Finding the best therapist can be daunting. The decision to begin (or return to) therapy may already have been a challenging step, and now you are faced with the task of selecting the right therapist. We’re hoping we can lend a helping hand.
We always ask new clients if they’ve been in therapy before, and if so, we like to know what their experiences were like. Unfortunately, for some clients, an experience with the wrong therapist led them to stop therapy for a number of years. So why do people have bad experiences in therapy, and what can we do to avoid this? Here are some tips to consider as you embark on your journey to begin or revisit therapy:
There is no cookie cutter version of a best therapist — we vary in countless ways. Not every therapist and their style is going to be right for every person, so it is important to both check in with your needs, as well as do some research of what is out there. Are you looking to find support with coping with anxiety, addressing issues with communication in relationships, or maintaining recovery from an eating disorder? Finding a therapist who’s specialities meet your needs is important. Additionally, finding the right therapeutic approach is a factor to consider. Do you want a therapist who is active and goal-oriented, or someone who is going to do a deep dive into your history? There are a lot of different therapeutic modalities, but doing a bit of research of what’s out there can go a long way in ensuring that you find the best fit therapist.
While challenging resistance and working through the discomfort of self-exploration is part of the therapeutic process, we also have to trust our intuition if we feel that the rapport and connection with the therapist is off. We often hear that people stay in therapeutic situations that don’t work for them because they feel bad “breaking up with their therapists.” We encourage clients to regularly give feedback and communicate when they feel that something isn’t working for them. While this may lead to positive change and growth with the therapist you are working with, it may also allow you to move on and work with someone who is a better fit.
As nice as it would be to guarantee that you find the right fit on your first try, you may have to shop around until you feel like you’ve found somebody you’re truly comfortable with. When you’re picking a therapist, trust your gut. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable talking to them, or you don’t feel that they can help you accomplish your goals. If you get the sense that they aren’t the right fit, just tell them. Even if it’s scary, you’ll likely find that the therapist is more understanding than you think.
Another way to find a good therapist is to ask a friend or family member for a personal referral to somebody that was helpful to them. Sites like Psychology Today also have great resources to find quality therapists. There are plenty of therapists out there so don’t settle.
At Cobb Psychotherapy, we take pride in our ethical and professional psychotherapy services. Call one of our expert therapists today and receive a no obligation consultation.
Call Today: (718) 260-6462