A Beginner’s Guide to Finding the Right Therapist
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How Important is it to Find the Right Therapist?
There are many highly qualified therapists out there who can provide you with guidance and help with a variety of mental health conditions, but not all of them will be the right professional for you to work with. Not each one will have the right specialty or training, and if you are looking for something like somatic therapy, then this can be very important.
Searching around for the right therapist will make a world of difference in whether you find the one who can help you get the work done and feel your very best. Some of the tips that you can follow in finding the right therapist for your needs include:
Ask Family and Friends
If you have anyone in your inner circle who is in therapy, a good place to start is to ask them how they like their current therapist. Try to get them to provide an honest referral that will help you out.
It is not uncommon for someone to start seeing a therapist and then they will continue on with that therapist, even if they do not like that professional. They will do that because they don’t want to hurt the feelings of the therapist or they don’t want to start over again with someone new.
Even if your inner circle doesn’t like their therapist that much or they feel that the therapist would not be a good match for you, they may be able to ask for some recommendations that can help with some of the unique needs that you want to work with.
Many of the therapists you would like to work with will have a website or even a listing in a local provider’s directory. This makes it easier for you to shop around and find someone who will be able to help you out. You can learn a little more about the therapist before you even contact them, while also taking a look at some of the reviews that their clients have posted.
Most therapists will include information on their website that can help you understand if they are the right fit for you. You can ask about their meeting times, availability, specialties, and more. All of this information will help you determine whether scheduling an appointment is right for you or not.
Ask About Their Treatment Approach
Some therapists will use a treatment method or work on philosophies that are just not the best for you. It can be difficult to know the exact theory that the therapist will use until you have a chance to meet that person and go through a few sessions, but you want to pay attention to this to determine whether you will continue to work with that professional or not.
While there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong theory to follow, there can be a right and wrong theory for you. There are a lot of different theories and many therapists will work with more than one, allowing them to adjust their approach to the specific needs of their patients. But asking and learning more can help you find the therapist who is right for you.
Ask About Their Schooling
It is not necessary for your therapist to have gone to Harvard or a big school. But it is still a good idea to learn more about the schooling of your therapist before you decide to use them on your mental health.
The biggest thing to consider here is whether the therapist actually has a degree, rather than a coaching certification from an online program. When you are working on your mental health, you need to make sure that you choose someone who has the right skills and experience and this comes from an actual college, not an online coaching course.
Ask About the Specialty
Some therapists are going to specialize in helping out those who have symptoms of depression, or PTSD while others will help more with family issues or social anxiety. It is not uncommon for a therapist to specialize in more than one thing. The goal here is to find someone who doesn’t make big claims that they specialize in everything.
There are too many areas of therapy for this. Most therapists will have a niche that they are very good at, or maybe two or three, to help them become experts in helping out others in these areas. Always check that the therapist is familiar with your area of concern as well to ensure you get the help that you need.
Check the Licensing of the Therapist
Each state will have its own regulations on what it means to be a counselor or a therapist. You want to go with a therapist who has the right licensing to practice in your state. Many people don’t know this, but you are able to also check the licensing credentials through the state website or by typing in the name of the therapist and where they practice.
If you search for licensing credentials in your state, you should stumble across a website that is for your specific state and a list of all the therapists in your area. While a professional can call themselves a counselor or a therapist with just a Bachelor’s degree, it is often best to go with someone who has a Master’s degree.
Finding the Right Therapist for Your Needs
Overall, your goal should be to pay attention to your gut. You need to feel some level of comfort when talking to a therapist. Never pick someone who is constantly making you feel like you do something wrong because they are supposed to be there to help you feel better.
There are many mental health conditions that you can utilize a therapist to help out with. Finding the right therapist will be able to answer your questions and walk you through some of the tough stuff that happens in life. Utilize some of the tips above to help you find the right therapist for your needs.
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