How do you find the right therapist?
Sometimes, because of work, family, death, relationships, or uncomfortable feelings like depression or anxiety, you want to seek out a mental health professional for help. But finding the right therapist can feel overwhelming. How do you find a therapist and how do you know the person is a good therapist for you?
Below I provide some suggestions on how to search for therapists and then, although not a full-proof checklist, I provide some things to consider when choosing one person to work with.
Finding a therapist:
- Going to therapist isn’t the stigma it used to be. There wouldn’t be so many therapists to choose from if people weren’t going to therapists! JIf you’re comfortable talking about your search, ask someone you know for a referral: your friends and family, primary care physician, or another professional like your massage therapist, for examples.
- Do a Google search and check out some of the therapists’ websites that come up in your results. Here are some ideas of what search terms to use. If you’re needing help with your relationship, google Marriage Counseling and Your Location. Or google Couples Counseling and Your Location. If you’re struggling with depression and want some help, google Depression Treatment and Your Location or Help with Depression and Your Location.
Here are some ideas on how to narrow your search to be able to select a therapist to work with:
- See if the person you are considering has the training that you feel would be important for you to get the help you’re looking for.
- Call a few therapists on the phone. Get a sense of who you click with. Tell them what is happening in your life that you’re interested in therapy and ask if they have experience working with people going through similar situations. Ask some questions that are important to you. Maybe you want to know if they have evening hours or weekend hours. Maybe you want to know if they take your insurance or if they offer on-line therapy? Often therapists have free ‘initial consultation” for 20 minutes or more. That is something that can help you see if you and your potential therapist are a match.
- Though a little time consuming and costly, you can always have an initial session with a few therapists to see who is the best fit for you.
I don’t believe there is a best therapist. No therapist is perfect, just like no one is perfect. You want to choose someone who you feel is a good fit for you. Someone with whom you feel comfortable and someone you feel “gets” you. You want their feedback and interventions to be helpful. And because therapy is a professional relationship, it is still a relationship, so you want someone you feel you can work through any difficulties that arise as they do in any relationship.
Sometimes, finding a therapist can take some work. But it’s worth it.
Get in touch.
I'm always happy to hear from people.
If you have any questions, need more information, or would like to make an appointment, you can call me at 301-279-7779, email me at [email protected], or use the form below.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker • Over 15 years of experience • Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist and Supervisor • Member of The Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Work • Member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy • Member of Clinical Social Work Association • Member of National Association of Social Workers
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Serving All of Maryland through teletherapy, including Rockville, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Potomac, Silver Spring
Hours by appointment only
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