If you’re anything like me you probably started your search for a therapist online. You may have typed “how do I find a therapist in Thousand Oaks, California” or “who is best therapist for postpartum depression and anxiety in the Conejo Valley” into the search bar and been inundated with results to weed through. While this is a great place to start you may end up asking yourself, “how do I pick!?”
So, to help you choose the right therapist here is a list of the top five things you should look for when choosing the therapist that’s right for you.
1. Will they fit your concrete needs?
Before establishing an emotional connection to your search results, make sure that the therapist you’ve chosen fits your concrete needs. Do they offer office hours within your schedule and are they accepting new patients? Are they located in your desired geographic location? Do they take insurance or can you afford their fees?
2. Do they specialize in treating your needs?
While all licensed therapists and counselors (double check their credentials) are trained to treat most mental health disorders, some seek out additional training specifically to treat certain populations. For example, if you are searching for a therapist to work with your anxious child, ensure that the therapist you are looking at regularly works with this population. You should be able to find most of this information online either through their Psychology Today profile or on their individual website. You can also ask family and friends if they have heard of the clinician and get personal referrals as well.
3. Do they offer a consultation?
Finding a therapist can sometimes feel like online dating, so many therapists will offer a complimentary consultation to ensure that it’s the right fit. This is your chance to ask questions about the therapist’s qualifications to help your and your family. Come prepared with what goals you have for therapy and also questions about their approach and their office practices.
4. Does their philosophy and approach to helping align with yours?
A good therapist doesn’t solve your problems, instead they help you learn how to solve your own. Therapists have many different styles and modalities they utilize in their work. In your consultation make sure that the therapists’ philosophy and approach to helping feels congruent with your personality by asking questions about their process and approach to problem solving.
5. Do you feel comfortable?
Your relationship with your therapist is central to the work you are doing and therefore you have to like them. Your therapist should provide a safe, non-judgmental space for you to achieve your goals and work through your uncomfortable feelings. Pay attention to how you feel during the consultation, check in with yourself and make sure that you can see yourself working with the therapist.
Hopefully this list will help you find the therapist that’s right for you. If you think I could be a good fit schedule your free consultation today.