Ever google something like “therapists in my area” to discover more choices exist than you can possibly review? The increasing number of private practice therapists out there is growing, and this is great news in terms of increasing accessibility to therapy. However, without knowing who exactly you are looking for, the choices can be daunting. And let me be very clear, finding the right therapist for you is critical to achieve positive outcomes in therapy. I usually offer the same advice to anyone asking me how to go about finding a therapist…book at least 2 intake appointments – 3 is optimal. If you attend 3 intake sessions with 3 different therapist and you still don’t feel like you’ve found the right one, then it is probably a “you” problem and not a therapist “fit” problem – as in, you are probably not really ready for therapy.
Like most adults participating in any sort of small talk with someone you’ve just met, I often am asked what I do for a living. It’s curious to me that some individuals seem to struggle with my answer. I say “I am a therapist” and they say “oh yeah?, like physical therapist?” or “cool, my sister is a massage therapist” or “I thought about going in to speech therapy too”. Then I usually say something like “no, no, I am a psychotherapist”. “Oh, okay”, they reply. And, then, this is usually the end of the conversation. So this leaves me wondering – are we still not comfortable, even in 2016, with the idea of tending to our mental health? Is there still such a strong stigma attached to mental illness or even just emotional struggle that it’s a conversation ender or a small-talk buzz kill? Unfortunately, it seems like the answer is still yes.