There’s been a strong transition over the past decade – particularly thanks to social media – towards open discourse on mental health. Thankfully, the stigma associated with therapy is finally starting to erode.
However, there is still one major, overwhelming hurdle that confronts most people once they’ve decided to seek for help: How to choose the right therapist.
Highlighted below are some tips to help you choose the ideal therapist:
Research, Research, Research
The word “therapist” is a general term which encompasses psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, as well as social workers, and each certification comes with different methods and skills.
Psychologists have completed their doctorate course and are licensed administrators of specific diagnostic tests.
They often focus their treatment on the human brain and how it can affect our behavior.
Psychiatrists are trained medical doctors that can treat mental illness.
Psychiatrists are actually the only therapists allowed to prescribe medications to their clients.
Counselors and social workers usually require a Masters degree to become licensed and often assist their clients with a more extensive range of mental health issues.
Here at Therapy Brooklyn we are trained mental health counselors who’ve had at least two years of graduate work developing direct clinical skills, supporting clients in understanding what brought them to therapy, developing goals, and offering empathic collaborative support. In addition to graduate school clinicians on staff have gained varied experience in such areas as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mindfulness Based Practices, Couples Therapy and Family Therapy.
Look For Experience
Do you seek therapy for a particular problem? Look for therapists with experience in that field.
Cancer patients, for instance, would consult an oncologist instead of an ophthalmologist; why should you treat your therapeutic experience any differently?
Today’s therapists specialize in various issues; allow experience to determine your unique fit.
Click here to check out our specialities.
Get Connected to What is Important to You
Take time and reflect what is important and a top priority in therapy. For example, how does the gender or race/culture of the clinician impact your decision? If you are a person of color seeking therapy would you want support from another person of color?
Location is another key factor. Is it important therapy is in your neighborhood or would you prefer to commute to your therapist?
Get In Touch
An excellent way to find the right therapist is by getting a recommendation or reference from a family member, friend, or doctor.
Once you have a handful of therapists that fit your criteria, contact them via phone or email and schedule a phone consultation. A phone consultation is a great way to get a window into who your therapist is, how they practice and to get all your initial questions answered. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.
First Session Check-In
Once you’ve chosen a therapist get clued in to how you feel in the room with them. Below are ways you can check in with yourself :
- Do you feel comfortable with them? What is informing your experience of comfort, what are the body sensations telling you?
- Are they honest, kind, and non-defensive?
- Are they eager to describe their approach, goals, strategies, expectations, and duration of treatment?
- Do you have a clear sense of how this therapist will support you?
- Was your therapist willing to answer your questions?
- Do you leave your sessions feeling empowered and hopeful?
- What does your gut feeling tell you?
Choosing the right therapist shouldn’t be a hasty decision. It often requires some time and deliberate effort.
If you’re uncomfortable around the therapist you’ve chosen, don’t hesitate to change them.
You may end up seeing a few before eventually finding the right therapist; it’s essential you continue searching until you feel accepted and understood.
Have any more questions about how to get started and how to find the right therapist? Reach out to us at email@example.com. We would be happy to help.