Finding the Right Therapist
San Jose Counseling and Psychotherapy
It makes sense that choosing the right therapist is important in order to have an effective and enjoyable experience in therapy.
Studies have shown that the two things that predict whether in therapy will be effective are 1) the client and therapist relationship, and 2) the therapist’s experience with and knowledge about the problem and appropriate therapeutic intervention.
Hopefully the suggestions below can help point you in the right direction and help you get whatever help you need.
Talk to Friends and Family About Therapy
Many some people feel awkward discussing mental health issues with friends or family. However, people are often eager to talk about their experiences with therapy, especially if they had a positive outcome. If ask those closest to you about their experiences with therapy, you could potentially gather valuable information about a therapist in your area who may be perfect for you.
Asking A Health Care Practitioner for a Referral
Primary care practitioners, chiropractors, and other physicians often see patients with emotional problems who may have benefited from therapy. Since these practitioners already know you, they are in a good position to help you determine what type of therapist would be best. Additionally, they probably have a therapist who they routinely refer patients to.
Human Resources or Employee Assistance Program
Most larger companies have a human resources department or EAP provider who can offer names of therapists who specialize in addressing your chief complaint.
Sometimes they can even help you make your first appointment. This may be particularly helpful if you want to use your insurance since most therapists don’t take insurance.
Professional Therapy Organizations
Many government agencies and nonprofits have referral services that can help clients find a therapist. Other neighborhood resources, such as mental health centers, churches or hospitals, also have a referral function. While these referrals can be useful, you will probably find that the referral procedure varies by organization. Because some agencies can just refer to the next therapist on their list, ask agencies how they choose the therapists they refer.
Listen to Your Intuition
When you go to your first appointment with your new therapist, pay attention to how it feels to be with them. You most likely will be a bit nervous since it will be the first time the two of you meet, but you can still listen to what your intuition is telling you. Do you feel like the therapist listens to you? Of course, you may not be able to decide on the first session if the therapist is right for you. It may take a few sessions to determine if you have chosen the right therapist.
If you decide that it isn’t a good match, then you don’t need to come back. It is best to tell the therapist what it is you’re looking for and why he/she isn’t the best fit for you, as the therapist might have some ideas for a referral that would work for you. Also, consider that sometimes the desire to not come back is motivated by some more unconscious feelings about being in therapy that might need to be discussed