Are you thinking about seeing a therapist but you are not sure where to start? If so, you are not alone! The process of getting to therapy is an overwhelming and anxiety provoking process for many people. Once you have finally decided on going to therapy, how do you find a therapist that is a right fit for you? Choosing the right therapist to help you with your mental and emotional health can be tough because therapy is a very personal thing. After all, you might talk about uncomfortable subjects or even share things that you have never told anyone else before during the process. Therapy is a vulnerable place for many people, so it is important to find someone you are comfortable talking to. Many scientific studies suggest that the quality of the therapeutic alliance is the most important factor in the overall success of the therapy. With this, it is vital to find a therapist that is right for you! Where do you start?
- Consider the therapist’s areas of expertise: Before looking for a provider, it might be helpful to write out a short list of things that you would like support with in your life. Often times, therapists have various areas of expertise and specialties. When reading online profiles of therapists, see if your list matches up to what the therapist is familiar working with or has worked with in the past. Some therapist might have certifications or training in a specific area.
- Consider what types of treatment the therapist uses: There are many modalities of therapy you can do with a therapist. If there is a treatment that you think might be helpful for you, check if the provider is trained in it and offers it. Some of the most common types of therapy include: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy ( CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy ( DBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ( ACT). If you are not sure about what type of treatment would be helpful for you, refer back to the list of things you would like to get support on. Most providers offer a free phone consultation, so that is a great time to ask questions about modalities and treatment options.
- Consider cultural competence: While most therapists are trained in compassion and understanding, it can be helpful having a therapist who is part of your community, or who has experience working with people from your community. For example, if you are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, you might find it easier to open up with an LGBTQIA+ therapist, or a therapist who is alliance with that community.
- Logistics: Practical considerations like office location and scheduling flexibility are important when selecting a therapist. Many therapists offer telehealth as an option. It might be helpful to look at the therapist’s educational background and credentials. One further logistical thing to consider when choosing a therapist is cost of the session. Therapy should not increase your life stressors by causing financial hardship.
What To Do If Your Therapist Is Not A Good Fit?
If you feel like you do not click with your therapist, it is best to be honest and open. Although this might feel like an uncomfortable conversation to have, this is your treatment and it is important that you have a therapist you feel good about. It is normal to try out a few therapists before you find a good fit for yourself!
At Mountain Vista Psychology, we have a variety of providers from a range of backgrounds and experiences. In addition, Mountain Vista Psychology utilizes a variety of top-notch modalities such as: Neurofeedback, EMDR, CBT, ACT, and DBT. Call us today to get a free consultation or appointment booked!
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!