It is very important to find a therapist with whom you will feel comfortable. Keep in mind that you might talk about uncomfortable subjects or share things you have never discussed with anyone else. You want to work with someone that you can open up to and take advice from. The numerous choices and options available to choose a therapist may often feel overwhelming. Looking through pictures and biographies or internet searches can become very daunting.
No worries, P.E.A.C.E. of Mind is here to help! Ask yourself these basic questions:
1. Is this person a good match for me?
While a therapist may have great credentials and skills, there needs to be a connection between you and your therapist. (You won’t openly share if you feel judged.)
2. Is there a therapeutic alliance?
There needs to be a bond established between the therapist and the patient. There must be a mutual agreement on the goals of therapy and the methods used to achieve those goals. (Good communication and willingness from both parties go a long ways when working together.)
3. Consider who you think you may work best with.
Gender - Will you feel more comfortable with a male or female?
Age - Do you prefer to work with someone closer to your own age, older, or younger?
Religion - Does the religious affiliation of your therapist matter to you?
Remember making a connection is essential to producing positive results in therapy!
4. What credentials and values do they hold?
Therapists often have tons of initials after their names and it can become very confusing. You should familiarize yourself with those most commonly used:
(i.e., LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker, LMFT - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, NCC- National Certified Counselor,
LCDC- Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor.) There are several more which you can find with a quick online search.
5. Ask questions.
Some therapists offer free consultations over the phone. This can allow you to ask any questions and lets you get to know the person a little better. During the consultation, ask questions about how they help people looking to overcome issues similar to yours and the goals set for them. Inquire about treatment plans and how they integrate new patients.
Not every therapist will be a perfect fit. Sometimes you’ll have to go through a few consults until you find the right fit for you. Be patient with yourself and the process. Give yourself freedom to explore and you will find what/ who you are looking for. Take the first step today!
but you don't have to go through it alone.