The importance of a good therapist is undeniable. A good therapist makes it easier to open up and share uncomfortable subjects. A good listener is an important attribute to seek in a therapist and with so many choices out there, finding the best one can seem a little daunting. But don’t’ worry! You’ve come to the right place. We’ve come up with this brief, comprehensive guide to help you find the best therapist in town!
We understand that looking through an online catalogue with hundreds of therapists feels overwhelming, and how exactly can you expect someone to be a good match based on their picture and bio? In today’s time, when therapy can be done online as well, the whole process seems more overwhelming. How exactly do you find a good fit? And why exactly should they be a good match for you? We’re going to answer all these questions in detail and help you find a good fit in no time! So let’s get started.
Do you really need to connect with your therapist?
Not every great therapist will make you feel connected to them. They may have sufficient experience and good skills, but that certainly doesn’t mean they’ll be able to help you effectively. Someone who has made a great difference in someone else’s life, might not be able to help you if you don’t feel a connection to them. Opening up is a daunting process and being completely honest with your feelings and thoughts that make you uncomfortable is exactly what therapy is about – and only a good connection can make you do that.
Let’s say you don’t connect well with your therapist and you’re afraid they may judge you. Chances are, you’re not going to share your ugly thoughts or hidden feelings openly with them, and so they might not be able to get to the root cause of your issues and you might not find the help and information you need to deal with those issues. The basic rule of therapy is that a patient and a therapist should like one another if they want to work together.
The relationship between a therapist and a patient determines the outcome of the treatment. When a patient feels supported and heard by their therapist, they’re more likely to contribute to the treatment and change their lives willingly. This is where the therapist is encouraged to ensure a patient feels safe and open to good communication with any issues or problems they might be facing in life. It plays a critical role in the entire process.
All these letters next to the names are confusing, what do they mean?
You don’t need to be an expert to understand what those credentials mean. Do licensing and credentials matter? The therapist you choose must be a licensed professional following a set code of ethics. Please note that life coaching is different from therapy and life coaches are not encouraged by a governing board to have a particular degree.
But when it comes to therapists, there are several different kinds of therapists available to help you in certain areas, for instance:
- A marriage and family therapist will help you treat deep-rooted issues pertaining to family and marriage.
- A clinical social worker focuses on treating emotional, mental and behavioural
- A chemical dependency counsellor is someone who will help people deal with addiction and substance abuse.
- A Professional Counselor will help people identify and focus on their mental health, career goals and wellness in the workplace.
- A National Certified Counselor is a nationally licensed professional counsellor who is able to help people with their counselling services in a certain state.
These credentials next to your therapist’s name are proof of the approval given to them by the government to offer services.
How to know someone is the right fit for you?
Finding someone who will work well with you is important. Many factors come into play when deciding the kind of therapist you’d be most comfortable choosing. Gender, age, religion to name a few. Will you be more comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings with a man or a woman? Does age matter to you? Are you willing to work with someone older, younger, or the same age as you? Do you want your therapist to belong to a certain religion? It’s totally up to you to decide the kind of therapist you’re more willing to open yourself up to.
And it’s normal to not have a preference at all as well. You may be able to discover new things about yourself and the therapist as you go along the way. You just need to find some sort of middle ground or something to relate to with your therapist, so scheduling an appointment to get to know one another can be quite helpful.
Usually, when you contact any therapist’s office, you’ll be asked to fill out a questionnaire where you have to provide basic information on the topics you want to discuss in therapy like substance abuse, depression, anxiety, trauma, etc. Then they will offer a list of therapists specialized in treating those issues to help you choose one accordingly.
What should I ask my potential therapist?
Forming a good relationship with your therapist requires them to show empathy, warmth and genuineness on their part. So take this chance to talk to your therapist and analyze their responses. You can have a brief consultation over the phone or schedule a first appointment. Either way, you’ll know the person better before making any decision.
To get to know them better, find more about their background, expertise, training and experience. Ask them these questions to understand them better:
- Are you licensed?
- What kind of therapy are you trained in?
- What treatment orientation do you conceptualize?
- How many patients have you treated and how many of them are living a much healthier and happier life now?
- What do you charge per session?
- Do you stay up to date with your research on treatments and illnesses?
- Will this be long-term therapy?
Once you find the answers to all these questions and feel comfortable with their responses, you can go ahead and start your therapy sessions. You can connect with them online via Windstream Kinetic internet and never lose an opportunity to unwind even with a busy day or schedule a face-to-face appointment.
Wrapping it up
Finding the right therapist is daunting and investing your money and time seems overwhelming. So, it’s always important to do your research beforehand and find one that is going to meet your needs. Follow these basic steps and narrow down the list you have in your mind, along the way.