4 Tips for Choosing the Right Therapist

choosing-the-right-therapistYour mental health is something that deserves professional attention. It affects everything you do – from the way you think, to the way you feel, to the way you see the world. The longer you struggle with mental health symptoms, the longer you’re living a life that is missing out on some great adventures.

But while it’s important to seek outside help, it’s also important that you do not simply go with the first therapist you find near you. There are many differences between therapists and counselors, and your success involves choosing the right one for you.

How to Find a Therapist

1. Look for Specialties

Different therapists have more experience working with certain disorders and populations than others. Some will still accept your business, but in general you want to find someone that works with your target population, whether it’s the disorder (anxiety, depression, etc.) or the demographics (age, ethnicity, gender). Specialties and experience aren’t everything, but they can make a big difference in your comfort level and outcome.

2. Scope Out Multiple Therapists First

It’s very important that you also do your research before you even try your first therapist. It’s a good idea to make a long list of the therapists you find interesting and then narrow the list down later. This will help you create a plan. You can organize the therapists in the order you want to meet them, rather than picking one and only looking for another one if that one doesn’t wow you.

It’s healthy to have multiple backup plans in place if you don’t have anxiety. You never want to feel as though you’re putting all your eggs in one basket, and having a plan before you see your first therapist can help.

3. Be Willing to Walk Away

The first thing to realize is that if you don’t like your therapist, your therapist is less likely to be beneficial. While you should consider giving all of your psychologists a chance, you should still keep in mind that if you don’t feel that you’re connecting with the person, you should move on.

You need to remember that you’re not there to make the therapist happy. The therapist is there to help you. If you don’t feel confident with that individual then find someone you are comfortable with before committing.

4. Make Sure You Can Commit

Earlier we mentioned the willingness to walk away as an important part of choosing a successful therapist. Once you’ve found one though, you need to be able to commit to him/her through good times and bad. That means that you need to ensure that you can commit, and that nothing will come up as an “excuse” to stop seeing them.

Make sure that the therapist isn’t too far away or too expensive. Make sure that they fit with your insurance and that they have hours available you’ll be able to reach. Once you’ve decided you’re ready to work with a particular therapist you need to stick with them, and the only way to do that is to know ahead of time that you’ll be able to utilize their services in the short and long term.

Committing to Better Mental Health

Anyone that feels they’re struggling with their mental health can benefit from seeing someone that is trained to provide psychological services. But that doesn’t mean that any and all therapists are created equal. Make sure that you take the time to make a smart decision when it comes to picking your next therapist, and you’ll be far better off for it in the long run.

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