Choosing a Psychotherapist
Choosing a psychotherapist is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. The client-therapist relationship is founded on mutual trust and respect, so it’s essential that you find a psychologist with whom you feel a sense of rapport and comfort. You should also select a practitioner with extensive experience treating the issues that are bringing you to therapy. Your counselor will be your partner in helping you realize your potential and achieve the happiness and fulfillment you deserve, so make sure you select someone who is suited to the task.
No therapist can be a perfect fit for every client, so Andy has put together some suggestions on how to choose the therapist that’s right for you.
1. Start by asking for recommendations from people you know and trust.
Reach out to your family and friends. Ask your physician or another health professional. Inquire at your church or synagogue. If these inquiries don’t pan out, try calling your state psychological association or local community mental health center.
2. Once you have several candidates, visit their websites.
Is their office conveniently located? Do they accept your insurance? What kind of training and credentials do they have?
3. Schedule appointments with two or three of the leading candidates so you have a basis for comparison.
Ask about their education, training and professional credentials. What fees do they charge? What kinds of treatments do they employ? Then, be sure to ask these three important questions:
- How did you get into the field?
- How much experience do you have in working with people facing challenges like mine?
- Have you ever been in therapy yourself?
You might feel strange asking the third question, but the truth is that the best therapists are those who have been in therapy themselves. After all, how can anyone know what good therapy looks and feels like if they have never experienced it?
4. Pay close attention to how you feel during and after each interview.
Carefully evaluate all of the information each therapist shared with you and then let your instincts be your guide. Choose the therapist with whom you feel most comfortable and at ease.
5. Once you’ve made your selection, you’ll need to establish clear goals.
Are you primarily seeking perspective and support? Or are you looking to make specific changes in your life? You and your therapist should work in close collaboration to meet your goals.
Remember, certain goals require more time to achieve than others. You and your therapist should decide how soon you can expect to see progress. When you begin to feel relief or hope, it can be a positive sign that you are starting to reap meaningful benefits from your investment in psychotherapy.
Would you like to learn more about me and my practice?
I am accepting new patients in my Clinical Psychology practice. Read more to discover if I am the right Psychologist for your needs.