CHOOSING A THERAPIST
Use publications such as Psychology Today or Find-A-Therapist to get a flavor of who's out there.
Friends can be a good source of referrals.
Get a referral from a professional you already work with and trust such as your accountant, lawyer, dentist, or physician.
Call your state's professional mental health associations.
Use your insurance company. It should be able to suggest therapists who participate on their panel.
Before walking in the door for your first appointment, make a list of questions.* Ask the same questions of every therapist you see before making a decision. Remember, your therapist will be in your employ.
Don't presume that because a technique worked for someone you know, it will work for you. It's usually the personality compatibility of therapist and patient that dictates a positive therapeutic experience, not the technique of the therapist. Because the relationship with the therapist is so essential to the process of therapy, it is critical to find one to whom you feel connected, with whom you feel safe. In therapy, you make yourself vulnerable to another person.
If you don't learn anything about yourself during your first session, move on to someone else. Experience counts. If you know your diagnosis, see someone who specializes in that disorder.
Some techniques therapists use such as reflective listening are fine for some people but not for others. Most people require at least some feedback from therapist that offers a new perspective from their therapist. No two therapists are exactly alike, nor are any two patients.
Don't make a decision on price alone. You might finish therapy sooner if you select an experienced therapist who is a good fit for you.
Some therapists can be intimidating and others cool and removed. If you're not comfortable during your initial meeting, don't linger. Move on. Don't make your decision on the spot. Weigh your possible choices after leaving.
How to Make the Most of Therapy
Keep in mind that some issues will require bigger changes than you initially thought. Realize that lasting change takes time. Many people expect change to happen from an hour a week at the therapist’s office, but in order for the process to foster real change, much of the work has to take place outside of the therapy room.
brutally honest. You should be able to share any and every thing with
your therapist, including how you feel about him or her. This can
provide some of the best results therapy has to offer.
Discuss the challenges that therapy presents. Therapy requires resources, namely time and money, which are increasingly hard to come by. Talk to your therapist about these concerns, because together you can brainstorm solutions.
How many years have you been licensed?
How many years have you been in full-time private practice?
How long is the initial session?
What are your areas of expertise?
How many patients have you treated with similar concerns to my own?
How long are your sessions?
Can you give me a brief a explanation as to what I can expect to happen in my sessions?
Will you ever answer questions about your own life?