So what does one look for when they are searching for a therapist?
Choose the therapist whose credentials matches your needs and desires. If you are looking for a doctor who can prescribe medication and talk therapy you are looking for a psychiatrist. If you are looking for a diagnosis and talk therapy you are looking for someone who is a psychologist. If you are looking for a therapist whose mandate is not to diagnose but has all the qualifications to counsel individuals and couples you are looking for a counsellor/therapist who is Certified and Registered.
Find a therapist who has the skills to help with your particular issues. Most therapists will specialize in a particular field. Location and availability can be important. Is the therapist’s office convenient and do they offer immediate appointments at a suitable time?
Having a connection with your therapist is absolutely essential. It is important you find someone you can trust and feel comfortable to talk about subjects that are troubling you. If you are a couple seeing the therapist both should feel equally supported.
It’s okay to shop around and to ask questions when interviewing potential therapists. A good therapist will respect this choice and should never pressure you or make you feel guilty.
It is fundamental that a therapist provides a sense of connection, safety, and support. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does it seem like the therapist truly cares about my problems and me?
- Do I feel as if the therapist understands me?
- Does the therapist accept me for who I am?
- Do I feel comfortable revealing personal information to this individual?
- Do I feel as if I can be honest and open with this therapist? That I don’t have to hide or pretend I’m someone that I’m not?
- Is the therapist a good listener? Does he or she listen without interrupting, criticizing, or judging? Pick up on my feelings and what I’m really saying? Make me feel heard?