Tips for Finding a Therapist
A lot of people who call me are new to the process of finding a therapist, so I added this page to explain the process. I am also including a list of suggested questions to help you start thinking about what you might want to ask a potential therapist.
Therapy is a very individual process, and there is no one therapist who is the "right fit" for everyone. It is important for you to feel safe and comfortable with the therapist you choose. It is also important that your therapist have training and expertise with the issues that you want to work on. Finally, it is often helpful if you personally resonate with the way the therapist communicates and the techniques that he or she uses.
You are already taking the first step I suggest, which is researching a number of websites to see if there is one or more that "resonates" with you. Sometimes the website alone gives you enough information to feel comfortable scheduling an intake appointment. If that is the case with me, you are welcome to call or email me to schedule an intake appointment. Once I see that you are scheduled with me, I will email you the directions to my office and the intake paperwork. You can fill out the paperwork ahead of time (skipping any questions that you don't feel comfortable answering), and bring it to your first appointment, along with any questions you may have. During the first two or three appointments, we will talk about your history, your goals for therapy, any previous experiences you've had with therapy (good or bad), and how you like to work. Based on that information, we will work together to create treatment plan or a "map" of what you would like to accomplish in therapy and how we might work together to achieve your goals.
Other times, it's helpful to interview potential therapists to get a "gut level sense" of whether the therapist would be good match for you at this time. For people who would like to get to know me and have a chance to ask questions before deciding who to choose, I offer a free 20 minutes consult, either by phone or in person. To schedule a consult, you can contact me by phone or by email and ask to set up a time. I generally return phone calls and emails within one business day.
Here is a list of suggested questions to help you start thinking about what you might want to ask a potential therapist :
How long have you been practicing therapy? Did you work in a related field before then?
I want to come to therapy to work on issues of...(name the general category of the issues you'd like to work on, such as depression, grief and loss, trauma, having problems related to past abuse etc. It's not necessary to go into any more detail than you are comfortable with). How might you work with with me that kind of issue?
Do you use any special techniques or approaches?
If you've had past experiences with therapy, either positive or negative, it may be helpful to bring those up and ask any questions you have about how working with this therapist may be the same or different from your prior experience.
This is also a good time to ask office policy questions, such as types of payment accepted, scheduling issues, frequency of sessions, etc.
If you decide to schedule an appointment with me after the interview, I follow the same process outlined above for scheduling the appointment and sending you the directions and paperwork. If either of us feels that I will not be able to meet your needs at this time, I will do my best to offer you referrals for other therapists or services.
That's it in a nutshell! You are welcome to call or email if you have any other questions.
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