So you’ve made the decision to seek therapy – that’s great! It’s a courageous, soul-searching decision that often times isn’t easy to make. Kudos to you for taking that first big step. But now what? How do you go about choosing a therapist? Especially when there are so many to choose from and all with different titles. The tips below are merely suggestions to keep in mind while considering what therapist is best for you. Take a little time to mull it over and decide what else is important to you and then add it to the list!
– Comfort – Because a therapist is someone you will eventually end up sharing very intimate details with it’s important you feel comfortable with him or her. It needs to be someone you feel you can trust 100% and be open and honest with. You want someone who feels like a “good fit.” It’s important that you feel respected and can sit and talk comfortably with the person. Consider whether you would feel more comfortable with a male or female therapist. Would you prefer a therapist who speaks your native language? Would it bother you if the therapist was considerably older or younger than you? Don’t be afraid to sit down for a few sessions with a therapist to see if it’s a right fit for you.
– Location – Sounds obvious, right? Counseling is hard work. There may come a point in time when you are tempted to skip a session. Choosing a therapist who is close to your home or work can help eliminate using travel time as a convenient excuse to skip a session. Choosing someone close to home may make it easier to follow through.
– Experience – You may want to ask any potential therapist how long they have been providing counseling services. Also, you’ll want to find out if they have experience working with clients who dealt with your specific issues. Find out if they are licensed. Try to keep in mind you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you.
– Insurance – It’s important to dialogue with your insurance provider and any potential therapists up front about the financial details. Is there a sliding fee? How many sessions will your insurance cover? Is it a copay or a percentage towards service? Do you need a referral? Are there in-network and out of network providers? Choosing a therapist you can afford may help ensure attendance in sessions.
Ultimately, you’ll want to go with who feels right. Only you can decide that!
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