Entering into therapy can be a challenging, scary, and uncertain task. Picking a compatible therapist is an important key in the success of your therapy experience. The therapeutic relationship is essential to the benefits of therapy. So how do you go about picking out a therapist? Here are some suggestions:
1. Take some time talking on the phone with potential therapists. Connecting over the phone will give you a good indication of compatibility. Take notice of how it felt to talk with him or her.
2. Ask questions. Find out about the therapist’s modality of treatment, theoretical orientation, experience, and types of clients he or she has worked with. There is nothing wrong with interviewing a potential therapist!
3. Consider the gender. Take a moment to reflect what it would be like to enter into therapy with a therapist of the opposite gender or the same gender. If you feel that you won’t be able to disclose information to a therapist due to his or her gender, seek out a therapist you would be most comfortable with.
4. Ask for referrals. Word of mouth networking is powerful. Consider asking a friend, family member, or coworker for recommendations.
5. Look online. The internet offers a vast amount of resources. Check and see if a potential therapist has a website or Psychology Today page. These resources can offer you more information about the therapist and be a good indicator of the type of therapist he or she is.
Lastly, if you find that once you have entered into therapy and you don’t feel comfortable with the therapist, ask for a referral. It is in your best interest to feel safe, comfortable and confident with your therapist!