You know what’s harder than finding the perfect shade of lipstick? Finding a therapist who gets you. No, really. It’s like Tinder, but instead of swiping left or right on some dude’s abs, you’re swiping through a list of mental health professionals, trying to narrow down who won’t make you want to jump out a window.
So, how do you find a therapist that won’t drive you crazier than you already are? As someone who’s been in therapy for longer than I care to admit, I’ve got some tips to share.
Do your research
Before you commit to seeing a therapist, do some sleuthing. Check out their website, read their bio, and see what work they specialize in. More importantly, look up their reviews. Don’t just rely on the ones on their site, though. Do some digging on Yelp, Google, and health forums. If they’ve got a solid 5-star rating and people rave about them, it’s probably a good sign. If they’ve got mixed reviews or people are complaining about their bedside manner, it might be worth skipping.
Don't be afraid to ask questions
Just like how you wouldn’t marry someone after the first date, you shouldn’t commit to a therapist after just one session. Take some time to ask them questions about their approach to therapy, what techniques they use, and what kind of clients they specialize in. Pay attention to how they answer your questions. Do they seem knowledgeable and passionate about their work? Do they give you the time and attention you need? If they sound like they’re just reading off a script, it might be a red flag.
Consider your personality
One of the most important factors in finding a good therapist is personality. You want someone who understands you, who you feel comfortable opening up to, and who you trust. Think about what kind of personality you have. Are you introverted or extroverted? Do you like to talk or do you prefer more nonverbal communication? Make a list of what’s important to you in a therapist and try to find someone who matches that.
Look for red flags
Not all therapists are created equal. There are some who should not be practicing, like those who are unlicensed or who misuse their power. Look for red flags like therapists who only want to see you for a certain amount of time, or who push medication on you without proper evaluation. If you feel like something isn’t right, speak up. It’s your mental health on the line, after all.
Trust your gut
At the end of the day, finding the right therapist is a subjective experience. What works for one person might not work for you, and that’s okay. If something doesn’t feel right or if you’re not getting the results you want, it’s up to you to speak up and find someone who can better meet your needs. Trust your gut, be honest with yourself, and don’t settle for less.
Finding a therapist who gets you isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Don’t let bad experiences deter you from seeking help. Take the time to research, ask questions, and focus on your needs. With some persistence and patience, you’ll find the right therapist who can help you on your personal journey towards mental health. Good luck!