Most of us have heard of the saying â€œOne size fits allâ€, but when it comes to mental health and shopping for a therapist this saying is 100% NOT accurate at all. Finding a therapist can be a dreadful and fearful process. In most cases, it can bring up anxiety, procrastination and even loss of interest after reading an enormous amount of reviews online. Let me provide you with 5 tips to facilitate with this process.
First and for most, it is important for you to keep in mind, when browsing for a therapist, that you can switch therapist at any point of treatment if you feel a disconnect or in other words a mismatch. This should help ease some of that anxiety and bring in some peace of mind that you donâ€™t have to stick with one therapist when you donâ€™t feel comfortable, heard or understood. The term â€œtherapeutic allianceâ€ is used to describe the relationship between the client and the therapist. Therefore, the relationship between you and the therapist is a crucial factor that can determine how effective treatment will be.
Tip #2: Ask! Ask!
Ask a good friend, colleague or your primary care physician to suggest someone they trust. This is a good starting point to find a therapist that might be a potential match for you. However, keep in mind that it is highly likely that you and your friend or colleague might have different needs and goals when it comes to a therapist and or therapy in general.
Tip #3: Reliability
Use a reliable online database to narrow down your search. By using a reliable online database you can focus on the type of therapist you are looking for depending on your needs. For example, you can narrow down your search to a therapist that is specialized in a certain therapy modality or specialization.
Tip #4: Reach out to your community.
By reaching out to your community for resources and/or a referral it can be likely for you to find a good fit. If you have a higher sense of connection to your community, this might bring some comfort into the process of searching for a therapist. For example, if you would like for your faith to be part of your treatment, then you might consider reaching out to your worship center for a list of licensed therapists that are affiliated.
Tip #5: Interview your â€œpotentialâ€ Therapist
I highly encourage you to interview the therapist during the first session to determine if they are a potential match. Make sure you obtain the information needed to make your decision. Here are some questions to consider asking during the first session.
- Do you provide access to telehealth services?
- Are you a licensed professional in this state?
- How many years have you been in practice?
- Have you worked with individuals that are experiencing similar concerns?
- What do you consider to be your specialty or area of expertise?
- Are you a culturally sensitive therapist?
- Will I be able to express cultural issues?
- How frequently should we meet?
- How should I prepare for sessions?
- How will I know if therapy is working?
- What are your clinic policies related to cancellations and no-shows?
- How much do you charge? What are you sliding-scale options?
- What insurance do you accept? Are you part of my insurance network?