First of all, finding a good therapist is like dating!! You might have to kiss a few toads before you find the right one!
Now I am not saying you should go out and kiss your therapist (in fact, don’t do that), but understanding that finding a good therapist is just as important because it should be the start of a very important and trusting relationship.
Practical tips for finding a good therapist?
- Do you need to find a therapist on your insurance?
- Know that some therapists don’t actually take insurance but they will have sliding scale which means they will work with you to find a cost that you can cover on your own.
- Do you have a specific topic you are looking to discuss?
- Lots of therapist have specializations. Ex. some will specialize in family trauma while others will specialize in sexual assault. While it isn’t mandatory, it might be important for you to find someone a therapist that specializes in what you are going through
- Specific techniques in therapy
- Just as therapists will have different specializations, they will also often have specific techniques that they may practice in their therapy. These different types could be cognitive-based therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, acceptance and commitment therapy, and you may have one type you prefer, but also remember to keep an open mind because you never know what approach might help you in your time of need.
- Ask your friends for recommendations
- While finding a good therapist is very personal, it might be helpful to ask friends or family if they have a therapist they love.
- Before the first session
- Before you start with a specific therapist, you should be able to have an initial consultation over the phone or in person to see if you will be a good fit. Listen to your gut. Again, it is just like dating, and it is important for it to feel right.
Finally, congratulate yourself!! Going out and getting professional help is a HUGE step and you should congratulate yourself for putting your brain and mental health first. Understand that it may take a few therapists before you find a good fit, but it is all a part of the journey. And at the end of the day, I am SO proud of you for getting the help that we all need.