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Mama_Cakes's avatar

How did you go about finding the right psychotherapist for you?

Asked by Mama_Cakes (9315 points ) February 6th, 2013

You need to find one that you click with, right? How did you go about that?

Thanks!

Relates to my first question here.

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32 Answers

snapdragon24's avatar

First, talk to some friends or people who know a good psychotherapist. You don’t necessarily have to say its for you.

Second, check online for some big names.

Third, once you do meet one, feel the connection, see if you have a good feel…if you don’t, NEXT.

Fourthly, your general doctor could help you get in touch with psychologists who might know some really good psychotherapists.

Also through one psychotherapist, they can recommend one that could be good for you.

zenvelo's avatar

For me, I interviewed a woman and she seemed to listen well and to respond well to what I was saying, she did not give advice or opinion without it being sought.

I had a much harder time finding a therapist for my son. He tried one who treated him as younger than he was. I had a psychiatrist who kept wanting to critique me in front of my son. And I finally found a woman who my son was willing to talk to.

You need to check them out to know that you are willing to open up to them, and also to get a sense that they will listen to you and guide you, but not tell you what to do without taking into account what you have said. It may take 5 or 6 sessions, but it is important to get someone who is a good fit for you.

It may also take some introspection on what you need. Some therapists will listen and let you discover, and only ask questions that open up what you are talking about. Others, like those who do substance abuse, need to be very direct and outline what needs to be done.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

You guys just gave me an idea. There is a site online where you’re able to rate doctors. I’ll see if there are any local therapists on there.

marinelife's avatar

You interview them. Some will give you a free session or short session to try them out.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

@marinelife It would have to be free because I wouldn’t be able afford going from one to the next, trying to find the right one. I also need one with a sliding scale.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

It’s essentially trial and error and insight into practitioners as a variety, it’s not as simple as (oh he listens, I like him)
Establishing a good connection and rapport with your therapist is only one dimension, you must also understand that they approach certain situations in different ways (There’s an old joke you get 3 psychiatrists to analyze a single problem and they all reach different conclusions) So you want to take into account their techniques (CBT, REBT, Freudian etc) as well. A good therapist has one basic quality and that’s dedication to solving your issue and treating your condition, this will consist of in depth sessions or an effective strategy based around your condition.

So again it’s not simply the ability to listen and give feedback.
Also.there are many websites where you can rate local therapists, depending upon the specificity of your request.

Mama_Cakes's avatar

“Also.there are many websites where you can rate local therapists, depending upon the specificity of your request.”

I am looking at one of those right now.

HolographicUniverse's avatar

What, if I may ask, do you need therapy in?

Mama_Cakes's avatar

Anxiety and depression (being “stuck” because of certain fears)..

JLeslie's avatar

Some of them specialize in certain things. There are some specialized therapies regarding anxiety, you might want to read up on them and see if any seem to fit you. Some are a lot like treating phobias. Others are talk therapy. Others cognitive behavioral. Usually there is some combination also.

I like to talk through my feelings amd get support in therapy. I am not much for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which is very popular now. Although, I like a therapist who will stop me from rheuminating too much or who will make me see things clearly so to speak. Everyone is different.

Basically I meet them, if I click keep moving forward with them; if not, move onto another one. I usually know really fast if they are helping or not.

Gabby101's avatar

You might try Yelp to see what reviewers say and then judge if the things they think are great you would value or if the things that really bother them, would really upset you as well.

You might also try looking at their Webpage to see if what they wrote (or approved as content) sounds like it was written by someone you’d like to spend time with.

I went to a therapist who had all the right credentials and had a nice office in the right part of town, but I found her strange and could never fully believe in her. I ended up going to another therapist just b/c her office was close to my house. She worked out of her home in a not to impressive office and she looked like she needed a makeover but she knew what the hell she was doing! I think it’s like online dating – you try to find the right one before actually meeting, but you never know until you actually do.

