One of the most frequent questions I get, from potential clients, friends and family members is “how do I choose a therapist?” GREAT question and it’s important to think about, especially if you want to maximize your time, money and efforts early in the therapeutic relationship.
First and foremost, you want to choose someone who is qualified to treat you and is familiar with the particular issue for which you are seeking help. Please note that it is also each individual therapist’s responsibly to ensure that we are only treating people within our scope of practice, training and experience.
Second, think about any characteristics that are important to you. Some people prefer a male, female or non-binary therapist. Some people prefer a therapist with 20+ years of experience, while others prefer a younger therapist whom they believe may be able to better relate or understand challenges facing adolescents or young adults today. It’s also ok to change your mind about any of these things, at any time; your needs and preferences are allowed to evolve.
You may also be searching for a therapist who utilizes a particular treatment modality. If you have a lot of trauma, an EMDR trained therapist might be your perfect fit. If you are having relationship issues, a Gottman or EFT trained therapist might be your best bet. Do some research on the primary issue you are seeking therapy and see what comes up. If the person you call seems well versed in how to treat this issue or the current research, that is a good indicator.
Lastly, it’s important to remember that more than anything, the safety of the relationship you develop with this person is going to be your biggest tool on the road to the changes you want to make. A person could have all the credentials in the world, but if you don’t connect with them, therapy may not be effective. I’ve had clients who I wasn’t sure were going to be a good fit and once we found our groove in session we were able to make incredible progress.
If you have any questions about the therapeutic process or fit, please feel free to reach out and ask!