How to choose a therapist?
Why is it important to choosing the right therapist?
Opening up about intimate details of your life is a daunting experience. Even though it is daunting and not easy, it can be the first step to changing your life. This process is made easier by finding a therapist you can trust and you feel understands you.
Building a relationship
Forming a strong bond with your therapist is important to feeling safe and comfortable. Having this relationship will help you overcome the challenges, feelings and thoughts that may be holding you back.
South Asian Therapist’s guide to finding a therapist
Here is a step by step process to find the perfect therapist.
Using a therapist directory like ours, which you can find here, is a great way to find qualified and trusted therapist. You can view their qualifications, types of clients, what languages they speak and the types of sessions they hold.
What to think about when looking through a directory
There are a range of areas to look out for when looking through our therapist directory.
- Are you looking for a specific type of therapist?
- Do you need a therapist to be local to you, or do you want to only do video/phone calls?
- Do they need to be the same religion as you?
- Would you prefer a male or female?
- What language would you like your therapist to speak to you in?
- Are you looking for group or single person therapy?
- Is this for an adult or a child?
All of this information is available on our directory list, which you can find on our find a therapist page.
It all starts with contacting the potential therapist. You’re able to call, text, email or visit a therapists website via our directory. A good place to start is by giving a brief overview of what you’re going through and ask them if they’re able to help and the type of therapy they’d recommend using. Almost all therapist will be able to help with most issues or concerns and will not be shocked or judgemental of your issue. You can then ask them if they have appointments available and the price per session.
How to know if your therapist will suit you?
It’s easy to contact a therapist you think will suit your needs, but, its also important to make sure you think you can build a relationship with this person. Use the initial emails to gauge whether or not they’ll be right for you. Theres no harm in contacting multiple therapist to get an understanding of who will be best for you.
It can also be very useful to call a therapist as this will give you a better understanding if you can communicate smoothly and feel comfortable with them. Of course, a therapist may not answer straight away as they maybe in a session. However, ensure you leave a voicemail and they should return your call.
Your first session is important for multiple reasons, this is because it give you a sense of how well you’ll work together. If you feel comfortable and safe early on, its typically a very good sign that this therapist is right for you.
What happens in your first session?
The first session is typically used to understand each other, they’ll try and understand what is bringing you to therapy and may follow an assessment form to understand you in greater detail. The following is the typical questions they may ask:
- If your currently or have previously had any issues that you would like to work on
- How your childhood was
- If you have close family, friendships or romantic relationships
- What you currently do to help cope with the issues you face in your day to day
- You previous experience of therapy, if you’ve previously had any
Questions you may want to ask
You may also have questions you’d like to ask and this completely normal and should be undertaken. These questions might include:
- The type of therapy the therapist does
- Their background, experience and qualifications they have
- What you should expect from your sessions with them
- How long they think you may need therapy for
- In what way they’ll be able to help you
- How will you know when you should finish therapy
You are likely to feel more confident in choosing whether this therapist is right for your needs or they are not. Ensure you assess this session and make a decision if you feel you could work together in the future.
Topics to think about post your first session
- Did you feel safe and comfortable?
- Do you believe you can build a strong and trusting relationship with this person?
- Could tell them the intimate details of your life, relationships and feelings?
- Does your conversation style fit and can you communicate comfortably with one another?
- Do you think they actively listened to you?
Whatever you decide the therapist will fully understand, if you want to work with them they will most likely be more than happy to book more sessions in. Their goal is to help you feel safe and to overcome hurdles you face. If you decide not to work with them, they will also understand, as they know that to get the best results you need to feel a bond and comfortable in a sometimes emotional relationship.
Once you’re happy with your therapist arrange more sessions and over time your relationship will grow and become stronger.