Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Finding the Right Therapist for You

Think about the last time you went to buy a car. Did you simply walk on the lot and say 'okay I'll take that car? Or did you talk to people you know about what kind of cars they drive, did you do some research on the Internet, and did you go for some test drives to see what cars felt right? Similarly to buying a new car, when searching for a therapist, a person wants to do research on the therapist and then see it that therapist is a good fit for them.

When a person decides to enter into counseling, they are making a decision to address issues or problems that are creating a disturbance in their life. Since counseling is a collaborative process between the client and their therapist, it is important that each person finds a therapist that is right for them. But what should you look for when looking for a therapist? How do you go about finding a therapist that is right for you?

Let's begin with how to go about finding a therapist. There are many ways that a person can find therapists in their area:
1. Do searches online
2. Call 2-1-1
3. Talk with friends and see who they are/have seen
4. Talk with your doctor
5. Call your insurance plan and see what therapists in the area accept your insurance

Now that you have found a therapist, it is time to do a little research. Call the therapist and ask questions. Some good questions to start with are:
1. What type of appointment times do they have available?
2. What is the cost? Do they work on a sliding scale?
3. Where are they located?
4. What is the therapists education?
5. What is the therapist's expertise and experience? Have they worked with other clients who
have had similar problems to what you are dealing with?

If you are satisfied with the answers you receive, set up an appointment. In my opinion, a very large part of therapy and a client's ability to make progress hinges on the rapport a client and therapist have. So, it is important that when you meet with your therapist that you are comfortable with them. In talking with your therapist, don't be afraid to ask questions. Remember, if you are not able to be open and honest during your counseling session, you are not going to receive the full benefit of counseling services.

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