Tips For Finding The Right Therapist
If you're thinking about starting therapy, finding the right therapist can be a daunting task. Here a few tips that can help you find the right therapist, and things to avoid when looking for a provider.
1. Decide what type of therapy you'd like to try.
A good first step for finding the right therapist is finding a provider that is well-versed in the type of therapy you want to try. Different types of therapy include cognitive behavioral therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, and person centered therapy.
2. Ask people you trust
If you have a friend or colleague that you trust, a referral can be a great way to find a therapist that is a good fit for you. While referrals are a good place to start your search, it's important to remind yourself that you might have different goals from your friends, and therapy will look different for you.
3. Be mindful of your budget
Out of pocket expenses can make it difficult to be consistent with therapy. Verifying with potential providers that they accept your insurance can help offset costs.
4. Set up a consultation call
If you feel like you've found a therapist that will be a good fit, schedule a consultation call. Therapists want to help you, and if they feel that they're not equipped to deal with your situation, they might have referrals to point you in the right direction.
5. Be open to trying different therapists
Finding the best therapist for you can take trial and error. You should not feel obligated to stick with the first therapist you meet - building a strong working relationship with your therapist is beneficial for you in the long term.
Things to avoid:
1. Waiting for a crisis before seeking help
You should not wait until you hit rock bottom to seek help. This can create a sense of urgency when looking for a therapist, and you may not give yourself enough time to find the right provider for you.
2. Therapists with no boundaries
Therapists are mental health professionals, and they should behave professionally. While therapists are meant to create a safe environment for you, they are not meant to be your friend.
3. Offering services they aren't qualified to provide.
Many therapists specialize in certain types of therapy. If they do not have the training or experience working with specific populations or methods and are advertising the opposite on their website, that is a red flag to look out for.
It can be discouraging when trying to find the right therapist, but in doing your research you may find a match that can show you all the good that therapy has to offer.
Student Clinician studying Mental Health Counseling at Sul Ross University. Ariana is seeing clients on the weekends under the supervision of Aimee Rhodes, MS, LPC-S.
Elizabeth Oldham is an LPC-S and co-founder of Transform & Renew, PLLC. She specializes in co-dependency, anxiety and OCD, depression and mood disorders.