How to Choose a Therapist or Counselor
Perhaps you have a chronic or difficult problem, or maybe you feel depressed or anxious. Before you jump into therapy, there are important issues that you need to consider. For example, "How do I choose a therapist?" "How much will it cost and how long will it take?" "What kinds of therapies are there and how do they differ?" "What should I expect at my first session?"
What to Look ForIt is important that you choose someone that respects your opinion, your input, and your individuality. One of the most important things to consider when entering a therapeutic relationship is whether the values of the therapist match your values. Conflicts can occur when the client and therapist have different value systems or when there are misunderstandings about the level of conversational intimacy. Engaging the right therapist—someone with whom you are comfortable and trust—is important in ensuring that you get the best treatment possible.
Where to Find a TherapistLook for recommendations from your doctor or other healthcare providers, professional organizations, or friends. Healthcare professionals may be able to separate your physical problems from emotional ones. For example, Laura went for a physical checkup when her anxiety over moving to a new city and the birth of her second child made her irritable and chronically fatigued. Her primary care physician could find no physical difficulties, and instead recommended that she talk with someone about her concerns."Although I didn't know my primary care physician well," Laura says, "he had an excellent grasp of my problems and talked about it in a way that made sense to me. The therapist he recommended also seemed to understand my issues and was able to help me without putting me on any sort of medication."