Committing to regular therapy sessions is one of the best steps you can take for your mental health. You can receive the treatment you need for a mental illness or simply cope better with your daily stressors. However, you first need to find the right therapist.
The search for a quality therapist can seem daunting. But with the right approach, you can screen various options and know exactly what you are looking for. This guide will offer some tricks for selecting the ideal therapist for your needs.
Ask for recommendations
When looking for a therapist, one of the best places to start is your network of friends and family. If you know that people in your inner circle have gone to therapy, ask who they made their appointments with and how they felt about the experience.
They may recommend their mental health counselor or recommend that you go in a different direction. Personal recommendations like these can be extra meaningful since they come from people you trust.
The internet can feel overwhelming, but it can be a great place to gather names of potential therapists. Do a quick search for therapists in your area. Online directories like withtherapy.com can make this quite simple.
Then, make a list of therapists who seem to match your initial criteria. Make sure they cover your area of need, are located in your area, and have a positive online presence. If you received names from friends and family, do a more in-depth search of those professionals.
Know what type of therapy you need
Every therapist will have their own approach to counseling, so it’s important to know what you are looking for. Consider whether you prefer individual or group therapy. You might be interested in specialized services like art therapy.
If you are set on talk therapy, think about whether you want a therapist who guides you or one who has you come to your own conclusions. Make sure that any therapist you contact matches your needs and preferences.
Schedule several consultations
When you have narrowed your list to a few potential therapists, contact their offices and request a consultation. This could take place in person or over the phone. During these meetings, you can make your final judgement as to whether they are the right therapist for you. Pay attention to how you feel during the conversation and if they put you at ease.
Ask them what their approach to therapy is like and how they will measure your progress. You should also ask about logistics, such as whether they accept your insurance and how often they would want to see you. Take notes during the meetings, and make a final decision based on your collected facts and gut feelings.
Trust your gut
You might schedule your first appointment with your therapist and be completely comfortable with your decision. You might also leave the appointment feeling like they aren’t the right fit for you. Both options are okay. Trust your gut throughout this process, and remember that you are in control. Switch therapists if that is the best option for your mental health. Eventually, you will find a professional who completely fits your preferences and needs.
Searching for the right therapist may seem exhausting, but it’s all part of your long-term mental health journey, and you can certainly make use of resources like With Therapy to help. The perfect counselor will give you tools to manage a mental illness and help you feel more capable in your daily life. You can feel more settled, calm, and content. And this state of mind is worth a thorough search.