Searching for a therapist can be a daunting experience. There are many therapists out there, with all sorts of credentials and backgrounds. It can make your head spin.
The good news is that research has shown that there is one factor above all others that determines whether or not your therapy will be successful – the quality of the therapeutic relationship. In other words, how comfortable, safe and connected do you feel to your therapist. It’s more important than degrees, credentials, modalities and years of experience.
So, what do you do? Make a list! Ask for referrals from trusted family, friends and other professionals like doctors and massage therapists. Search in google for things like “therapist near me,” “marriage counseling near me,” and look on therapist finder sites like Psychology Today or Good Therapy,
Make a short list of 10 therapists. Now, go to their websites, cyber-stalk them! If they have a photo, see how you respond, in your body, not just what you think about them. Do you like what they say? Is there a video? Check out Yelp and Google reviews. Remember you’re trying to guess how warm they are, are they someone you would like to hang out with, get to know more?
Now, bring that list down to 3. And make the call. Often therapists will have free consultations, but not all of them, and you shouldn’t exclude those that don’t. But all should be willing to talk. Ask them about what they think makes therapy work. And as they talk to you, see how you feel. Are you relaxed, excited, eager? Or are you bored, or worse yet, guarded?
Pick the one you feel most comfortable with, and give it a shot. The first session in my practice is always a test run, where we both get a chance to see if this feels good. So, just because you start with someone does not mean there is any commitment. You control that.
Best of luck, and if I can help, don’t hesitate to reach out!