Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What to Look for in A Therapist

Yesterday I was asked about looking for a therapist.  Most of the time therapists are found by word-of-mouth.  In addition, location narrows choices as well.  It's likely that you are looking for a therapist within a convenient driving distance. That being said, these are some things everyone should consider. 

1. The very first phone call is SO important.  

Be aware of how you feel whether you leave a message or speak to the therapist. 
Do you feel as though you are being rushed off the phone or pushed to make an appointment?  
Does the therapist seem interested and do you sense he/she is really listening to you? 
Do they immediately talk about their fees?

2. You have the right to interview the therapist.  
Have a list of questions ready such as, 
Do you have experience working with this type of problem?  Note the tone of their voice. How do they respond? Do they some across as confident or tentative? 
How soon can I make an appointment? 
Do you have a website? 
You will want to be the one to talk about fees. Do they offer sliding scales or take insurance? What is their policy and how does this work? 
Think of other questions that might be important to you and be sure to bring them up.  

3. Give the therapy a chance. 
Some people feel comfortable during the first session, others take a little more time.  However, if you feel at any time, a violation of any sort, do not feel required to continue.

The therapist you want is one who creates a safe 'holding' space and really wants to get to know you.  In the end, the number one influence for successful therapy is the relationship you and your therapist create.

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