Tips for Finding the Right Therapist
Updated: Oct 1
Deciding to participate in therapy is a big decision and I appreciate your willingness to take this important (and sometimes daunting) step to improve your life. If you’ve spent a few minutes searching online for a therapist, you’ve probably noticed there are many options to consider and a lot of information to digest. As both a therapy provider and therapy consumer, I have a unique appreciation for the questions and uncertainties that can be part of finding a therapist who can meet your needs and fit with your sensibilities. Consider the following suggestions when speaking with a therapist for the first time.
It’s important to consider what symptoms or issues you are facing, as well as how your life is made more difficult by these issues. When speaking with a therapist for the first time, you will need to talk about difficult, often revealing, details about yourself and your life. It can be an overwhelming experience, and it’s common for a person to lose focus and have difficulties in expressing themselves. The is a normal experience, and it highlights the importance of having a game plan when finding a therapist that fits your needs. The initial phone call with a therapist is a consultation, not a therapy session; however, a good consultation sets the stage for a meaningful therapy experience.
Prior to the speaking with a therapist, spend a few minutes reflecting on your current life. Ask yourself some questions such as:
· What is working for me right now? What isn’t?
· What are my current difficulties or issues? How are they negatively impacting my day,
These questions are not only helpful in clarifying the nature of the problems you are facing, it also connect you with your pre-existing strengths and skills.
What would your life look like if you were free from the current difficulties or stressors? Imagine what your life might look like and identify what specific things would be different about your life. This can be a helpful step when thinking about your goals for therapy.
When speaking with a therapist, ask questions like:
· What can I expect from therapy?
· How can working with you help me to achieve my goals?
· How can I best participate in therapy?
Therapy is a partnership, and asking questions about the therapy process can help you feel connected to the therapist. Asking questions can also provide you with a rough framework of what you can expect from therapy and how you can get the most out of the experience.
Thinking about calling and getting the ball rolling? There’s no time like the present. Hopefully the above tips will help you find the right therapist and begin your journey of discovery, growth, and happiness.