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wundayatta's avatar

My insurer provided a list. In addition, friends made recommendations. None of the recommendation were on the list, and, as it happened, none of the therapists on the list were available. They all had too many clients.

So I asked the therapists I called for other recommendations. I called them. I interviewed them. I asked them what therapeutic style and philosophy and techniques they employed. I found one who I thought was decent—pretty much the first one I called. I made an appointment and I saw her for more than two years. It worked out well.

She was improvisational in style. Took tools from a wide variety of areas. She recommended books. She helped me understand some things. She helped me feel comfortable with myself.

I had to test her, of course. My main concern was that she like me, and that she like me for me, not because I was paying her to like me. She kept on insisting she did like me. I didn’t really believe her, but eventually she was able to give me reasons to think she was telling the truth. I believe she thought she was telling the truth.

It’s hard for me to believe I’m likable, though. I see things too much differently compared to most people. But she seemed to be truly open minded, so in the end, I did believe her. And in a way, that was an indication that I was doing much better. I am not able to believe I am likable. Well, at least some of the time.

wildpotato's avatar

I googled “psychotherapy nyc” and found this site. Then I narrowed it down by location, areas of specialty, therapeutic modalities used, and whether I liked their personal statement – came up with a pool of about four options. Then I made my final pick based on (apparent) gender, because I generally find it easier to relate to men than to women. I was prepared for the possibility of coming away disappointed and was ready to try a few other people if so, but ended up clicking with the guy I chose.

LostInParadise's avatar

The magazine Psychology Today has a Web site for locating a therapist. It gives a brief summary of the approach used by the therapist and provides an email address in addition to address and phone number. I don’t know what criteria are used to be listed, but it is a good place to start.

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kitszu's avatar

I have a lot of unaddressed ‘trauma’, I moved to where I live now and I don’t even remember who but someone recommended this psychotherapist to me.

I’m still seeing him now. That said i’ve been with therapists since I was 9 (when my parents go divorced) and I’ve had many. Some helped, some were worthless.

I’m over explaining, it’s “Trial and Error”

It’s like any other relationship.

Bellatrix's avatar

My husband introduced me to the therapist I went to see. We got on very well but really, I think we became friends and I’m not sure there was a huge amount of value for me in the long run. Speaking to her did make me analyse why I was feeling the way I was and to look at my past – I don’t think it really changed the way I look at life or how I live. If I were to go and see a therapist again, I think I would prefer to go to someone I connect with but not as well as I did with my first. I believe there has to be a degree of distance for the therapy to have any benefit.

susanc's avatar

I love therapy and have seen lots of therapists, often found through friends. I was a therapist and got to know all the therapists in town, including the terrible ones.
It IS “trial and error”, and you have to trust your gut, even though you may be looking for a therapy that will teach you to trust your gut. A little paradox for your amusement.
Your therapist doesn’t need to like you.
Your therapist needs to be willing to tell you the truth about his or her feeling about you, because your therapist can’t experience the feelings other people have about you. They’re only present in your descriptions of them; you could be lacking in discernment about their feelings; but the therapist is an actual human being who is actually in the room with you. If the therapist finds you difficult, it’s his or her job to explain this to you. Do you need more showers so that it’s easier for other people to be in the room with you? The therapist needs to be able to say so. Are you unbearably whiny? The therapist needs to be able to say so. Are you always late? The therapist needs to be able to say, “You’re always late to your appointments. Are you late for other appointments? Shall we talk about commitments in general?” The therapy relationship itself is the proving ground for how you handle all your relationships. The therapist has to be trustworthy in asking you and telling you how he or she experiences you, whether it’s pleasant or not. So you have to be ready for that. If you’re not, you’ll choose a therapist who will lie to you. You have to intuit this. And walk away. This is a courage-requiring journey; get a reliable traveling companion.

susanc's avatar

In other words, choose someone who will hold your feet to the fire.
Someone who will do that with care and compassion. Not an unsubtle skill.

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