Welcome to 2022. We will kick off the year with a short nuts and bolts series on finding the right therapist. This can be an overwhelming process, especially if it’s your first time seeking therapy. But there’s good news — you’re not alone, and by asking a few questions, you can find out if a potential therapist is the right fit for you. Many people turn to their PCP, however, if patients were to ask their doctors for a therapist referral, many would recommend the same two clinicians to every patient — who may or may not be the right fit, and who may also be at capacity and unable to take new clients. Another option is to look for a therapist in an online directory, where you would find yourself in a seemingly endless search without being able to determine which therapist would be the best fit for you. While these are good places to start, you won’t always be a match with the first person you find. But that doesn’t mean you should stop looking. In fact, knowing this and asking yourself and your future therapist the right questions can get you to your match more quickly. Alison LeSov, LMFT, states that “the relationship between a therapist and a patient is nuanced, and you ideally want to not only find a clinician with expertise that matches your needs, but you also want to cultivate a sense of chemistry that is hard to anticipate before the initial session,” LaSov says. “It’s not an easy feat, and it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all scenario.”
Like any relationship, finding the right fit is just as important as finding a therapist altogether. “Many therapists will offer a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation in order to learn about the patient’s circumstances and determine if they can be helpful in treating this patient. In this session, it is important to assess whether you feel comfortable chatting and being vulnerable with the therapist,” LaSov says.
Stay tuned for our next post to explore some questions to ask both yourself and potential therapist before you take the next step in booking an appointment.
Until then, peace.