I was talking with a knowledgeable friend about how people choose therapists or counsellors to work with from so many options.
At one point she said: "They have to find someone they are comfortable with."
I agreed and then it occurred to me that it is more than that.
We can be comfortable with all sorts of people, friends and family, the people at work or in the pub, but therapy needs a different kind of comfortable.
For a good therapeutic experience you need to find someone you are comfortable being uncomfortable with.
If you are going to change how you think and feel about things – and why else go for therapy – you are going to feel uncomfortable for a while. The therapist needs to be able to be fully present with your discomfort and you need to be able to allow your discomfort to be present with them. If you can't trust them, or they can't cope, with your discomfort, it's not likely to go well.
If I think through all my acquaintances, there are many that I feel comfortable with, but only a few that I would be comfortable being uncomfortable with. I think it's a rare quality. If you can find a therapist (or a friend) who has that, you have found someone worth talking to.