How to Choose a Therapist
Choosing a therapist can be such a DAUNTING and INTIMIDATING task. You are about to spill all of your insecurities, hopes, dreams, and fears with this one person who you then have to trust will understand you and be able to support and help you. This means you need to feel safe and connected with them as well. Let's talk about some of the key things you want to consider when shopping around for a therapist:
Language matters! For all those multilingual humans out there, the language you do this therapy in can really matter. Your mother tongue may be one language, but you may find it easier to express yourself in your second language, and that is ok! Explore using journaling or speaking excursive to see which language you prefer to communicate it for such emotional conversations.
Pick your Style of Therapy! There are so many different types of therapy out there ranging form more structured style such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to more talk based therapies such as psychodynamic. Ask your therapist which styles they use and were trained in. Consider your own need for structure vs fluidity. It is also important to think maboujt why you are doing therapy and which styles of therapy have shown to work best for different needs. (This kind of research is actively available on the APA website but I will also do another blog post about this next week).
Gender and Age Matter (and that's okay)! When it comes to such a personal connection it is okay that you may feel more comfortable talking to a woman vs a man or someone older rather than younger, or the reverse. What matters is that you feel heard and safe with this person and it is up to the therapist to facilitate that.
Take your time browsing! Feel free to talk to a few different therapists before you settle on one. If that gut instinct isn't there at the beginning, that's okay, you can keep looking! The best work gets done when there is a good connection.
I wish for every person to find a therapist that clicks with them and their needs. Keep in mind those needs may change over time and that's fine, you can have different therapists throughout your life to fill different needs and phases you go through. Just always remember to be loyal to yourself and true to your own needs. If you don't feel the connection with a therapist, that's okay! We are not hurt or insulted by a client rejecting us and would never make you feel bad for that, we get it. Now go out there and find your mental health champion!