4 SIMPLE TIPS TO FIND THE RIGHT THERAPIST
The past few weeks I have talked about why therapy is so important for our emotional health. If reading this blog has made you think….Hmm, maybe I WOULD benefit from talking to someone, then this post is for you.
1) PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOU FEEL
Researching therapists online will find a breadth of modalities of treatment but may still leave you wondering what is right for me?
It’s just my opinion, but I believe THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THERAPY IS THE RELATIONSHIP.
This means you must feel connected to your therapist, similar to any other relationship in your life. What research tells us is that the modality of the therapy is not necessarily the most healing component, because it’s the relationship that helps heal.
That being said, your therapist should have some framework from which they work. You may know some of the terms; psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioral therapy, systems therapy, there are 100’s more. When you talk with a therapist you can ask them how they view emotional health and how they work with patients. While each person who comes into a therapist’s office is different, generally therapists SHOULD have a framework in which they understand issues.
2.) GET A GOOD REFERRAL
While it can be hard to open up and share that you might be seeking therapy, like any situation, it can be very useful to get a referral from someone who you know. If you have a friend in therapy who seems to be making changes in his or her life, ask for the therapist’s referral list. Your primary care physician can also be a great source for referrals as they have an extensive network. If their patients have had success with a therapist, it is likely the physician has an arsenal of names (make sure you ask your physician if they think it would be a good fit).
3. DON’T BE AFRAID TO SWITCH
If you meet with a therapist and it doesn’t feel right, pay attention to that feeling. I always tell my patients, if this doesn’t feel like the right fit then let me know and let me help you find a better match. Therapy is a deep relationship, so if you don’t feel like this is someone with whom you can share some pretty personal stuff and not feel judged or shamed for it, then it isn’t the right therapist for you.
4. CHECK WITH YOUR INSURANCE
Most insurance covers therapy, although not all therapists take insurance. Make sure you ask this question before you go and call your insurance company to confirm. If you don’t have insurance, there are a lot of community mental health centers with extremely qualified therapists that can see you at a reduced fee. Always ask, some therapists in private practice will also see you at a reduced fee.
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