How to find a therapist

The first step to overcoming any given problem often involves admitting that we need help.

Life is full of challenges and issues – relationships, families, careers, sickness, deaths and many more. The journey to overcome issues such as depression, anxiety, addictions, compulsions etc regularly goes beyond what an individual can manage alone. Sometimes outside help from a professional can help you manoeuvre through these challenges with greater ease. This can lead to living a happy and fulfilling life.

Finding a professional therapist who you can connect with and trust can make the process significantly more effective and smoother. It is therefore important to take time to research who could be a suitable therapist for you.

Is your therapist professionally qualified?

Finding a therapist that is professionally qualified does not guarantee results. However, having professional credentials generally signifies that the therapist has a good understanding of the modalities that they practice in and adhere to strict ethical standards. Qualified therapists are usually members of professional organisations which requires them to receive ongoing professional supervision and yearly professional development.

Does your therapist have experience in treating your issue?

It is important to find a therapist who has experience in treating the issues you wish to resolve. There are variety of therapists who specialise in different area. Finding a therapist who has expertise in the right area can make all the difference. Reading testimonials from other clients who have gone through similar issues can also provide additional insight.

Does your therapist take the time to understand you?

Therapy is as much science as it is art. This is especially important with modalities such as clinical hypnotherapy. Does your therapist understand your issues and can connect with you? Therapy is an organic process and it is often useful to speak with your potential therapist to get a “feel” of the therapist you will be working with. You can also use this opportunity to ask important questions about the treatment approach, other clients they have helped and other questions you may find important. A good therapist should be welcoming, non judgemental and sincere.

Is your therapist solution oriented?

Therapy should be solution focused whenever possible. While it can be useful to discuss past events to get a better picture of the issue, therapies that focus on the past frequently have lower success rates. Effective therapy should focus on skill building and be solution focused. After all, nobody comes to see a therapist to rewrite unchangeable history. They are there to change the future.

Is your therapist willing to build an alliance with you?

One of the most important parts of any therapeutic process is establishing a partnership with your therapist. A therapeutic alliance is crucial and highlights that no therapy works in one direction only. It’s a two way process that involves participation from both parties. Your therapist should take the time to monitor your progress, address any concerns you have and be flexible to work with you to set realistic goals and help you achieve them.

It might take more than one try.

Sometimes it takes more than one try to find a therapist that works for you. Every form of therapy involves active participation and commitment to achieve a successful outcome. Therefore, it is important to invest time and effort into therapy before changing course. However, if you find that after long periods of time that there is no improvement or if you feel uncomfortable or misunderstood, you should continue your search to find a therapist who can be a better fit for you.