How to Choose a Therapist that Clicks - WOC Therapy

How to Choose a Therapist that Clicks

Therapy

Tamika Lewis February 21, 2021

When looking for a mental health professional, the first task you’re faced with is learning how to determine who is right for you. Knowing how to choose a therapist is a significant part of the process. This is because your relationship with your mental health care provider is highly likely to determine your overall success. But what traits do fantastic therapists possess, and where can you find them?

The most important thing to remember is that not every therapist is for you. that not every therapist is for you. Though some professionals may have the credentials and experience, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a good fit for you. We have compiled a list of useful tips to aid you in finding the right person who can lend a hand with overcoming difficulties.

How to Choose the Right Therapist – First Steps

Before you learn how to deal with stress and all other situations that can be causing you trouble and pain, you must know what therapy is and what it entails. The process can be defined through the lens of different psychological approaches, but it always boils down to a process in which humans dig deep into their experiences and open up to their psychologists in an attempt to improve their quality of life or solve a problem that impedes them from fully functioning. This means that you can’t expect instant results and that you must take responsibility for your progress. Therapists can inspire and give you the necessary tools you need to attain your goals, but only you can make a difference at the end of the day.

Go Through All Your Options Before You Book Therapy

Once you realize that counseling for women is what you want, you need to filter your options. This means that you get to choose what therapy mode is best for you according to your budget, schedule, and preferences. Nowadays, both online and live sessions are prominent, so it’s up to you to see which one you’d feel more comfortable with. Practical matters should be dealt with first so that you can focus on your first therapy appointment without any distractions.

black woman
Many people opt for online sessions offered from a licensed website source

What Makes a Counseling Expert Good for You?

Expertise and professionalism are a must in any counselor for women, but they don’t always guarantee success, as we said above. So, what factors can have an impact on your overall satisfaction?

  • Gender – For some people, yes, for other people not. But you should ask yourself candidly whether you’d find it easier to confide in a man or a woman,
  • Age – If you believe a person your age, older, or even younger, can make a difference, give this criterion a shot too. For some people, age is just a number, while others value it highly,
  • Background – In the complex world we live in, this question is getting more and more relevant. Ideally and universally speaking, we’re all humans, but can we all deeply penetrate each other’s minds and trade our shoes? If you believe you’d benefit more from working with a therapist due to shared culture, try to filter according to this parameter,
  • Field of expertise – If a practitioner has more experience working with people with similar problems to yours (for example, depression,) they might be able to approach your specific situation better.

Can You Imagine Relating to Your Therapist?

When tackling the question How do I choose a therapist, you should ask yourself whether you feel comfortable engaging difficult questions with the person you’re considering. To be able to open up, you need to be on the same page with your therapist so that warmth and empathy can create the space for positive change. And while being on the same page can mean a lot of things, in this case, a therapist of color might be a good idea. Because they come from the same culture as you do and share the same collective experience, your communication can improve significantly.

therapy for women of color
Connection is the key to successful treatment

Why Clicking With Your Psychologist Matters?

An influential study carried out by the APA suggested that a healthy rapport with one’s psychologist is a strong predictor of the patient’s outcomes. So if you were wondering does therapy work?, you have part of the answer. This is vital because you must know upfront that if you’re not ready to reveal your unpleasant and dark secrets, the crux of your problems might remain obscfure, which can be extremely demotivating. Thus this bond, also known as the therapeutic alliance, plays a major role in the recovery process.

You Need to Understand What Is Expected of Both of You

All relationships are based on certain roles, and this one is no exception. The job of a therapist is to create a safe place where you can share your innermost desires and fears. Committing to personal growth is not always pleasant. Learning how to regulate your emotions and calm your nervous system takes practice. As long as you feel supported, seen, and heard, you can reach your desired goals.

How Can You Assess Whether Finding Therapeutic Alliance Is Possible?

We can never fully predict how our relationship will unfold, but there are some hints you can look at to see whether you and your psychotherapist will get along:

  • Consultations – Most professionals offer these, and they’re a great opportunity to check whether you see eye to eye on the process, roles, and expected dynamics.
  • Phone calls – Due to their brevity, they’re less reliable, but if someone makes you agitated or nervous as soon as you call, that’s a sign to drop it.
  • Profiles – If you’re using an Internet website platform, read the details provided. Perhaps somebody’s into the same hobbies as you, which can be a good base to expand on. Though the impact of social media can’t be neglected, viewing your psychotherapist’s Instagram or Facebook profile may not be the best indicator of their competence.
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Research is always a good thing, so go through each website you deem useful

When to Consider Changing Your Therapist?

Knowing what makes a successful relationship is impossible without knowing how to recognize failure and qualities that don’t work for you in a therapist. Regardless of personal challenges, such as family trauma or depression, you’d like for your therapist to be empathetic, resourceful, and engaging. If you have been working with a therapist, it’s helpful to understand what signals the time for change:

  • Your psychotherapist doesn’t help you challenge your views,
  • You feel alone in the process,
  • You don’t feel comfortable sharing,
  • You feel judged,
  • You don’t feel like making progress,
  • Your state is deteriorating despite your efforts.

Naturally, you should always try talking to your psychologist about these problems. But as in real-life relationships, your body often gives you clues when something is not working.

black girl before therapy
The worst thing you can do is convince yourself that treatment isn't for you

How to Change Your Therapy Provider?

There’s no room for guilt on either side if your therapist isn’t working out. Professionals deal with this daily, and it’s your right to seek only what makes you content. You can talk to your current therapist about your experience and see if they can recommend someone who’s a better fit.

How to Choose the Next One?

Don’t look at this experience as a flop, but rather try to get insight into what could help you achieve better results next time. Was it the approach to psychology and mental health that bothered you? Or was it your goals that weren’t met? Perhaps you were looking for something specific such as managing conflict at work, but you’re disappointed with the outcomes. Or you still need support with family problems but weren’t given tools to execute. Whatever the situation is, try explaining to your new psychologist why you want a shift and let them know what you’re looking for.

girl-talking-to-a-woman
Don't be scared to let your new doctor know of your past treatment experience

How to Choose the Perfect Therapist for You?

Whether you’re looking for therapy for Asian women, a black woman therapist, Latinx therapy, or another specialist who you believe would be a good fit, there is one important step to take – getting to know yourself, your needs, and your strengths will help you determine what kind of therapeutic approach is best for you. Trying out mental health professionals will be a valuable experience on your path towards healing, so make sure you get therapy and resolve the problems you might have.

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