How do I know I can trust my therapist (this guy I’m dating, my financial planner)?
As odd as it may sound, early in a relationship with a patient when the issue of trust comes up, I tend to recommend that a patient not trust me. Not because I’m not a good person to trust but because we haven’t built that trust yet.
I’ve come to see trust as less a static condition based on an inherent predisposition of trustworthiness of the parties involved but rather as an activity: something that needs to be jointly built. I’ve found the following as a useful guide:
- Trusting relationships have been through ups and downs. (It’s having been through the downs in ways that are respectful)
- Trusting relationships are not private. Having other people involved in a relationship (for example in group therapy) allows multiple perspectives
- Trusting relationships allow lots of room for either party to say “no” to anything at any time.
- Trust isn’t a binary, all or nothing state.
- Trust needs to be nurtured continually throughout a relationship.