Therapy Week- How to find (and know when it's) a perfect fit
I once had a therapist that was completely wrong for me.
I went for 3 sessions. I know where he worked full time, what his wife did for a living, how many siblings he had, and many,many other details about his life. I didn't care about any of it. I needed his help and often felt like we were competing for time to speak. That is not how it should feel, but that's a personal preference. You may want a doctor who shares equally with you to get you to open up. The point is, it wasn't a good fit for me. That gut feeling that says, this is not the right doctor for me, listen to that.
My current therapist, Donna, was found on Psychology Online. I googled therapists in my area and found her as well another two that were close to my job. I booked sessions to see all of them and liked her the best. I liked her office and the fact that this is her full time job. She's smart, solution based and extremely perceptive. I don't see her hugging me anytime soon, but that’s not what I need right now. She challenges me to talk about things I would rather ignore and sweep under the rug, she makes me dig deep into what it's really about and always leaves me feeling hopeful and positive.
How do you find one?
The last 2 companies I've worked for have both had employee assistance programs. Aside from therapy, if your company has this program, utilize it frequently. People hear assistance and think low income support, which is great but these programs offer so much more than that. One of the benefits of my current program is you get 3 free sessions with therapists until you find the right one. Finding out if someone is the right person for you takes time, and why pay $25 each time when it can be free? Many cities have programs for free or income-based reduced cost sessions. Google and don’t let cost become a defining factor. Insurance companies keep lists on hand that can be emailed to you based on your current therapy. Here is the Psychology Today search I used. If you’re interested in therapists specifically for Black Women and our very specific set of issues, then Therapy For Black Girls is an amazing resource!
I wish I was able to say ask for recommendations, but therapy isn't widely used by the average American or spoken about often, which is a shame, considering most people could benefit from a session or two. I would happily recommend a few of my old ones (especially in Providence or Paramus) If any of your friends go ask them if their therapist can recommend someone if you feel like it would be weird to see the same one.
The most important thing?
Finding someone you like and feel comfortable with, that you can afford then sticking with it until you see results. Results for me include increased patience, positive thinking and better boundaries with those I love. Hopefully this series has started you on your therapy journey and answered any questions you may have as well as ease some concerns. Leave a comment below or email me if there’s anything you still want to know! Sign up for my email list for a Getting Started with Therapy Checklist!