The process of finding a therapist can seem overwhelming. There are many questions that need to be answered when finding the right therapist for you. Is this therapist you’re going to call going to be able to help you? Where do you even find a therapist to call? Not knowing if someone is going to be able to help you can seem intimidating itself without even calling them. This connection you’re going to make with a therapist is something that will have a significant impact on the success of therapy. There are a few things to remember when looking for a therapist to work with you on this journey.
What are you looking for?
It can be important to help you decide what you need to ask yourself before you start looking for a therapist.
1. Why do you want to see a therapist?
2. What type of therapy do you want? Individual, family, or even couples therapy?
3. What qualities are you looking for in a therapist?
4. What are you hoping to accomplish with therapy?
5. Is there a specific technique you’re looking for in therapy? (i.e. CBT, Solution-Focused, EMDR, Play Therapy, IFS, Sex therapy, etc.) It is okay to not know the answer to this question!
Let the search begin!
There are a vast number of ways to find a therapist. You can ask your doctor or psychiatrist for a referral, contact your insurance company, ask around, or do an online search for therapists near you. Many therapists will have an online profile for you to learn a little more about them before contacting for a first session.
What do I do next?
After finding a potential therapist, it is time to take that next step. A lot of therapists will offer a free consultation or phone screening. These calls usually are only a few minutes and not designed to be a therapy session. They are designed to let you get a feel for the style and personality of the therapist you’re contacting. This is a good time to ask more questions you have come up with of your potential therapist as well as make sure they take your insurance or if needed, discuss payment options.
I’m going in to meet this therapist for our first session.
So when I get a new client, I like to remind them that not only am I assessing them during our initial session, but they also are assessing me and making sure we are going to be a good fit together. It could take a couple sessions to know if there is a connection with the therapist you’re seeing, so not knowing after the first session if it is a good fit is perfectly acceptable. Some people feel comfortable right away but it is alright to not know for sure. Sometimes it can take a few sessions, but if it isn’t going to work you will know. If this is the case then let your therapist know and they should be able to provide you with some references to other therapists that could be a better fit. A good therapist knows that the connection between the client and therapist is a huge part of the success of therapy, and they will be happy to assist you on your journey to find the best therapist for you.
Don’t give up!
If your first therapist isn’t the right one for you, try again! There is no point in trying to keep going with a therapist you don’t feel connected to and comfortable with, so try to find what you’re looking for. There may be a small shift in approach that can make a huge difference in therapy, so it may need to be said aloud what you’re looking for in a therapist.