Many times people struggle with problems in life and are able to work through them on their own. However, when a problem has limited your choices in life and you can’t resolve it yourself, it may be time to seek help.
Maybe your struggle is anxiety. Maybe it is panic attacks. Maybe you feel like you are not good enough or are not able to achieve work related goals. Maybe the relationships in your life are not going the way that you would like. Maybe you have put off that vacation because the thought of getting on an airplane is just too scary.
So you have decided it is time to get help.
There is certainly no shortage of therapists.
But how do you find a good therapist, a therapist who is a good fit for you and can help you with your problem?
Where do you start?
When looking for any kind service provider, whether it be an auto mechanic, hairstylist, or accountant, the first thing many people do is ask friends and family for referrals.
However, since many people who see a therapist prefer to keep it private, it may be hard to get referrals the way they do for most other services. Also, since therapists specialize in different areas, what works for one person may not for another.
In this day of the internet, you can start googling key words that relate to your issue. For example, anxiety treatment, panic attack treatment or help to overcome fear of public speaking. Once you have found some prospective therapists, you should call several and consider the following when you speak with them:
1 - Does the therapist offer a free consultation? It is extremely important to feel comfortable with the therapist with whom you choose to work. A free consultation will provide you with some time to get a feel for the therapist and whether you would feel comfortable working with this person. Does the therapist seem warm, caring and nonjudgmental? Is she listening to what you are saying? Trust your gut response.
2 - What experience does the therapist have in treating your area of concern? Is this one of many problems the therapist treats or is it her speciality? It is hard to specialize in everything.
3 - What training or credentials does the therapist have? Ask the therapist about her degree and any specialized training she has. Would you prefer to work with the person who has completed many years of training in a particular area or the person who completed an online weekend training?
4 - Ask how the therapist would help with your issue. There are different modalities that therapists use to help people. Many therapists use a combination of several approaches. Ask the therapist what she uses and how will it help you get relief from your problem.
5 - Do you feel like the therapist “gets” your problem?
Finding the right therapist for you is worth the time and effort.
You want to make sure you connect and feel comfortable working with the therapist that you choose.