Finding the right therapist for your needs can be a bit like finding any other specialist, but there are a few things that go into it that can make the search complex. A therapist is there to help you with mental or emotional needs, and it is a good idea to make sure that you’re getting the right kind of assistance to meet whatever goals you have.
In the increasingly digital world, online reviews are commonplace for just about any profession or business you can imagine. If a therapist has a practice that has been around for at least a couple of years, the chances are good that one or two former clients have left notes about their experiences for others to check out as needed. According to Podium, over 90% of patients use online reviews before choosing a doctor. These interactions can give you clues to the habits or relative effectiveness of the therapist in question and help you make your decision.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Health, getting in touch with anyone you know who might have used a therapist’s services before can be a great way to find one that works for you. Some of your friends or family members may be in therapy already and open about their experiences. In addition, therapists tend to have a solid network of colleagues that you can use as a way to start gathering the names of different professionals who might be able to assist you with your issues. People who know you and are aware of what you are going through may be able to gauge how well any therapists they know can help you.
If you have a list of therapists you want to talk to, you might sit on their numbers for weeks before you do anything. However, there is no harm in calling them up even before agreeing to any formal appointments. Most therapists are happy to answer some of the common questions prospective clients might have. Some people like to get a general feel for their approaches to counseling before committing to a meeting.
Many people check a therapist’s background or training and assume that it is good enough. Dr. Jane Karges for instance, a well-established psychologist and addiction recovery coach recommends doing detailed background research. Navigating the sometimes tumultuous waters of the human mind is not always simple, and it is easy to feel that we should trust what the training says. However, there are multiple ways to get a handle on what kind of therapist you’ll be getting and the likelihood that any of their strategies might help you get to where you need to be.
Here’s another article you might like: I’m Going to Therapy, so Why Isn’t My Mental Health Getting Any Better?