How to find the right therapist

When it comes to finding the right therapist, there can be many things to take into consideration. It can initially feel overwhelming going through a directory of many names and faces, each one describing how they can help, sometimes in very simple terms, and other times in terms you may not quite understand.

This is absolutely no fault of your own; sometimes there is an unknown language, regularly used within the world of psychotherapy, but if you are a regular person looking into therapy like I once was, a lot of these terms may not mean much to you, particularly when you have never experienced any type of therapy before. This might seem overwhelming, but please do not let that deter you from reaching out for the help that you need.

There are many ways therapists are trained to work, with different theories underpinning how they might work with you. However, ultimately this will not determine whether they are the right therapist for you.

If you are quite well acquainted with therapy and the different types available out there, you might have it in your mind that you are focused on one particular approach. I would suggest that it's always good to keep an open mind and to not let theories and approaches become a distraction. What will matter is if you can build a good connection or working alliance with your therapist.

Research suggests that the most important aspect of having a good outcome of therapy is the relationship you are able to build with your therapist. What will be really important is that you feel confident in sharing and exploring your thoughts and feelings, without the fear of being judged.

When you are trying to find the right therapist, you can gage a fair amount by reading a therapist's directory entry, their website, and if they are the writer of any articles. This will give you a sense of who they are, how they work, and whether you think they could be the therapist for you.

Exploring whether you are the right fit doesn’t have to end there. You can make contact by email or over the phone to see if you and the therapist is the right fit. Don’t be afraid to ask questions - there is no such thing as a silly question, and it's important you get to ask anything that may be worrying or concerning you.

It can be tempting to only think of the practicalities of seeing a therapist, such as who has the lowest fee, which therapist is the closest, and these are things to consider, but I don’t believe they should be the deciding factor on how you choose your therapist. In most scenarios, cheaper does not always mean better; it doesn’t necessarily mean worse either, it just means cheaper.

I would suggest that the quality of the therapist and the service they are providing, making sure they are the right fit for you, would be a good place to start.

From my own experience, what I have discovered is that just because they tick some of the boxes on paper doesn’t mean that you when you are in the room together that you the right fit. 

The therapy space is a place that you need to feel comfortable, particularly as there might be times when you are out of your comfort zone, so your environment matters. The space should a relaxed confidential setting, comfortable and conducive to therapy.

Don’t be afraid to make contact with one more than one therapist - it’s OK to change your mind and find what works best for you.

Best of luck with your search.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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