How Do I Find the Right Therapist?
Making the decision to seek support from a therapist is an extremely positive move, and one that will undoubtedly throw up some questions. It is completely normal to feel a little daunted about the process, perhaps with a little confusion surrounding who or where to contact and how to make sure that the therapist you choose will be a good fit for you. Read on for some guidance as to how to find a reliable therapist who suits your needs.
Firstly, it’s helpful to adopt the mindset that you will need to do some research. Although it’s possible that the first therapist you meet or speak to will be the one you choose, it’s always a good idea to keep an open mind and not to feel under pressure to develop a rapport immediately.
Your research should begin with a narrowing-down exercise – is it important to you to speak with someone of the same or opposite gender? Do you want to carry out all sessions online, or do you need a therapist within travelling distance, when you are able to do so? You will also need to consider which areas your ideal therapist will specialise in – for example, trauma, relationships, loss, or stress, to name just a few.
Will you need immediate access to your therapist? If so, you will need to find one who does not have a waiting list. How will you access the therapy? If it is through your GP or via the NHS, you will have the opportunity to speak with them about the type of therapy you require but probably will not be able to choose a particular therapist. If you want to self-refer, your GP will be able to provide you with a number for a service you can call, and many areas even offer Improving Access to Psychological Therapies initiatives, avoiding the requirement to speak to your GP. However, these services often have long waiting lists and you may wish to access therapy sooner by opting for a private therapist.
Whichever route you choose, you always have choices. Don’t think that just because you have chosen or been allocated a therapist, you are stuck with them regardless of rapport. If you don’t feel that your therapist is a good match for you, speak to your therapist, GP, or private practice, who will provide you with options regarding talking to a different therapist.