Finding the right therapist is the first obstacle to overcome if you are thinking about therapy, whether it is to enhance your mental health, heal from trauma, transition into a new stage of life, or rebuild a relationship.
According to studies, your relationship with your therapist will probably have a significant impact on how much you progress. This is why it is crucial to do your homework, ask questions, and pay attention to your own reactions when looking for the therapist who is best for you.
Here are some tried-and-true techniques for selecting a therapist to support you in achieving your therapeutic objectives.
1. First, check your provider directory
Your initial step may be to browse the provider network of your insurance plan if you intend to pay for therapy through it.
2. Question a reliable person
Another option to find a therapist who might be a good fit for you is to ask a friend, coworker, or doctor you trust for a recommendation.
A recommendation is a terrific place to start, but it is crucial to understand that you can have different needs and goals from the individual making the suggestion for your therapy. A good marriage for one of you, therefore, might not be as advantageous to the other.
3. Utilize an accredited internet database
Many mental health organisations provide current, searchable databases of qualified therapists.
To find counsellors in your area, you could start your search by simply typing in your ZIP code. Searching for specialists like therapists that specialise in drug and alcohol usage or marriage and family counsellors may also be an option. It is a good idea to find out if your plan has a cap on the number of sessions you may attend annually and whether seeing a therapist outside of your network would increase your out-of-pocket expenses.
4. Examine nearby resources
There might be resources in your neighbourhood that can assist you. If you are a student, your school may let you use a counselling facility.
If you work, the human resources department may provide a list of therapists who are part of an employee aid or workplace wellness programme.
You might be able to get a group or individual therapy through a local advocacy organisation if you require counselling for sexual or domestic violence.
You can think about asking your church, synagogue, mosque, or another place of worship for a list of qualified therapists who are linked with your faith if you want your religion to influence your treatment.
5. Speak with organisations that deal with your issue
You might find nearby therapists through a national association, network, or helpline if you are seeking one to help with a particular mental health issue.
You might locate nearby therapists through a professional organisation if your job is a cause of stress and worry.
You can find specialists who can help with mental health problems by using the resources that many of these organisations and trade unions have available. The International Association of Firefighters, for instance, provides assistance with substance abuse, PTSD, and mental health.
6. Consider your objectives in advance.
What goals do you have for therapy? Studies have shown that your viewpoint will improve when you and your therapist cooperate to achieve the same objectives.
Find a psychiatrist or other healthcare professional who can write prescriptions for you if you believe that medicine could reduce your symptoms.
You should seek out a therapist with credentials or specific training in those treatment modalities if you have heard that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy has been successful for others with your issue.
You might want to think about looking for a therapist who participates in support groups or group therapy sessions if you want to be a part of a network of people who understand your experiences.
With the help of a therapist, your objectives might change. It is OK to discuss with your therapist the possibility of modifying your treatment strategy as your needs change.
7. Use an app.
Both Talk-space and Better-help provide tools to aid in your exploration of the type of therapy you might want. Additionally, they can put you in touch with a qualified therapist whom you can communicate with on the phone or online.
Some people discover that using a digital therapy platform is more practical and less expensive than receiving therapy in person. For online therapy, weekly sessions cost between $35 and $80.
According to a study by Trusted Source, depressed individuals thought their symptoms got better after participating in online sessions. But it is important to keep in mind that two of the academics working on this project were either consultants or staff members of the company that provided the digital therapy.
8. Request information on the issues that are important to you.
It is common to entirely forget every question you had planned to ask your therapist when you first meet them, whether in person, over the phone, or online.
Keep paper and a pen, or a notes app, ready for a few days before your meeting to ensure you have the knowledge you need to make a wise decision. As questions arise, jot them down.
9. Keep a close eye on your own responses.
No matter how many credentials your therapist has, you should put your own comfort and emotions of trust first. Will there be occasional discomfort during therapy? Possibly. You will be talking about sensitive, private subjects, after all. It is okay to choose another therapist, though, if you feel uneasy with yours for any other reason.
To change therapists, you do not need a good reason. It is sufficient that you experience discomfort.
Finding a good therapist can make a significant difference in your journey, whether you are dealing with bereavement, trauma, marital problems, or you desire therapy for a mental health condition.
Start by taking into account practical factors like licensure, insurance coverage, geography, and specialities to choose a therapist who is a good fit.
You might discover that family, friends, coworkers, and medical experts are reliable sources of recommendations. Utilizing search engines offered by businesses that deal with your particular issues may also help you uncover alternatives.
It could be beneficial to consider your objectives and queries once you have narrowed your options. This way, you may be certain that your therapist and you are a good fit and agree on the course of action.
Finding the best therapist is ultimately a personal decision. Effective treatment is based on human connection, and you can develop that connection whether you speak with your therapist in person, over the phone, or online.