A good therapist can assist in confronting truths and processing difficult emotions while making sure that their session remains safe, comfortable, and supportive for their client.
Before finding your ideal therapist, it may take multiple trials before finding one who fits. Don’t worry; that’s a normal part of the process.
1. Ask for Referrals
Referrals are one of the key ingredients to expanding a practice, yet many therapists don’t know how best to go about asking for them.
One effective strategy for increasing sales is asking their current clients for testimonials or creating share-worthy content such as informative blogs or articles that can spread their name without seeming pushy and salesy.
Therapists can reach out to local communities and participate in events that put them face-to-face with potential referral sources, such as offering free lectures or presentations at community centers and professional associations or giving out informational packets with brochures and business cards.
2. Look at Their “About Me” Section
When choosing a therapist, it is crucial that you feel at ease communicating with them. The Center for Mental Wellness San Diego is one of the best examples of this. While this process may require trial-and-error, depending on your needs it might be worth changing up your schedule or driving out of your way to find someone with whom you connect easily.
Establishing an “About Me” page can help your practice showcase its approach, credentials and experience. Some therapists choose to share personal details on this page in order to connect with potential clients; other prefer keeping the focus solely on qualifications and training.
Here’s your opportunity to show what makes you unique: people tend to gravitate toward therapists who understand their struggles and can relate, helping clients feel reassured they’re in safe hands.
3. Take a Look at Their Website
Finding the appropriate therapist is an integral step on your mental health journey. Your conversations with them may touch upon sensitive topics and personal details, so make sure they’re someone you trust before beginning therapy sessions.
Finding a provider who understands your unique needs can also be invaluable. For instance, if you suffer from anxiety, seeking out someone with experience helping clients who share similar symptoms could prove particularly fruitful.
Many therapists maintain websites highlighting their areas of expertise and theoretical orientations, or you can utilize online databases to narrow your options. Keep in mind, however, that due to limited supply and demand for therapy services it may be impossible for you to find someone that checks all the boxes – this is okay! Take your time in searching and considering several providers before making a final decision.
4. Schedule a Consultation Call
Consultation calls provide an ideal opportunity to interact directly with potential therapists and ask any pertinent questions while determining whether they’re the ideal match for you.
Your therapist may begin their call by asking some general questions about why and what other measures have been attempted to resolve your issues, as well as any specific treatment requests or any details relevant to their expertise that would assist them.
Many therapists offer free phone or video consultations prior to setting up your initial therapy appointment, giving you the chance to evaluate whether their services are the right match and making informed decisions about what steps are next. Some even offer video consultations which can help people who live far from their prospective therapist.
5. Schedule Your First Appointment
At your initial therapy appointment, a therapist will typically conduct an informal interview wherein he/she asks you questions about why you seek help and any symptoms that have surfaced since arriving. Writing down this information beforehand – either in a journal or using notes apps on your phone – may prove useful.
These details will enable them to match you with a therapist that best fits your needs; for instance, if you’re suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), finding someone experienced treating that disorder could be essential.
Other things to consider might include their office location and scheduling flexibility. If something feels off when meeting potential therapists, don’t be discouraged from looking further – your mental health matters so take your time finding someone who fits well with you!
6. Ask for References
Referrals from friends can be an excellent way to find a therapist. If one of your loved ones has gone to therapy themselves, they could give valuable insights as to which could be an appropriate match.
Ask for recommendations from professionals you trust such as your physician or school counselor, while health insurance companies might have connections to therapists they work with.
Finding a good therapist takes time. It may take multiple attempts before finding one who truly suits your needs; when that momentous day arrives, however, your working relationship can prove invaluable in the long run. Qualified staff is essential, but personal affinity plays an equally key role – so when selecting your therapist make sure they share a passion for helping others as a key trait!
7. Take a Look at Their Credentials
As with selecting doctors or dentists, finding an ideal therapist requires careful consideration. Many offer free initial consultations that can help narrow down your options prior to setting an initial appointment.
Based on your needs, when searching for the ideal therapist you may want to consider gender, sexual orientation, religion and culture when making your selection. Some specialists even specialize in certain forms of therapy like exposure therapy.
Your first question should focus on their experience and if they use evidence-based treatments; these could include cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnotherapy as examples of evidence-based care. A good therapist will be able to explain these methods clearly while answering all your questions promptly.
8. Ask for an Intake Call
Finding out if therapy will suit you requires meeting with a therapist directly. Most provide free initial consultations to new clients; ask any questions that arise regarding their approach or types of counseling they specialize in.
Keep in mind that an ideal therapist should always treat you with kindness and professionalism, without making you feel judged for your thoughts, feelings or behaviors. They won’t try to change you or force you into doing things that don’t resonate with your beliefs and needs.
If you’re having difficulty in locating a therapist, try soliciting recommendations from people you trust. Your local community center or workplace might offer lists of counselors; otherwise ask at your church, synagogue, or religious organization for recommendations. Alternatively, search online.
9. Schedule Your Second Session
Once you find a therapist, make an effort to remain with them at least for several sessions before making your decision. This will give you time to develop a relationship and start getting work done. If it becomes apparent that this therapist is not suitable, don’t hesitate to communicate your dislike – they should understand your position and might provide a list of more suitable practitioners.
Like dating, finding a therapist that feels right is paramount. Take your time searching until you find one who truly fits; once found, you will more readily be able to open up and receive assistance that’s exactly why therapy exists!