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HOW TO FIND THE BEST THERAPIST: 4 Tips to Help Find the Best Counselor for You

best counselor for you, different art therapists

Searching for a therapist can feel like a daunting task. It takes a lot of courage to go into the office of a stranger and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Learning more about the therapist before you make an appointment can help you narrow down your options so that you find a good fit more quickly. The goal is to spend less time in intake sessions, and more time working toward your goals in therapy. Here are some tips to finding the best counselor for you.


1. LOOK AT SPECIALTIES

Different therapists specialize in working with different populations. Think about some of the categories that fit you and decide which are important to you. Some things to consider about yourself might be age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, profession.. if these topics are important to you, look for a therapist who is familiar. You can also search for a specialist in the type of therapy you want.. grief, trauma, depression, parenting, anxiety, relationship, EMDR, art therapy, DBT.. If you are not sure about a therapist’s specialties, ask!


2. THINK ABOUT SCHEDULING

What is your schedule like? Are you flexible or do you need a certain appointment time? How often would you like to attend or does the therapist recommend? These things are important to consider and ask about when scheduling. Therapy is not going to be helpful if you can’t get an appointment!


3. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE CONSULTATIONS

Many therapists offer a free 15 minute phone consultation. This is a great opportunity for you to ask all of the questions you have before scheduling. Prepare before calling by jotting down some notes about important inquiries (all the stuff above) so that you don’t forget anything that you really want to know. By talking with the provider for just these few minutes, you will get more of a sense of whether or not they could be a good fit.


4. SHOP AROUND

Research has shown that the connection you have with your therapist is the BIGGEST FACTOR in therapy outcome. Bigger than the type of therapy. Bigger than the title and education of the therapist. Bigger than all of the other factors that differentiate therapists. Because of this, it is so important to shop around. Find a counselor who gets you. Someone who has the vibe you are looking for. Someone who makes you feelseen and heard. Someone you mesh well with. It is ok to switch therapists. It is ok to ask for referrals. It is ok to shop around. A good therapist wants to do what is most helpful for you, and sometimes that means helping you find another provider! Therapy is an investment of your time, money, and energy. You deserve to have your best outcome!

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