HOW WOULD A THERAPIST CHOOSE A THERAPIST?

I got questions—have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to find a therapist that’s reflective of who you are? I have.

Would you work better with a therapist who you could connect with? Sure.

If the therapist didn't look like you, would you be satisfied knowing that the therapist understood your cultural differences? I would.

Why? Because, knowledge, connection, and relatability are important factors to me.

Before you begin your search figure out what’s important to you. Then search.

SEARCHING ON LINE

First of all, here’s my personal opinion—you can't find something when you don't know how to look for it. Most of us find information by searching the Internet. When you search “how to find a therapist”, you end with a bunch of the online resources that are built around formalities of choosing a therapist such as, “are they licensed? Or "what theoretical approach they use.” Don’t get me wrong, a therapists theoretical approach is important, but if you don’t know that the phrase theoretical approach is just a fancy term for “choice of counseling techniques” Why ask it? It's simpler just to ask the therapist, "Can you explain to me, how you do therapy?

PLEASE NOTE: My professional opinion is —all those formalities are just as important. So—knowing if your therapist is licensed by the state, has a good reputation, has a degrees and certifications all suggest that your therapist has completed the standards necessary to properly serve you. Other important factors are the cost of services, multicultural training, late/or no show policies, etc.,

Secondly, an internet search is only the beginning. After you make a list of therapist who have what you need on paper, there’s more work to do. When you are looking for a therapist for yourself, take the time to search for a therapist that you believe is a good fit. You can get an idea of what that is by knowing your likes and dislikes, or choosing based on your values or morals.

PERSONALITY AND COMPATIBILITY

Question—is the therapists’ personal style enough to build an ongoing, compatible, therapeutic relationship?

For some, race, gender, and religious preferences are a factor.

For others, they choose a therapist based on their personality, and empathetic drive.

Some individuals only care to feel as if they can thrive and feel supported, personalty

When I am contacted for therapy, some immediately tell me they have been searching for a therapist who looks like them and who hopefully understands their unique needs. I’ve had a few express the need to feel comfortable and safe so they warm up slowing by observation and interaction. Others, who’ve had prior therapy experience need to view my personal therapeutic style before they can proceed.

If you are big on connection—it would be wise for you to take note of how you are feeling and the vibe you are getting from the therapist.

ARE YOU CHECKING FOR FEELINGS AND VIBES?

Some people need the first encounter to be in-person to “connect.” As you research therapists, you’ll find that some of them offer free phone consultations. If you are one of those individuals who need to “try before you buy” then, by all means, don’t be afraid to ask if the therapist does in-person consultations. Unfortunately, this may not be possible.

Side note: If you decide to take the phone consultation, try not to judge the therapist by their voice. It's a fact—some of us therapists just don’t have the type of voice that project well over the phone. Here's a little self-disclosure—My allergies were acting up one day. Suddenly my normal voice turned "nasaly." A drank some tea, took some allergy medication, and thought I was fine. However, the woman kindly pointed it to me that she heard my congestion—I felt terrible, but she understood, so it all worked out. Everybody won!

If you are lucky enough to get an in-person consult you can determine how you feel during that first meeting. If not, these things still apply as you search or while you are in your therapy sessions: (Keep in mind, treatment takes time. The first meeting may not be the best, especially if this is your first time. Both you and your therapist will need to work together to determine if you both are ideal for a therapeutic relationship.)

Ask yourself these questions. Check for feelings and vibes:

* are you comfortable or on edge?

* is the therapist friendly or unpleasant?

* do they have a sense of humor or a no-nonsense type of vibe?

* do you feel respected or brushed-aside?

* are you feeling understood or misunderstood?

* are you hopeful or discouraged?

You have a right to determine what is best for you. If you don't feel comfortable with your therapist, try addressing with issue with them. If you can’t find a resolution, find yourself a new therapist. Your treatment is important.

I hope this helps you find the right therapist that works for you in Richton Park, or anywhere in the state of Illinois. If you can’t schedule to visit to see me in my Richton Park office, give me a call and let me know if you would like a video conference. If you are still feeling stuck, feel free to call me at 708-980-0552 to schedule a free 15-minute phone or in-person consultation. I’d be happy to hear about what’s happening and try to help direct you to the right person.