How to find a therapist

A few months ago,  I posted about my journey regarding finding a new therapist. As I walked through these process with a new level of consciousness, I realized there are some powerful lessons I learned this time around.

1. Trust my intuition. I am not sure if I have shared this before but I’ve had some bad therapy experience. From therapist who just don’t get it to others that well the treatment stopped working. A big lesson that I learned from the past two therapy experiences was to trust my intuition. At the end of the day, therapy is an intimate relationship that requires vulnerability. So if it doesn’t feel right, then its time to move on.

2. Yes, there are multiple modalities, degrees and styles out there.  I have tried a lot of them and this is what I learned: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)  for me it was more effective in handling the eating disorder; regular talk therapy was useful in gaining insight of what was going on and what are the underlying issues. What is the most effective thing for me is to identify what is that i want to get out of the experience.  Here are some useful questions:

  • Do I want to “break” a habit?
  • Do I want to address the compulsive thoughts and behaviors?
  • Do I need someone to talk to about my feelings?
  • Do I need help processing Old memories/resentments coming up? 
  • I want to be in a _______ (relationship, financial abundance, acceptance, etc) but I don’t think I can have it.   Can you help me?
  • I know I need to go to a therapist, but I am not sure the why?  

3. You can see multiple of therapist before you find the one. It can be intimidating the first time where you share your story out loud to a stranger. It’s ok. Remember you can share as much as you feel comfortable with. But the most important lesson is to check in how you are feeling. Do you feel comfortable? Do you feel like this is someone that you are willing to open up and trust? Is there chemistry? Yes it is just like dating. The therapist that I remained connected I felt the chemistry and it just felt right.  For this round of search, I ended up seeing one that it just didn’t feel right so I kindly canceled the next appointment.

4. Use the internet. This may not be a popular thing for traditional therapist but you know what I want to know what I get into before I even go for my first session. My search started with my health insurance site to see which therapist are in my network. Then I did further research on each of the therapists through Psychology Today “Find a Therapist Tool.”

I want to hear from you, what are some of the lessons that you have learn when it comes to finding Drs., therapists, etc?