9 Tips for Finding the Right Therapist For You

By | July 23, 2020

Just how you need to choose the best friends or the best partner for you, you should also pick the best therapist. While therapists may have a similar framework, how they approach therapy and how they communicate with you can change the therapy experience for the good or for the bad.

In this post, we’ll look at some tips to help you pick the best therapist for the job and get the most from your therapy session.

Do Age and Gender Matter?

Some people don’t care what therapist they pick, as long as the therapist can help them. Others, however, are a little pickier, and that’s not a bad thing. Some want a therapist who is older and like a parent, while others may want someone a little fresher. Some want a woman, others want a man. Having preferences isn’t a bad thing, and searching by sex and age can narrow down your search.

Do Your Research

By doing research, we don’t mean a quick Google search to find the closest therapist. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family if they go to therapy, and if so, who they recommend. If your friends and family are like you, the same therapist may work.

If you don’t have referrals, read some reviews, or go to the website. The website should list their certifications, give some testimonials, and give you a way to set up an appointment.

Look to How They Approach Therapy

Whether on the website or through a phone interview, look at what approach therapists use. There are many forms of therapy, and some may benefit you more than others. For example, you can find therapists who use traditional cognitive behavioral therapy. Or, you may find therapists who focus on meditation and mindfulness. You may find therapists who use art as a form of therapy. You may even find therapists who use a little bit of everything. There’s a good therapist for every approach. If you’re unsure, do some research on the techniques and see which feels like the best fit.

What About Payment?

Therapy is expensive, so when you find a therapist, see how they accept payments. Some will have a sliding scale, which means you’re charged what you can afford. Others may accept your insurance, meaning you can get therapy for free or for very little money.

If you’re not sure, ask. If the therapist seems to dodge the question, this may be a sign that they’re not the best fit for the job. Always make sure the therapist will disclose everything you want to know, especially when you…

Set Up a Consultation

A therapist should be more than happy to set you up with a consultation call or email session to discuss your therapy session. These are free and can give you an insight into what to expect. You can talk about your problem, ask some questions, and get to know your therapist a little more.

The call can also help you decide if the therapist is the right fit. During your consultation, the conversation you have can determine if they’re right for you. If the tone of their voice isn’t something you feel, or if you feel like they aren’t good at listening, then look somewhere else.

Listening

Let’s talk about how a therapist listens to you. Some will have different approaches. There is an active listener, who most people will like. They listen and engage with what you have to say. However, you may want someone who doesn’t speak as much. It’s all subjective and knowing what type of listener your therapist is during the consultation can help you decide.

Make Sure They Respect Your Boundaries

In any relationship, boundaries are important, and this includes the relationship between therapist and client. During your sessions, it’s common to run into things that may make you uncomfortable, such as talking about your trauma. A therapist should ease you into what makes you uncomfortable and respect your decision should you not want to drive into it just yet.

A good therapist will ask for consent and make you sign forms for any therapy that involves touch or dives into the uncomfortable subject matter. Make sure your therapist does just that.

Other Red Flags

When searching for a therapist, look for the red flags. If you spot them, you may want to change your therapist. Red flags include:

  • Talking down on your personal beliefs.
  • Seeming biased against you.
  • Being overly pessimistic.
  • Not wanting to change their approach that isn’t working for you.
  • They don’t seem to value your privacy.
  • The therapist wants to rush you through and doesn’t seem to care about results. If they’re always looking at the clock, then this is a red flag.
  • They will shame you for wanting to quit therapy. This is something a therapist shouldn’t do, even if you should stay in therapy.
  • The therapist interrupts you or doesn’t seem to listen.

These are just some red flags. If your observation tells you the therapist may have red flags, then you may want to move on before it’s too late.

Are You Seeing Results?

Therapy is something that does not have a set amount of sessions to work. Some people may need only a few weeks, while some people may need months of therapy. However, after a while, you should see some progress.

If you don’t, then the approach to therapy may not be for you, and you may need to find someone else.

Conclusion

When you search for “therapist near me,” keep these tips in mind. You deserve help, but you do need to make sure the therapist is right for the job. Having a therapist who is the best fit for you can help you see results faster. While you may want help ASAP, taking a bit to research can make the therapy process smooth and easier for you to finish.

Photo by @Tolu-Bamwo from nappy.co

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