Things To Look For In Finding A Great Therapist
Looking into the personality of a potential therapist is one of the most important things you can do before bringing them into your life. While having a doctor or dentist you have met once is nice, it’s not enough!
Finding a great therapist isn’t just about knowing what kind of person they are, but also if they seem to care about how people feel and whether they want to help others. They must be able to relate to you and your issues with sincerity and understanding.
It is totally normal to be skeptical at first, but don’t let that stop you from being open and trying to find someone who makes you feel comfortable. You deserve this quality of therapy!
Final thought: Don’t hesitate to ask questions, these therapists will likely spend time talking to you so try to look up some reviews and see what people had to say.
Writing down any problems you're experiencing and asking about their past success cases as well as what doesn't work can help you make an informed decision.
Be truthful about your mental health
As mentioned before, finding the right therapist can be tricky. You don’t want to find yourself not feeling comfortable with this person you hope will help you deal with your emotional issues. So, make sure that everything you tell them is completely honest and true!
Be as open and honest about how you feel as possible. Don’t keep anything from your therapist unless you are certain they will accept it.
It is very common to worry what kind of doctor someone will think of you if you mention some symptoms. But there is no need to worry about that here. Your doctor-patient relationship should be an intimate one, which makes it much easier to be totally honest.
Never assume your therapist knows something like this though. If you notice any signs or symptoms of depression or anxiety, ask whether these are things he/she has seen before!
Your therapist does not have to know you well when you first start seeing him/her, but it is good to have at least a few sessions under your belt before you consider him/her trustworthy.
Therapy should include both you and your therapist working on treatment
It is very important that you feel comfortable with your therapist before starting any type of therapy. You will need this confidence as you pursue recovery and beyond!
Therapy can be expensive, which is another reason to make sure that you like your therapist before investing in treatments together.
Making changes to medication or nutrition regimens are part of most anyone’s health journey, so it is not too difficult to find someone who can help you along those routes.
But changing how you relate to other people is more than just prescribing new medications or supplements — it requires professional skills that only someone else can offer.
Finding the right person for mental health counseling shouldn’t be an easy task, but once you do, you'll have what matters most in healing.
Make an appointment as soon as you feel ready
It is important to make your first visit as quick as possible so that you can get some sense of if this therapist is for you. You do not want to spend too much time with your new therapist unless you are confident that they will be working out long term!
It is also important to remember that your mental health depends on you being able to work effectively with yourself, and therefore it is crucial to trust your initial gut feeling about someone else’s ability to help you achieve this.
If you are ever worried or concerned about what the other person says, doesn’t say, or asks of you, then think again and look at their success rate with similar-type people before dismissing them completely.
Your subconscious mind makes causal links between things and people, which means that even if someone seems like the ‘normal’ sort of person, you may still have doubts about how well they would respond to certain situations.
Therapy can be expensive
Finding a good therapist is not cheap, nor is it easy! It will take some time to find someone that you feel comfortable with and who helps you work through issues.
Therapy costs money, of course. You should know what kind of fees your therapist has before agreeing to come back again. Some therapists may try to sneak hidden treatment or consultation fees onto you.
Make sure to ask about these upfront! This could potentially save you large amounts of money in the long run. There are ways to get great quality mental health care free of charge, so do research on that if this happens.
It’s also important to remember that no two people process emotional pain in the same way. What works for one person might not work for you. A good therapist will respect this.
Make sure the therapist is qualified
While having a doctor or psychiatrist you are comfortable with can help you, it is not always needed. After all, you will be telling this person things that may make you feel uncomfortable like secrets and thoughts about yourself and your life, so making someone who does not have at least a bachelor’s degree in medicine able to perform mental health services poses a risk.
Some states require that therapists be licensed, but they do not necessarily need to hold a professional degree. If you are concerned about the quality of care you get from your current counselor, ask to see their license. You also want to check if they are certified by any recognized body such as the ACA (American Association of Counseling Centers), NCPCA (National Council for Certified Psychotherapists) or APSAC (Association for Psychological Science).
Make sure they put up appropriate barriers between them and their patients. There should be no direct eye contact, for example, nor should there be hand shaking or other non-professional behavior. Avoid talking directly about personal issues unless under very specific circumstances.
The patient should be able to talk openly and without fear of being judged, contradicted, or confronted. They should experience respect and trust from the therapist.
In addition to ensuring his or her licensure, look into his or her training and certification, past work experiences, and testimonials.
Therapy can be hard to find
There are many ways to find a good therapist, but most do not work unless you actually go into the session. Fortunately, you are not required to come alone!
Many people begin looking for help with mental health issues through seeking a therapy session or two. Unfortunately, only one person per session will really benefit from it because no one else is there for that individual.
Therapy requires an average of at least 50-minutes per week and sometimes more than an hour depending on the type of treatment needed. This is another reason why only someone who attends the session can truly benefit from it.
The therapists’ time is also valuable so make sure to give them their space and listen to what they have to say. They will likely ask some questions about your symptoms and if this person is right for you.
In addition to all these costs, there is also a fee for each psychotherapy session, which usually covers the first few sessions.
Talk to your friends about your intentions
It’s important to have people that you trust as supporters of your recovery. Your loved ones can help ensure that your therapy sessions are effective by listening to you, asking questions, and offering encouragement.
They may even be able to identify red flags they perceive around your therapist or your relationship.
It's totally normal to feel nervous about starting treatment, but chances are there're things you can do to mitigate some of those fears.
In fact, most mental health professionals will ask you to discuss your concerns with past experiences under their care and whether you've seen improvements in other treatments.
That way, they can develop appropriate strategies for addressing these issues.
Asking about potential risks and side effects is also common practice. Most therapists don't mind talking about them, so no worries!
It's good to know ahead of time what to expect, which helps ease any anxiety you might be feeling. Plus, knowing what to look out for could give you early warning if something isn't working for your therapist.
Ask family members to be there for you
It is very important that your loved ones are supportive of your therapist appointment attendance.
It can feel overwhelming at times trying to find a great therapist, let alone keeping up with all of the other commitments you have.
Your friends and relatives will probably not agree to pay for therapy, so it is helpful to understand why this is a good thing.
They will most likely believe that investing in yourself by going to see a professional is a worthy goal.
Furthermore, they may worry about you when you tell them what kind of person you want to see, or if you even consider seeing someone who is outside of our community.
That is totally normal!
But hopefully once we work through these issues, they will accept you and your decisions as an adult.
If you want to learn more about therapy or someone you know in the New York area are looking for a Long Island therapist, please feel free to contact:
Dr. Maryann B Schaefer Psychotherapy
5 Travers St, Manhasset, NY 11030