I know it might sound a little wild but finding a therapist is a lot like dating. Think about it: you go through the classic online searches and scrolls, you ask your peers if they have anyone in mind, and you spend a considerable amount of time and money getting to know potential prospects in the hopes that something clicks.
“Therapy can be an important investment in your mental health. Finding the right therapist will benefit you immeasurably for life.”
If you have felt like the journey to find “the one” has been overwhelming and seemingly impossible, you are not alone. We are given so many narratives of what it means to There are plenty of things that do not work when finding a therapist. However there are some great things that do! Below are three tips to help you find that match for you:
Knowing what to look for in a therapist can feel never ending. Let’s narrow it down!
1.) Get clear about what you are hoping to find in therapy.
There are many different types of therapy to choose from and some may not work for your needs. Even if your friend swears by their therapist, your needs may be different. It’s important to ask yourself questions before getting out there to search.
These questions can sound like:
- What trauma am I needing to heal? Whats my reasoning for seeking therapy?
- What kinds of therapy are helpful to that healing?
- Am I in a place where I can accept hard truths about myself?
Bottom line here is that we know ourselves well enough to know when something feels off. It’s important to take time to process these feelings and experiences as you start your search. Use this time for self reflection and make a list of needs!
Your needs are important to your healing
2.) Search for a therapist based on your area of need.
Now that you have answered those harder personal questions, it’s time to start your search. Begin by researching clinicians in your area and narrow down a few that look promising and call to set up a few consultations.
Here are some helpful links to reference in your search:
Helpful Hint: Remember the dating rule
It’s okay to date around here! Make a few appointments with different people, schedule a second if you feel comfortable. At the end of the day, it’s more about how you feel about them than how you think they are viewing you. Ask about their practices, their training and be clear with them about what you’re expecting from your experience.
Look for a therapist, not just therapy
3.) Understanding that therapy is not a one size fits all
Hard to believe, but not every therapist will work for you. Like dating, you may think they are nice to talk to but if they are not able to provide what you are needing in order to grow, it’s okay to move on. It can be a timely process so remember to be patient and understanding with yourself and others as you navigate this journey.
Once you find a therapist that clicks with you, it’s time for the harder work to begin. Therapy is not the end of a healing journey but the very beginning. It won’t always feel good and it can be hard to hear what your therapist has to say.
Maybe framing it this way will be helpful:
“You don’t go to therapy, you go to a therapist. Ultimately, it is not the manual used treatment that will be helpful and meaningful to you, it will be a specific person who has walked through this journey with you.”
The goal of therapy is to walk away knowing you have taken the proper steps to care for your mental health. Finding a therapist that aims to guide you in that journey, makes all the difference.