Nowadays, you can do a quick search online to find just about any product or service you’re interested in. But, finding a therapist is different. While there are no shortages of therapists you can discover with a Google search, going a few steps beyond that will help to ensure you find the right person to fit your needs.
Therapy is a very personal thing. If you’re truly seeking out help, it’s important to work with someone that “fits” with you.
So, what can you do to not only find a therapist, but find one that’s right for your needs?
Ask Someone Close to You
Word-of-mouth advertising is a marketer’s dream, but it can also be beneficial to you. If someone you know and trust goes to therapy, don’t be afraid to talk to them about it.
Ask them about their therapist and what modalities they use. Ask if they enjoy their sessions and what you might expect if you start going there.
Thousands of people across the country go to therapy. Chances are, you know several of them in your family or circle of friends. Ask around and get different opinions from people you trust to get a baseline idea of where to look.
Don’t Just Search—Research
Again, it’s easy to do a quick local search for nearby therapists. You’ll probably come up with dozens of names, depending on where you live.
But, don’t just click on the first name that pops up or the therapist that paid a little extra to be at the top of the page.
Instead, take your time to research those that stand out to you. Look at their certifications and expertise. What do they specialize in? Do they tend to focus on specific age ranges or issues? Some therapists even have videos on their sites that can provide a better introduction and let you get a feel for who they are.
If you don’t want to rely on a search engine, consider using reliable online databases. The American Psychological Association is a great resource. It has a database of reputable therapists all over the country.
It’s Okay to “Test” a Few
You’ll never really know if a therapist is right for you until you meet them in person. Set up appointments with a few therapists you’re interested in, and plan a few questions ahead of time. Some important things to ask include:
- How many years have you been practicing?
- Do you have a lot of experience with people who are dealing with (whatever you might be struggling with)?
- What methods do you use?
- What can I expect from each session?
It’s also important to consider your goals when talking to a therapist. Obviously, they can’t predict the future. But, they should be able to give you an idea of how they can help you meet those goals, and how long it all might take.
If you meet with a therapist and don’t “click”, that’s okay. Don’t guilt yourself into working with a therapist out of obligation.
Again, therapy is very personal. Finding someone you’re comfortable with will make it easier to open up and be vulnerable. As a result, you’ll end up reaching those goals faster.
Looking for a therapist is an incredibly important first step. Don’t let yourself get discouraged if you can’t find one right away. Taking charge of your mental wellness isn’t always easy, and you’ve already started on the right path. The right therapist is out there for you. Click here to be directed to conduct a search for a couples therapist near you.