Updated: Mar 24
You may have been struggling for a while before deciding to attend therapy, making the task of finding a therapist twice as difficult. In this article, I will attempt to make the process a lot easier.
Having an idea of what is going on for you and attempting to put it in your own words can be one way of starting. Not being able to do this can also be really telling, it can sometimes mean that your current problem has completely snowed you in, and as a result, you are struggling to find words to describe it.
For your next step, make a list of any concerns that you have about attending therapy. This may include how you plan on paying for therapy, being worried about the distance of your home to a counselling service, and even doubts about the suitability of therapy.
For some people, getting recommendations from family and friends can be a viable option. They can either refer you to their therapist or if you are like me and the thought of sharing a therapist makes you squeamish, you can simply focus on any advice they have to offer about the process. Find out what they think is important to have in a therapist, and see if they can address any of your concerns. Your family members and friends can also ask their therapists for a referral list.
Another method of finding a therapist is looking around online, a google search of keywords such as “Therapist”, “Counsellor”, or “Psychologist”, in your local area may help you locate a therapist near you. You can also use Psychology Today (a directory of professionals in the mental health field) to find a therapist. At this stage, you want to focus on what the therapists tell you about their qualifications, experiences, philosophies, and see if this addresses your concerns.
Create a list of things that are now important to you and use it to narrow down the therapists available to you. From the list, choose the therapist that addresses your concerns and you feel might be able to help. If you are still feeling unsure, email the therapist before booking an initial consultation and ask them any further questions.
Remember, finding the best therapist for you may not be straightforward. So, do not be feel like you have to stay with the first therapist. It is important that you feel connected to your therapist. Therefore, do not be afraid to shop around.
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