Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to go to therapy. It’s a big decision but now you have another equally important decision to make – what therapist are you going to choose? About two years ago, I made the decision to go to therapy. However, it took me some time, about a year and a half, to find a therapist that worked for me and helped me address my needs. In fact, it wasn’t until the third therapist that I spoke to that I found the right therapist for me. I tried out each therapist for at least 3 sessions before deciding to move onto another. Though it took me some time to find the right therapist, I learned that everyone can benefit from therapy. Once, I found the right therapist, I began to make significant progress with my mental health and gained some tools to help me address some issues. I encourage you to keep trying out different therapists if you know that you need that kind of help.
Before you start your search you want to take some time to think about what issues you want to have addressed in therapy. What goals do you want to accomplish through therapy? This is important because you’ll want to know if your potential therapist can help you address your issue. Once you have a clear goal or set of goals, you’ll want to have a list of questions to ask as you interview potential therapists. You can use the search finder on psychology today to look for therapists in your area. Aside from the typical questions about health insurance and office hours, below are some other questions for you to consider asking during your search.
- What are your strengths and limitations as a counselor?
- What is your general philosophy and approach to helping your clients?
- What are your religious beliefs? Do you use them in your approach to helping your clients?
- How often would you anticipate seeing me? For how long?
- How do you set up counseling goals? What are they like? What does success look like for you?
- What is a typical session like?
- Do you give your clients homework assignments? What kind of homework/reading do you give patients?
- How do I prepare for my first session?
- How will we assess my progress?
- My problem is _______. How would you go about treating that?
- How can you help me and have you helped others like me or with this difficulty?
We hope these questions will give you the information and the insight that you need to choose the best therapist for you. No matter how long it takes, stick it out, the right therapist is out there for you and you will find them.
What are some other questions that you are going to ask when looking for a therapist? How long did it take you to find the right therapist for you? Share your stories and let us know in the comments below!