Entering therapy for the first time can feel intimidating. Opening up about sensitive topics with a stranger is not something most of us look forward to. But tackling life’s challenges with an experienced therapist can improve your life and provide you with immense support. Therapists offer an unbiased perspective that you may not get from others in your life, like friends or family members. Therapists also help tackle our bigger battles that may be triggering or traumatizing to us.
Understanding how to choose a good therapist for you can make a big difference in your experience and can mean the difference between success and failure in the therapeutic process. As you contemplate therapy, here are four things to consider as you search for the best therapist for your needs.
1. Where to find a good therapist
Finding a therapist who will see you in person during the Covid-19 pandemic may feel daunting, however, there are still a handful of us out there. We recommend a therapist or practice that offers virtual appointments as well, allowing you to pivot quickly from in-person to remote should you or your therapist become exposed to the virus. A wonderful free resource to find a therapist in your area is the Psychology Today website. Here, you have access to thousands of licensed therapists by simply entering your city or zip code into the search bar. Of course, Google is also a tried-and-true resource. Finally, ask for recommendations. If you know a family member or friend who is seeing a therapist, ask if they recommend their therapist, or perhaps their therapist has a shortlist of providers they recommend. A personal referral from your primary care physician or child’s pediatrician is also a great way to find a trusted therapist.
2. Decide which therapist is right for you
Many factors go into finding the best therapist for you and it largely boils down to what’s most important to you. A therapist may use a variety of modalities (EFT, CBT, play or art therapy, EMDR, DBT, etc.), and even see clients within a wide age range, but looking for one with a specialty in the area you’re struggling (addiction, grief, trauma, anger management, OCD, ADD/ADHD, etc.) can really help set you up for success. Whatever the case may be, choosing the right therapist is a personal choice. One thing we have learned from our clients is that a therapist’s personality or “vibe” often ends up being the greatest factor in finding a good fit. Each therapist at Creative Counseling Center has their own unique personality and approach and, during our intake phone call with you, we are able to ask questions and gather information to help determine which therapist is best suited to support you, even down to finding that personality or vibe match. If we miss the mark, no problem. Let us know where things felt off and we can transition you to a different therapist on our team.
3. Communicate your needs and preferences
Every therapist has a unique style. When you begin with a therapist, it’s crucial to express what you want and need during your sessions and how your new therapist can help you to get the most out of your time together. Some therapists talk more, others listen more. Some let you come to answers on your own, while others nudge you ever so gently. If communicating and advocating for yourself feels awkward, let your therapist know. They will be the first to support you to enhance these skills which will be an asset in your day-to-day life. An alternative to communicating honestly with your therapist is going back to the drawing board to find another therapist through trial and error. We don’t want you to have to do that.
4. Understand that therapy is a process
The fact of the matter is that therapy is a process, and it takes time to get from point A to point B. Sometimes, as you unpack things with your therapist, you may feel worse before you feel better. You may have underlying trauma that has been affecting your life without your awareness. Or perhaps you keep things bottled inside and find everything come spilling out during your therapy sessions. You may experience a variety of emotions and all emotions are valid. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all experience when it comes to therapy. One thing is for sure…therapy takes commitment and hard work to practice new skills and responses in the real world, outside of your sessions, to see real life-changing results.
Whether you suffer from severe mental health challenges, or you feel you may benefit from having conversations with an unbiased third party, therapy will add value to your life. Creative Counseling Center employs the best therapists in the Denver metro area to support you with whatever challenges you are facing and we can typically schedule new clients within 24-48 hours. Use the form below to request a Free Phone Consultation and a member of our team will contact you.
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