Therapy is life-changing when the relationship between you and your therapist is built on trust. If you can’t be open, honest, and vulnerable then therapy will not work. There are many factors that go into finding a therapist, and here’s a few things to think about in making your decision to start therapy, or maybe to change to a new therapist.
Dig Deeper than “Convenient”
It can be empowering when you make the decision to go to therapy. However, the idea of sharing your greatest vulnerabilities with a stranger can be overwhelming. Many individuals begin thier search with “convenience” over the “right fit”.
- Are they in network with my insurance or should I pay out of pocket?
- Are they accepting new clients?
- Do our schedules align?
These are important factors for finding a “convenient” therapist. But finding the “right fit” is based more on intuition or a gut feeling. Studies show that the most important ingredient for successful therapy is the relationship. The relationship allows for the greatest amount of change when someone feels comfortable talking about their vulnerabilities.
Going with “Your Gut” and Alphabet Soup
Because therapists are often skilled in a range of techniques, they may display many mental health credentials in their profiles. This translates to alphabet soup for the person reading our bio – LMFT, LMHC, MSW, MHP, CMHS, etc. If you are new to therapy these acronyms may seem arbitrary, but may be helpful to understand the type of training they’ve had as it may relate to your cause. Here’s a post from GoodTherapy.com on Mental Health Credentials which may be useful to you.
Sometimes, a better way to choose your therapist is to trust your gut.
Some questions to ask yourself during the first few visits are:
- Do our personalities mesh?
- Do they make me feel comfortable?
- Do I feel understood?
If you answer “yes,” then you will likely benefit from the therapeutic relationship. If the answer is “no” you may want to evaluate how to proceed.
What should you do if a therapist doesn’t understand you or you leave session feeling frustrated?
Therapists meet with many people…so we cannot predict what works for one person might not be useful to another. Therefore, it is important to give your therapist feedback–therapists do appreciate it.
Information from client’s helps us become better at our job and we learn how to better meet your needs. A good therapist will listen to what you have to say. They will let you know if they can adjust to meet your needs or they will say something like “that is not within my scope of practice.”
It’s OK to Ask for a Referral
If you’ve given your therapist feedback and the therapist still does not seem like a good fit, you can ask for a referral for another therapist. This does not hurt our feelings and part of our practice is to ensure you receive the support you need. Therapists usually know other therapists so we can often refer you to someone who will better meet your needs.
Remember, therapy is only successful if you have a strong trusting relationship with the therapist. If you do not have the rapport you were hoping for, take matters it into your own hands and advocate for yourself.
Check out our team at Acuity Counseling, I’m sure there is somebody in this group that will meet your needs.