Narrowing down choices for therapists can be extremely difficult. There are some factors you should consider when finding a therapist that will help create a smoother process. Before beginning therapy, you should have some goals in mind of what you want to get out of your sessions. You should also work with your primary care provider for referrals or recommendations to start.
Below are some more tips and factors that should be at the forefront of your mind when trying to find a therapist. Not all therapists will be right for everyone, so finding the best one could take some time. This list will help you to get started down the right path.
1- Utilize A Trusted Online Directory
If you want to have multiple options of therapists to choose from, you can start with online directories. Some directories include Psychology Today, BetterHelp, GoodTherapy, and Inclusive Therapists. These directories have private or public practices listed with prices and the specialties of the therapists. Some of these directories do have membership fees, so look into those before signing up.
2- Ask Thorough Questions During The Consultation
Asking the right questions is the most important step when finding a therapist. This will help you get a feel of the therapist’s mindset and how they plan to treat you. This will also allow you to narrow down your list if they don’t treat your specific need or you can’t afford it.
- Do they treat your specific issue?
- What Is their availability like? Can they work with your schedule and/or be flexible?
- Do they take your insurance?
- What therapy styles do they use?
- What training or certification do they have?
- Are there other therapists in this office you should look into or that would be a better fit?
- What does a typical session with them look like? How long are they?
- How will you both assess your progress?
- What does successful therapy or treatment look like to them?
- Ask about a free consultation
3- Narrow Down Your Goals
Different therapists will have different methods of treatment and how they view a patient to be fully treated. Narrowing down what you want to accomplish and the goals you want to achieve will help you be able to discuss them with a potential therapist when seeing if they are right for you.
When you have specific goals in mind such as overcoming an addiction, healing and limiting fear from a past relationship, or learning to manage your anxiety better, a therapist can tell you what treatments they would use to help you. If you don’t vibe with their treatment plan, you will know to continue your search in finding a therapist
4- Therapists For Specific Issues
Therapists can help with various mental illnesses, loss, trauma, and more. Some therapists focus on specific issues, while others work with a variety of different patients. You can ask your therapist if they treat other patients with your specific issue. If they have experience treating others with this issue, you will know they may help you to reach a healthier mental place.
5- Getting Recommendations From Friends
If you have friends who love their therapist, ask them for their contact information. It is still important to ask your friends some questions and potentially do a consultation with the therapist. A referral from your primary care provider is also a good way to limit the number of options.
6- Why The Right Therapist Matters
Therapists and patients need to have good communication and be able to connect with each other in order to make therapy work. This is known as the Therapeutic Alliance, which is the relationship that the therapist and patient can develop. This relationship can contribute to the healing of the patient.
The right therapist also is important to help you feel comfortable opening up without judgment. A therapist that understands you will help you navigate micro-aggressions, and triggers, and avoid making your mental health worse by feeling judged.
7- Don’t Be Afraid To Switch
Many people are worried about hurting their therapist’s feelings if they switch or don’t feel very connected to their therapist. If you are not accomplishing what you feel necessary from therapy or are feeling judged, there is no shame in switching. We know finding a therapist can be a long process, but it is essential for patients to feel absolutely comfortable opening up to their therapist. Therapists know that not everyone is going to vibe with their personality, so having an open conversation can help both you and the therapist be better in the future.
Finding A Therapist At Red Willow
Our therapists cover issues with family, couples, LGBTQ issues, trauma, addiction, and more. We have multiple therapists, clinical directors, receptionists, and interns that have your best interest at heart. Don’t let these issues be debilitating or take over your life and seek quality therapy with Red Willow Counseling and Recovery.