It’s the New Year and you may be getting ready to make some big, new changes, like a new workout routine, new goals at work, or even new relationship priorities. But what about goals for your mental well-being?

Good mental health will promote remarkable, positive changes in life that may sometimes feel challenging to accomplish by oneself for a variety of reasons. Therefore, finding the right therapist can mean the difference between happiness and anxiety, fulfillment and depression.

So, how do you find a therapist who’s right for you? Below are helpful tips to guide you in looking for a therapist best equipped to support you:

1. Research. Each therapist specializes in or utilizes specific techniques (EFT, CBT, EMDR, DBT, etc) in sessions with clients. Research which therapy technique might resonate most or work best for you so you can narrow down your search to a therapist who practices that technique.

2. Look at credentials and experience. Not all therapists are licensed, which is okay, but for those who are, check with state licensing boards to see if their license is in good standing. If you’re looking for counseling for a child, you’ll want a therapist experienced with play therapy or art therapy.

3. Read their reviews. You can learn a great deal about a therapist and practice by reading client reviews. When you find a therapist you think may be a good fit, reading their reviews may be the deciding factor in whether or not they’d be a good fit for you.

4. Request a complimentary phone consultation. Often times, a phone conversation will let you know right away if a therapist or practice is a good fit for you. Do they answer the phone or return your calls in a timely manner when you leave a message? Are they helpful and receptive to answering questions and explaining their services? Do they take the time to explore your needs and partner you with the therapist in their practice best suited for you?

5. Talk money. Make sure you’re clear about the cost of therapy prior to beginning, so there are no surprises along the way. If you decide upon a therapist in-network with your insurance company, ask what their private pay rate is prior to getting started, as that’s the rate you’ll pay once your mental health benefits are exhausted for the year.

6. Communicate needs and preferences. Every therapist has a unique style—some talk more, while others tend to be listeners. Once you start with your new therapist, expressing your needs will help you get the most out of your sessions. If you’re not sure what style of therapy or therapist will work, you may want to explore a few counselors before landing on the one who’s your best match. Therapy centers like ours have a variety of therapists on staff who practice several modalities and have different styles, so we’re able to match new clients with a therapist best equipped to support them.

7. Give it time. Once you choose a therapist, be mindful that it will take a few sessions for you both to become acquainted, build rapport and deepen a connection. It’s important for your therapist to get to know you, your background, and therapeutic goals, so it can take time before you feel you’re making progress. But don’t give up! You don’t want to have to repeat the process with a new therapist.

8. Communicate and advocate for yourself. These two life skills are important so why not practice communication and self-advocacy skills in a safe environment with your therapist. If you aren’t feeling it, let your therapist know. Don’t just cancel your next appointment or no-show. Your therapist is available for your well-being, so if it’s not working for you or you feel worse, let your therapist know. They may be able to tweak things or try new methods or styles to make the process more comfortable or effective for you.

Finding the right therapist can change your life for the better. If you’re looking for support to overcome life’s hurdles, past or present, Creative Counseling Center is here for you. We have a team of counselors accepting new clients and they help people just like you with a variety of mental health struggles, from relationship woes to mourning the loss of a loved one, overcoming past abuse and neglect or simply coping with anxiety and depression…and everything in between. Request a free phone consultation today and get started on your journey to happiness and fulfillment.

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