Finding the right therapist is a bit like finding the right partner – it might not always be easy, but the right person can make such a difference. Finding a therapist that you trust is crucial to making therapy work for you as they can help you open up and work through your problems.
If you don’t like your therapist, or just don’t feel like you gel with them, then it makes the process of therapy that bit trickier as you may feel like you can never really let your guard down, or like they don’t get you and so don’t know what’s best for you.
So how do you find the best therapist for you?
Unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule to help you pick a good therapist – sometimes you have to take a suck it and see approach – but there are definitely things to keep in mind that will help.
Face to face or online therapy?
With the current restrictions in place due to coronavirus, more and more people are having to look for therapy online as an alternative to meeting someone face to face. While it can be harder to develop a relationship as quickly this way there are certainly benefits, especially if you feel uncomfortable about leaving the house or are restricted by family or work commitments.
A service like BetterHelp might be a good option if you are looking for online therapy as they offer a mix of support via text message, phone and video calls. Find out more about what they do here: https://www.betterhelp.com/start/.
Ask friends for recommendations
I’ve certainly used recommendations from friends before when looking for a therapist, especially if the friend has a similar approach to life or way of thinking to me, as this can mean we would be looking for similar things in a therapist. Just like if you’re looking for a plumber or builder, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals or to read reviews.
Have an exploratory meeting before you commit
Most therapists will let you have an initial consultation, often at a lower price or for free, before you commit to an ongoing relationship. Partly this is for them to gauge whether or not they are the right person to help you, but also so that you can get a sense of them and how they work. Use this opportunity to ask questions and help you get a feel for your potential new therapist.
Don’t be afraid to call it quits
If you’ve given therapy a decent go and you’re still not feeling the love for your therapist then that’s okay. Just like dating it can take time sometimes to know if someone is right for you and if you genuinely feel like it’s not the right person for you then it’s much better to be honest.
BetterHelp understands this and offers the option to switch therapists if you find that your initial match doesn’t suit you.
What do you look for in a good therapist? What are your top tips for making therapy work for you?