Selecting a therapist can feel a bit overwhelming and frightening, but it doesn’t have to be! Aside from the nuts and bolts questions of insurance and such, you’ll know quite quickly whether your therapist is a good fit or whether you should keep looking. It’s extremely important that you feel comfortable with the individual you’ll be sharing intimate details of your life with. This is especially true since your comfort level will help you be painfully honest — a requirement for moving forward. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re researching therapy options in your area.
There are some basic things you need to know before you schedule your first session. Questions include:
- Does your therapist accept insurance?
- Do their hours of operation fit within your schedule?
- What are the expected fees (and do they fit within your budget?)
Once you have a short list of therapists who fit your requirements, the next step is vetting your therapist to see if they’ll be a good fit for your needs.
Background and Training
A therapist that is relatively new to their profession isn’t necessarily a negative, but it is a factor to consider. Is your selected therapist licensed within your state and does their stated specialty meet your needs? What is their training and educational background? You may find that someone who has a particular specialty is a better fit for where you are in your personal journey. There are no right or wrong answers to any of these questions, but they can all lead to building a strong relationship with your selected therapist.
Your First Therapy Conversation
Once you’ve selected a therapist to begin a conversation with, it’s important that you’re able to come together in terms of style. Do you feel that your therapist is trustworthy and confidential? That they’ll understand your struggle and be able to offer you suggestions to move forward? Do you have similar approaches to goals that are realistic and feel achievable, or are they setting goals that make you want to shut down? This first conversation will help you make a longer-term decision.
Finding a Style That Fits
Becoming a therapist is not a one-size-fits-all profession. While there are certainly set strategies that therapists utilize, they also bring their personality and style into the equation for their clients. I tend to take a collaborative approach that allows me to help guide my clients on their path through active listening, asking questions, offering feedback and discussing new concepts. We also spend a fair amount of time practicing new skills with plenty of warmth, caring and laughter.
Whether you’ve been referred to a particular therapist or this is your first excursion into therapy, it’s important to interview a few therapists to find the right fit for your needs. This investment in yourself will continue to pay dividends for years to come! Contact me at 312-635-4719 or schedule an appointment online anytime to start the conversation.
You don’t have to continue feeling anxious, stressed or discouraged in the new year.
We can work together through counseling to relieve your feelings of stress and overwhelm to bring happiness and wholeness back to your life.
Contact me at (312) 635-4719, send an email to Stacy@MyChicagoCounselor.com or:
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