Choosing a Therapist

Therapy is a relationship between patient and therapist that allows you to trust them with the intimate details of your life. Their profession dictates that they listen and refrain from judgment. This is often what we need that we can’t find from friends and family members.

When choosing a therapist, there are certain characteristics that are desired above others.

* Listening ear – All therapists are supposed to listen, but we are talking about a person who attentively listens and then speaks. Some may begin to render their advice before you have even finished your sentence. That could be a sign that they have seen your type of case before and are handing out a cookie cutter answer.

* Willing to share – We all have had personal experiences that we can use to help another. For a therapist to share with you, they need to find the same level of comfort and trust. Using an aspect of their lives to better your therapy is a sign of that trust.

* Friendly – You can be about business without being rude. Your relationship is not about friendship but there is a difference between being a friend and being friendly. Someone who is respectful of your opinions and states things in an unthreatening way is being friendly.

The above three things will more than likely come out in the first session. This is where your instincts kick in. Most people can tell right off the bat if someone will make a good fit with them. When your life and future is the subject, don’t ignore your gut.

But, there is also the matter of business. A good therapist will also take care of the business end first so that there are no misunderstandings.

* State their fees – Many take insurance. Before you even ask, a fee schedule (with and without insurance) should be handed to you or recited so that you know if you are going to be able to afford this therapist in the first place.

* Answer questions about credentials – When you are looking for services, you deserve the best. Any therapist that is miffed because you ask about their schooling is not worth your time.

* Return phone calls promptly – When you call to find a therapist and get a recording, that person will likely return your phone call the same day or the next business day. If you have to wait two or three days for a response, move on.