Choosing a Therapist
Once the intricacies of the various payment options for therapy have been cleared up, you may be wondering how exactly to choose a therapist now, as choosing the right one can be confusing at times. Even if you're not sure about therapy, it is always a good idea to just reach out and talk to some potential options; emailing or having an initial phone consultation with a therapist does not commit you to anything, and it can only help by allowing you to "test drive" therapy and get some more information. There is no harm in just trying it and reaching out for help, because we all need help sometimes, and what you learn in therapy can have a long-term impact.
Some helpful tips for the initial phone call with potential therapists:
- Introduce yourself and provide a 1-2 minute overview of issues that you're dealing with, or anything that would be relevant to the therapy relationship.
- Ask your therapist for an overview of themselves as well! Asking about what they specialize in, types of people they work best with, their therapy style (do they like to guide the conversation, or do they prefer to let the client lead?), etc. can be helpful for you to keep in mind when choosing the right therapist for you.
- Tell the therapist about one of your concerns or symptoms, and ask for an example of how they have worked with another client dealing with a similar issue in the past. Learning about their actions in past situations can help you realize how they will be inclined to help you with your concerns.
- Ask about payment
- The phone call is meant to help you gauge which therapist may be right for you, so just trust your gut reaction! If you don't think you will click with the therapist, it is okay to say so, and even ask for referrals to other therapists.
The phone call is meant to allow both you and the therapist to get to know each other's styles and personalities, but by hearing different therapists' approaches, it can also help you learn about yourself and realize what you are looking for in a therapist at the moment.