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September 22, 2023
How to Find a Therapist That's Right For Me

Shift Team

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How to Choose the Right Therapist for Your Needs

Did you know that over 50% of individuals who seek therapy find it difficult to choose the right therapist? Or that Approximately 20% of individuals switch therapists at least once during their therapy journey. Finding the right therapist is crucial for a successful therapeutic journey, as around 80% of therapy clients believe that the quality of the therapeutic relationship is the most important factor in successful therapy. But with so many therapist options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

In this blog, we’ll provide simple tips to help you identify the therapist who best meets your needs and understands you, leading to a more meaningful and effective therapy experience.

Preparing Yourself: Steps to Make the Most Out of Your Therapy Journey

Finding the right therapist can feel complicated and never-ending. It requires patience, self-reflection, and a bit of bravery. Understanding your specific needs can help narrow your search for the right mental health professional. This task may be overwhelming, but you're not alone. Here's a simplified step-by-step guide.

  1. Identify your needs: Understanding your reasons for seeking therapy and your specific preferences will help you narrow down your search and find a therapist who aligns well with your requirements.
  2. Research therapists (expertise) and read reviews: Research therapists’ expertise, session types, and preferred approaches, and read reviews from previous clients to gain insights into their effectiveness and rapport.
  3. Seek recommendations: Reach out to trusted individuals who have had experience with therapy and seek their recommendations for therapists they found effective.
  4. Schedule meet & greets (or consultations): Therapists at Shift Collab offer free 15-minute Meet & Greet. Take this opportunity to discuss your concerns, ask questions, and get a sense of how well you connect with the therapist

What to Do When You're Uncertain After Several Therapy Sessions

  1. Trust your feelings: If you find yourself unsure about whether a therapist is the right fit for you, it’s essential to trust your own feelings. Even though therapists are experts in psychology and counselling, you are the expert yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable working with them, it might be a sign that they are not the best fit for you.
  2. Assess understanding and relatability: Consider how much the therapist understands your unique experiences, cultural background, and perspective. True connection and relatability are crucial for effective therapy.
  3. Evaluate trust: A strong therapeutic relationship relies on trust. Pay attention to how much you feel you can trust the therapist with your feelings and thoughts.
  4. Review sessions together: Reflect on your sessions with the therapist from the beginning. Assess your overall feelings when talking to them. Do you enjoy speaking to the therapist and envision them as a supportive figure for your future sessions?

Steps to Take When the Therapeutic Relationship Isn't Meeting Your Needs

Starting therapy can be daunting, especially when your therapist isn't meeting your needs or connecting with you. Such situations are common and can help direct you to a suitable professional. Here are some useful tips if you're in this situation:

  1. Communicate with your therapist: Openly discuss your concerns with your therapist. Remember, it’s okay to express that the current fit doesn’t feel right. A good therapist will understand and respect your decision.
  2. Understand your preferences: Identify the aspects of the therapist’s approach that you liked and disliked. This understanding will help you find a better-fit therapist in the future.
  3. Collaborate with your therapist: Work together with your therapist to identify any barriers in the therapeutic process. Understanding and addressing these issues may lead to a better therapeutic relationship.
  4. Find a new match: Remember, there's no need to feel guilt-ridden. It's completely natural if you and your therapist aren't a perfect pair from the get-go. What's important and absolutely okay is the need for a mutual understanding to pave the path for your healing. Finding someone who can delve into your psyche and accompany you toward your aspirations is a crucial part of this journey.

Finding the right therapist is a vital aspect of a successful therapeutic journey. By being attentive to your needs, feelings, and the therapeutic relationship, you can make an informed decision and create a positive and supportive therapeutic experience that will foster personal growth and healing. Remember, it’s okay to explore different therapists until you find the one who truly supports your unique needs.

This article was written by Jena Zhou during their time at Shift Collab.

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