is the foundation upon which the patient feels secure enough to reveal their true selves, including all fears, anxieties, insecurities, and vulnerabilities. People who seek good therapy pull back their defenses and, in doing so, lay bare what they truly want and need to be fulfilled, including their hopes and aspirations. Through this, we can learn not only who we are, but also who we want to become, and from there, make the necessary steps towards our metamorphosis. Through good therapy, we learn how to distinguish our true feelings, priorities, and qualities, from the negativity which prevents us from achieving our full potential.


If you’d like to sit and talk with one of our Boca Raton therapists, please call our office @ 800-378-9354.
A woman therapist with wavy hair sitting on a couch speaking with a middle-aged brunette woman in a blue striped shirt.

Treating the Root Causes of Anorexia with Therapy

There are many misconceptions surrounding the prevalence of anorexia nervosa. According to statistics provided by the Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, approximately 24 million Americans and 70 million individuals worldwide struggle with an eating disorder of some kind. The Mental Health Services Administration in the United States Department of Health and Human Services reveals that around 90% of people who struggle with an eating disorder are women aged 12-25. However, it’s wrong to assume that this condition only affects women. The misrepresentation of anorexia and other eating disorders as “women’s diseases” has led to the severe underreporting of such disorders in males.

It is believed that around 10-15% individuals with anorexia or bulimia are males. Many more men might struggle with an eating disorder but are afraid to come forward because they believe admitting to having an eating disorder is emasculating. Conversely, it is believed that 1 in every 5 women will struggle with an eating disorder at some point during their lifetimes.

Public Misconceptions about Eating Disorders

Public perceptions and understandings of eating disorders like anorexia nervosa are shrouded in myth. Dr. Paul Rhodes, an associate professor at the University of Sydney, explains it thusly: “At best they think maybe its because of media influence, skinny girls in magazines, or that it is a persons’ attempt to get control in difficult circumstances. This kind of simplistic view protects them from thinking about the pain and suffering involved, the deep distress caused by an illness that has its roots in genetics, personality, society, you name it.”

In other words, the reality behind anorexia for many people is complex and difficult for many of us who are not familiar with the disorder to both understand and accept. This can make seeking treatment challenging, particularly for adolescents who are afraid of facing judgment from their peers and family. However, according to Dr. Rhodes, “We know that up to 60 percent can recover through family-based treatment.” The effort put in by parents over a 12-month period can sometimes make all the difference in their child’s recovery. When caught early, usually within the first three years, the chances of remission become very good.

A New Approach to How We Treat Eating Disorders

But in recent years, leaders within the psychological community have been developing a new way of addressing patients with anorexia nervosa. Their focus has shifted from simply “curing” patients to enhancing their overall quality of life. In essence, what this means is expanding the focus of treatment from solely promoting weight gain to full medical stability. In doing this, they seek to establish communities of care and support. This new approach helps offer the patients not only rehabilitation but the hope that it is possible to survive and thrive through a more holistic model of treatment.

This new approach consists of several key components:

  1. Putting focus on improving nutrition and maintaining the safety of the patient – not just on gaining weight.
  2. Develop the patient’s quality of life – this includes engaging them in meaningful activities.
  3. Work on developing independence and interpersonal skills.
  4. Establish a multidisciplinary team and work collaboratively during medical crises if they occur.
  5. Support the patient’s family members and help them receive care for their own distress.
  6. Don’t just focus on the problems – also focus on the patient’s strengths and abilities.

An Effective Method of Treatment

This new approach to treating anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders just might be more effective than previous treatments. Dr. Rhodes cites the results from one study in particular, published by the US National Library of Medicine. This study compared the effectiveness of this treatment with the more traditional approach of cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. In doing so, they compared it to supportive clinical management. According to Dr. Rhodes: “At 12 months CBT had improved social interactions, lowered some of the psychological symptoms of anorexia, and increased the readiness of the patient to consider recovery. Drop out from treatment was only 13 percent, remarkably low for people struggling with anorexia nervosa.”

So what does this mean? Well, for one thing, it shows that there may be an alternative and more successful open for rehabilitating individuals struggling with eating disorders. This approach encourages the patients to acknowledge their own potential and focuses as much on their happiness and well-being as it does on simply remedying weight loss. This new program is also inclusive of the individual’s family and loved ones and takes into account the stress they endure as supporters of someone who is struggling with an eating disorder. As such, it acknowledges the road to recovery as a collaborative effort, inclusive of family, the patient themselves, and the professionals who seek to help the patient overcome their disorder and return to healthy living.

It’s also worth noting that this approach might even benefit those with severe and enduring anorexia. While individuals in this particular circumstance may feel helpless, interventions such as these can help small groups of patients at a time can, as Dr. Rhodes states, “do the impossible.” There may be no set “cure” for anorexia or other eating disorders, no solid answer, but there is treatment and, with that treatment, the hope for a better way of life.

Finding a Therapist in Boca Raton

Most people during some point in their life go through something challenging and may need or seek therapy. The first step in this process is finding a therapist. Finding a good therapist in Boca Raton can be an overwhelming challenge when in a time of needing help.

Many people take the approach of finding a therapist in Boca Raton by recommendation. This may work for some people, but every person has different issues that need to be addressed. Proliance Center has a plethora of therapists and psychiatrists who specialize in all areas of mental health. Finding a reputable therapist in Boca Raton is also another issue when going through this process.

A few things to keep in mind when finding a therapist in Boca Raton:

  • How much experience does this person have?
  • What are their credentials?
  • What do they specialize in?
  • How do they present themselves and how do you feel around them?
  • Does the therapist seemed uninterested or in a rush during your sessions?
  • How does the office setting make you feel?

Most importantly you should go with how comfortable you feel during your sessions.

Finding a therapist in Boca Raton is an easy task with some help.

For more information read our more informative page on tips on finding a psychiatrist.

A male and female interlocking hands in what appears to be a strong, happy relationship.

Building Communication with Relationship Therapy

Most couples will argue from time to time. For the most part, this is normal behavior, because loving someone doesn’t necessarily …

Man sitting on couch holding hands over his face as his partner walks away angrily.

The Five Stages of Ending a Long-Term Relationship

Sometimes relationships just aren’t meant to be. Love has plenty of ups and downs, but increasing negativity can be a sign …

Vintage photo of a peaceful, beautiful nature scene with river and trees.

Smell The Roses: The Benefits of Nature Therapy

With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and responsibilities, it can be hard to remember to take time to “stop and …