Finding the right therapist
Updated: Feb 1, 2019
This is really important - I wont be able to do my job if we don't connect. Thats why I offer a 30 minute free consultation.
So if making the decision to open up to a stranger isn’t hard enough, the next step - choosing a therapist - often feels like yet another hoop to jump through.
New terms, and an endless selection of different approaches to choose from can make therapy feel like an alien world when you’re first starting out.
So where to start?
The good news is, there’s really no need to worry yourself about all the technicalities. Simply spending a bit of time getting clear on what you want to get out of therapy is all it takes to put yourself in a good position of choosing a therapist that feels like the right fit for you.
And when that happens, the rewards are tenfold. Science shows that when the relationship’s right, therapy can literally rewire the brain to create stronger, healthier neural network connections. And that’s when we start to see real, positive changes take place.
Below,is a list of easy steps to guide you in your quest:
1. Finding a therapist near you : narrow down your options
Trawling through endless lists of therapist profiles only adds to the confusion. To make things easier, first try narrowing down your options a little.even if you are going to be able to have session via the internet it is really useful to meet the person in the first few sessions to build your trust and connection.
This helps sift out any therapists who don't match what you're looking for and points you towards the ones that do. In just one minute, you'll be left with a list of up to ten therapists nearby who match your own needs.
2. Read through and get a feeling
Make yourself a cuppa and set aside a bit of time to read through each of your therapist profiles. This will help give you a feel around what they offer – both from a professional standpoint, but also on a personal level too. Some people find that choosing a therapist with similar life experiences really helps. Of course, you should never go on appearances alone, but some people find they get a good feel from a warm, friendly smile. Opening up is never easy, so as much as possible you want to be looking for a therapist who instinctively inspires that feeling of comfort in you.
3. Get clear on what you want
Firstly, be kind to yourself by not taking this step too literally. Most of us seeking out therapy do so in order to find some clarity, not because we're already figured everything out (has anyone?) No one’s expecting you to start out with a perfect plan. And it’s completely fine to turn up to therapy not knowing what you’re looking for. But that in itself might serve as an indicator. For example, your intention might be as simple as, “I want to get clearer about what I want in life”.
To give you an idea, here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself whilst on your quest:
Do you want to quickly solve symptoms? e.g. you’ve been feeling anxious at work and you want to learn quick, workable tools to put into action when anxiety takes hold.
Do you feel that something you experienced in your past might be impacting your present, and you’d like to explore it further?
Do you feel like you’ve lost your path (whether that be career, relationships, home life etc.) and you’d like to get clearer on what you really want in life?
Do you keep repeating certain behaviours or patterns that you feel like be holding you back?
Do you simply want the space and time to be fully heard, and work toward your own self-development?
Maybe you even resonate with a whole mix of the above... Either way, don’t worry too much about nailing it down. People go to therapy for a whole bunch of different reasons. In fact, that’s one of the reasons there are so many different types of therapy, each focused around approaching issues in a different way. Whatever your reasons are, spending a bit of time getting clearer on what it is you’re looking to get out of your time in therapy will set you up perfectly for the next important step.
4. Get a vague overview of the of the therapists approaches and ensure they are accredited and insured
It’s very easy to get pulled into all the ins and outs of different styles of therapy. We’ve used the word vague purposefully here, because really that’s all you need. Firstly, too much information is unnecessary (let’s leave that to the therapists!), and secondly, it generally only confuses things further.
Make sure you can see a connection with what you want and what they provide and above all they are accredited and insured.