How to Find a Therapist

Advice by: Hank Butch
Place: Shanghai, China

How to Find a Therapist to Heal Yourself?
It is only understated that therapy and counseling can be effective for treating your disturbed mental state. Choosing the right therapist is the first step towards making you feel better and changing your perspective towards life’s problems. 

So what really is a Good Therapist? 
To begin with, your therapist needs to be experienced. An experienced therapist will ensure that you can trust him and will make you feel he is the right person to open up yourself to. However, beyond just being someone who listens to you, he’ll help you overcome thoughts that pull you down and will motivate you to respond positively in tough situations of life. That said, a therapist isn’t a magician after all! The remaining part of the battle to ensure you come out of your grief depends on how you add to your own progress and how sincerely you participate in relieving yourself from the trauma. 

How do you go about finding the right therapist? 
It takes quite a while to find the right therapist. Sometimes recommendations from your folks and friends might be useful. However, it is essential that your therapist is someone who makes you feel comfortable to talk quite openly about all your issues. There should be a level of trust that you have in your therapist so that he can ease your process of recovery faster. You can start off with a couple of sessions initially to get a sense of comfort and understanding of what you are in for. If you don’t find yourself building a trustworthy and comfortable bond with your therapist, it’s useless to move ahead. Therefore, it would be a good idea to clarify as many doubts as you can before getting in for a session, since each session might be fairly expensive. 

Some basic answers you answer before zeroing in on your therapist 
1. How experienced is your therapist? 
A therapist who is experienced and specialized to treat your problem will tend to facilitate your recovery much faster. If your depression, trauma or disorder is his area of specialization, he is better suited to treat you because he has carved out the right way through years of experience. 

2. What is the mode of treatment and exercises involved? 
This will give you an idea what you can expect when you go in for treatment and also give you a time-frame for which the treatment may last. Some exercises or methods might seem uncomfortable when you just hear of them, but you needn’t have a preconceived notion. 

3. Are there any past references about your therapist that you can gather either online or from close friends?
This background check and performance review of your therapist can help you filter ones who would be not really worth paying for and spending time with. Unless any of your folks take a real hard stand against a certain therapist or you come across any serious bad reviews online, do not form a bias. Answer the first 2 questions by getting yourself involved. 

4. How do your first couple of meetings feel? 
 If you notice a positive change or a positive reinforcement in the first couple of meetings, you can safely continue ahead with your treatment. In case there is a lack of comfort or anything about the treatment that’s making you feel too pressurized, it is best to walk away. Answering a few of the following questions will give you a direction to judge this in the best possible way: 
a. Do you feel your therapist is supportive and you have a sense of bond building up that allows you to open up? 
b. Do you feel that after you open up to your therapist, he really understands your problems and doesn’t just listen to you for the sake of it? 
c. Do you feel any discomfort when you discuss your issues or do you feel he is judging you? 
d. Is there a sense of comfort in trusting your therapist to the extent that you will be able to disclose private and intimate information? e. Are you being able to be absolutely yourself without any sort of pretence? 

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