Searching for a therapist can be tricky and sometimes it’s hard to even figure out where to start. Check out this blog for a few tips and things to keep in mind when searching!
John D, LMFT
Jane W, LPC
Jim M, LCSW
Janet S, Psy. D
If you don’t know all of these abbreviations, it can be intimidating while searching for a therapist and just look like straight-up alphabet soup. There are many different types of professionals in the field of mental health such as Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT), Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW), and Doctorate Level Psychologists (Psy. D). Each professional has different credentials, specialties, education requirements, and more. Educate yourself on the different types of professionals to identify which professionals may be a good fit for you.
Many therapists will see a wide array of different types of clients and address various concerns such as anxiety, depression, grief, family conflict, and more. It’s important to identify if the therapist you are interested in working with has any lived experience and/or professional experience with the particular problem you are wanting to address in therapy. Feel free to ask them to identify if they have received any specific training or education in working with the particular problem you are wanting to talk about in therapy. For example, if you are wanting to process trauma it would be helpful to find a therapist that takes a trauma-informed approach to therapy that would allow them to tailor the treatment to take into account the impact of trauma on emotions, behavior, and more.
3.) Multicultural and Social Justice Competency:
Identify your preference and the importance of finding a therapist that is competent in serving diverse populations and operates from a multiculturally competent approach. A therapist that takes on a multiculturally competent approach will understand that the client’s culture must be taken into consideration and will be knowledgeable about cultural differences and psychosocial development. Ask any prospective therapist that you are interested in if they have lived experience and/or training in cultural competency.
4.) Therapeutic Approach:
CBT. EMDR. CPT. SFBT.
Here we go again with the alphabet soup! Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy. These are just a few of the many different approaches to counseling that a therapist may use when providing treatment. Many therapists recognize that one approach will not work for every client. Therapists may use an eclectic approach to therapy pulling techniques from various approaches to provide the best support and treatment for each unique client. Take some time to explore the different approaches to therapy to identify what feels right for you. Feel free to ask any prospective therapists that you are looking into about their approach to gain insight on whether or not you feel they would be a good fit for you.
5.) Personal Preferences:
Would you rather work with a male or female therapist? Are you interested in seeing a therapist who is the same religious affiliation or the same race or ethnicity as you? Do you wish to see a therapist that is close to your age, older, or younger? Would you prefer to work with a therapist who is LGBTQ+? Do you prefer in-person or telehealth visits?
These are all valid questions you should be asking yourself as you search for a therapist. It is important to identify your personal preferences so that you can narrow your search in finding a therapist!
Once you have found the therapist that you feel will be the best fit for your needs, check out our blog “First Therapy Appointment” for some tips on how to navigate your first session. At Natural Balance Counseling, we wholeheartedly understand that therapists are not one size fits all. We understand that it can be challenging to find a therapist to meet your needs and that you feel comfortable. We strive to create a warm, safe, and non-judgmental environment for each client that walks through our doors. We are ready and willing to take the first step alongside you on your journey to mental well-being. Reach out today for a free 15-minute consultation by submitting an inquiry right here on our website or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org!