Choosing a therapist can sometimes be one of the hardest and most time-consuming tasks a client goes through. However, once you find the therapist that's a right fit for you it's going to be smooth sailing from there. Or at least that's the goal. Here are some tips below to help you find the therapist that's right for you:
Does the therapist offer a consultation? These don't have to be long but long enough for you two to feel one another out to determine if you're a fit or not. I strongly suggest you visit their website or other platforms to see what they offer, rates, and their style of therapy and write down any questions you may have. The conversation should give you a feel of how your therapist will be during the session. Check for tone and see if they are inviting or not.
Do They Offer More Than Just Face to Face
The conventional (old school) form of therapy is to meet in the therapist's office. However in this day, due to busy schedule's and other demands, face to face isn't always the most convenient. Make sure you're confirming with your therapist they offer other methods of contact if this may be better for you. If you know that sometimes you can't make it to the office check to see if your therapist has online or phone counseling. For some face to face is their best and only option (I prefer face to face) but even the weather can have an effect on that. I'm not saying if the therapist only has face to face to move on. What I'm saying is if you know you want more than just the conventional method of therapy make sure other options are offered prior to entering a relationship with your therapist that you may have to end due to this reason.
Do They Accept Insurance Does the therapist accept insurance? If so do they accept yours, in particular? If you find they do not accept your particular insurance do inquire about out of networks (OON) benefits.
Knowing what your therapists hours/availability/flexibility is will help you out in the long run. If your therapist is only in the office one day a week and you know you may need more/other days talk it over to see if they are flexible or not. Or check for other therapy methods of contact as discussed above.
Such a touchy topic for some because credentials matter. Therapists come with all sorts of credentials so make sure, if you don't understand, you ask your therapist what their credentials/title means if that's an important factor for you. Therapists can range from interns to Ph.D.'s depending on their level of education. But don't let that fool you! Some may only have an entry-level credential with over 20 years of experience.
Make sure your therapist is authentic with you as you do the same with them. Just because they are a therapist doesn't mean they are not human. No one is perfect! If your therapist doesn't understand something and asks you to explain-- please don't condemn them for not knowing.
Your therapist should be professional with you AT ALL TIMES! Showing up late or canceling on you at the last minute is never an option. Your time is extremely valuable and that should be a mutual foundation.
I'm going to end this post here so that you're not overwhelmed. However, if there's something I did not cover that you need more information on please send me an email or leave a comment below.