Finding The Right Therapist For You
Finding a new therapist can be a difficult process, and one we support our clients in often. The field of psychotherapy and counseling is filled with an array of professionals with unique specializations, skills, and services. Navigating finding, booking, and connecting with a therapist while searching for the best fit may feel overwhelming. Below are questions and considerations LifeTutors coaches use to support our clients in creating a lasting connection with a new provider.
Do you prefer online or in-person services?
Traditional therapy typically provides support face-to-face with a licensed professional at their office once per week. Within the past two years many providers have chosen to provide remote services only. While distance, scheduling and transportation may make online services necessary, sessions taking place in a neutral location can be beneficial and some therapy (art, music) requires direct support.
Personality Fit, Specific Life Stages or Cultural Background
Many of our clients have preferences for specific qualities or traits in a therapist based on personality, their age/ stage in life, or how they identify socio-culturally. How important is it to you to work with someone similar to you in any or all of these areas? Would you be comfortable talking about private matters with someone of a different background? Exploring these answers is key to a lasting therapeutic relationship.
Which issues do you want to address?
Look for providers with experience with them in addition to a strong personality fit. For example, if your issues are related to substance use, we would highly recommend your provider have experience in the recovery process. Are there any specializations you are interested in, such as trauma-informed, DBT, or art therapy? Learning about different types of therapy and what appeals to you is an important part of your wellness journey.
Once you’ve got a clear idea of who you’re looking for, you can begin to use resources to locate providers who align with your needs. Research online and ask professionals you know. Look at a potential provider’s website, reviews, and social media and note what resonates with you. Psychology Today is an excellent resource, with filters for insurance, alignment, diagnosis, issues, pay rate, availability, and more.
Consultations– Book one!
Many clinicians offer a free 15 minute consultation. A brief introduction can be a helpful way to get a feel for a connection and ask questions that are important to you.
Make the most of 15 minutes- give the therapist a quick synopsis of what you’re looking for (I’m __ years old, diagnosed with or feelings of __, looking for someone to help me work on __). If you have questions, have them ready and prioritized in order of importance. Some questions you might have include:
- What are your fees?
- Do you accept my insurance? (Have your insurance card handy)
- What do your credentials mean for me?
- Do you have experience working with people who have concerns like mine?
- How do you approach helping people?
- Do you make treatment plans? If so, will you share mine with me?
- How do the sessions work with you? (How long is each appointment? What will we do?)
- How long might I be working with you? (How many sessions do people have with you?)
While there are as many factors in an ideal match as there are providers, with enough consideration it is highly probable to find a therapist who is right for you.
LifeTutors works together with providers to create a transparent and clinically informed circle of care. If locating a new therapist is one of your goals, we can help. To find out more, call us at 828-417-7122.
American Psychological Association. (2019). How to choose a psychologist. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/topics/choose-therapist
Hartman, R. (n.d.). What makes a good therapist? 10 essential qualities to look for. Harley Therapy. Retrieved from https://www.harleytherapy.co.uk/counselling/what-makes-a-good-therapist.htm
American Psychological Association. (2009). How psychotherapy works. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2009/12/wampold