One of the first decisions you are faced with after deciding to seek therapy can be a very overwhelming task for many: What therapist should I choose and will they be a good fit?
There seems to be a never-ending choice of therapists with different specialties, nationalities, ages, genders, and more, and finding one that you will feel comfortable seeing on a regular basis can be difficult. So, how do you go about finding the right therapist for you?
Do your research
There is no harm in weighing the options. After all, if you are going to be spending time and money, you want to make sure that you are going to find a therapist that you can make good progress with. Many practices have mini biographies that you can read on each of their therapists that includes their specialties and experience. This can give you a good idea of what they are like and if you think they would be a good fit for you. You can find Cornerstone Counselling’s list of therapists here.
Go with who you feel most comfortable with
For some people they may feel more comfortable with a male therapist, others with a female. Some will feel more comfortable with an older therapist—whatever the reason is, go with it. After all, the point of therapy is to make progress, and if you are not comfortable enough to make this progress, then you are not going to get all of the positive effects that therapy has to offer. Really, there is no right or wrong choice in your therapist and it all comes down to your preferences. An important aspect that determines the effectiveness of therapy is your level of trust and comfort and not necessarily the gender or any other aspect of the therapist. Some people may have a gender preference for their therapist, but gender in and of itself does not determine the quality of therapy you will receive.
Don’t be afraid to switch therapists
If you feel that after the first, second, or even third session something’s not right and you do not feel comfortable with your therapist, do not be afraid to change. Be honest and upfront with your current therapist and tell them how you feel—explain to them that you do not feel the connection you were hoping to feel with them. With that being said, take this advice with a grain of salt. As with any other relationship you have, you will not be 100% comfortable with your therapist after the first session. How many of us were completely comfortable working with a brand new colleague? I am willing to guess not everyone, so give yourself some time to warm up to your therapist and them to you.
Finding a therapist that is right for you is a very critical aspect of your therapy journey. Using these tips will set you on the right path and encourage you to take into account the very important issue of the therapist-client relationship.
Blog post by Ethan Andrews, Volunteer.
Greatlakespsychologygroup.com. Retrieved August 11, 2021, from https://www.greatlakespsychologygroup.com/blog/5-tips-for-getting-the-most-out-of-therapy/
Therapist Gender Does it Matter? (n.d.). Drkarenruskin.com. Retrieved August 11, 2021, from https://www.drkarenruskin.com/therapist-gender-does-it-matter/