Are you interested in finding a counselor to begin therapy? That’s a huge step and one that can be very hard to take so let’s allow a moment to honor the difficulty in making that decision. (Seriously, take a deep breath and allow yourself a moment to acknowledge the challenge.) It can take a lot of effort to reflect on the fact that there might be things we need to address in order to create the life we want to live. It can also be scary - to the point of great emotional distress - to think about sharing the parts of yourself, your life, your world that bring you heartache and pain. Self-reflection and self-acceptance aren’t easy, but it’s a major stepping stone in your healing. Now that you’re here holding space for that reflection and acceptance of your story, you might be thinking, “Okay, but how do I even find someone with whom I feel comfortable sharing?”. The good news is that’s a very normal thought and one that we’re going to help you sort through today. Hopefully by the time you read through to the end, you’ll feel as though you have a few more solid stones ahead of you on which to take those next steps in your journey towards healing.
One of the best ways to find a therapist is through referrals. If you know someone who knows someone, you can start there and see how it goes. If referrals aren’t an option, another approach is to search through searching up good reviews or through counselor profiles with Psychology Today. This website makes it quick and (as much as possible) easy to sort and filter through therapists by such details as location, insurances, specialities, cost, gender, language, ethnicity, faith, and more. Alternatively, practices/agencies often have a web page with information on their therapists, similar to what Psychology Today offers. Therefore, if you find a local office that interests you while you’re about town, a web search for their location might afford an opportunity to dig a little into their therapists’ bios. For example, you might have found our About page which provides a brief profile for each of our therapists at our various locations. Sometimes it can feel like going through dating profiles, so grab your popcorn and get ready to start swiping!
As you explore the profiles of the therapists you’re interested in, it’s important to keep in mind the various aspects that would help you feel comfortable when working with them. Being mindful of the following might be important to you and worth noting as you read through bios: - Are they a member or ally of the LGBTQ+ community? - Do they view life concerns from a systemic rather than an individual perspective? (i.e., like in the work of a Marriage & Family Therapist) - Do you prefer working with someone who identifies as male/female/non-binary? - Are they of a particular religious orientation? - Do they promote diversity and inclusivity? - Are they able to express their own approachability? - Do they express acceptance of differing ideologies?* - When you view their bio, picture and office pictures, do you have a sense for how comfortable you might feel sitting across from them in their office? - Do they have open availability? Are they accepting new clients?
- Is the length of time they’ve been in practice important to you?
*This one might be harder to ascertain since there aren’t specific filters for ideology so sometimes it can be helpful to directly ask the therapist.
As therapists, we try to provide a brief glimpse into our personalities, our approaches to therapy, and a little about what one can expect in working with us through these profiles. However, there is only so much one can include in a little snippet so it’s oftentimes helpful to request a consultation to get a feel for how you connect. These can be offered over the phone or in person. You might have to go through several attempts at meeting folks to find that person with whom you mesh and feel safe. Although it can be frustrating and overwhelming, it’s worth the hassle in the end. And it’s okay to take your time, go at your pace to find the right fit.
If you took time to peruse our About page and are interested in one of our therapists, we’d love to chat with you further about your interests, goals, hopes for therapy, and how we can help you get there. Reach out today, by phone, email, or chat, to begin your journey!