I often get asked, “Joy, I feel like I need some help, but how do I go about choosing the therapist (professional help) or therapy that’s right for me or my issue?”.
When you are not feeling 100%, it can be really frustrating. In combination with a barrage of opinions from family and friends or Internet searches, it can really become overwhelming. When that happens, it may deter you from getting the help that’ll help you feel better, quicker. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you what I’ve learnt from my own experience in finding the right professional for my needs.
1) Start somewhere - Ask for the recommendation from someone you trust who’s experienced a similar condition as you. Each type of helping therapy has its own approach so you might need to try one or two types to figure out if it’s something you feel comfortable with.
2) Ask questions - Set up a meeting with the therapist to get more information. This will also give you a chance to check out the environment of the establishment and get a sense of the style of therapy.
Things you might find useful to ask includes:
Have you worked with people with ______ before?
Are you or your profession regulated by law? If not, what are the qualifications and any associations they belong to for 3rd party verification?
How many clinical hours or years have you worked in the field?
How many sessions would I need?
How much is the treatment?
3) Trust your instincts - Ultimately, trust in your therapist is paramount without which the treatment would be less effective. If you don’t feel comfortable with the therapist, you might just be wasting your time and money.
A checklist for you to consider:
Do I feel 100% comfortable with the therapist?
Did they take the time to answer my questions and to explain things in a way that I understand?
Were they empathetic and took my concerns seriously?
Did you feel like you could open up yourself to the therapist?
Did the therapist give their full attention to you?
Would you be comfortable giving honest feedback to your therapist?