Choosing your therapist is important. This is someone with whom you’re going to be sharing some of the most intimate details of your life. It’s crucial that you can trust this person and are comfortable discussing the tough things. Going to the first therapist you see on your insurance list or someone that a friend of a friend suggests isn’t always the best idea. Before you select a therapist, you need to take some time and do your research.
You can do this in a variety of ways. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that Google is a great place to start. However, once you’ve done your internet research, you should go through a short interview process and ask potentials for a couple of things that are the most important to you. Below are a few signs that a therapist is right for you, as well as a few signs that you should run in the opposite direction.
What to Look for When Choosing Your Therapist
Before you start asking potential counselors questions, take inventory of the things below to make sure that the questions you’re asking will help you make an informed decision.
- Does this person make me feel comfortable? First, you need to assess a couple of things about yourself. Do you prefer someone with a strong personality or someone who will simply listen? Are you more comfortable with a male or female therapist? Then, once you begin having conversations with your short list of finalists, you’ll get an idea of whether or not you feel relaxed in their presence.
- Does the therapist explain your symptoms and conditions? If you’re feeling a certain way, you want to understand why. Having a therapist who simply tells you what you have to do to change isn’t always helpful. You want to look for someone who can explain and validate your feelings or symptoms, and then help you figure out the best way to move forward.
- Does the environment he or she provides feel safe? Aside from feeling comfortable with the person, you also need to feel relaxed in the environment provided. The office should feel private and pleasant. You never want to worry about being overheard or that your privacy is somehow being compromised.
- Is he or she open-minded and inclusive? A good therapist should be sensitive and understanding of your background and where you come from. He or she should not pass judgment on you, but give you a place where you can feel comfortable discussing anything and everything.
What to Avoid
Most importantly, if you feel that a therapist is going to make you feel uncomfortable rather than just challenging you to overcome obstacles, you need to choose someone else. Trust should be first and foremost on your list. Never be afraid to switch therapists or let the current professional you’re working with know that you’re uncomfortable. If he or she brushes you off, it’s time to move on. If your therapist consistently seems distracted during your sessions or regularly doesn’t give you his or her full attention, you should immediately start looking for someone who will.
Searching for a qualified therapist? Contact CBT Solutions of Baltimore today. We can help you get on the right path.