Maybe 2022 is the year that you are deciding to prioritize your mental health. While this may look different for everyone, for some this may mean starting therapy. This can be an amazing first step, however, it can be difficult to navigate.
As a veteran therapy goer (I mean not to brag, but I have gone on and off since five years old), I have gathered some tips on how to make the trek of finding a therapist a little bit easier. Before I share them with you, I do want to recognize that therapy is a privilege and one that I understand I am very fortunate to have. So, although this post focuses on how to find a therapist who is a good fit, my upcoming post will focus on ways you can prioritize your mental health without therapy.
Now, as I mentioned before, I have been in and out of therapy for a while. And throughout this time, I have only ever found one therapist I truly connect with. I don’t blame therapy for this or feel that I wasted my time. However, I know now that there are more effective ways to find a therapist and therapeutic approach that allows for quicker success, so to say. Here are some things that may help you shorten the process:
- Consider what you are seeking support for – if struggling with hopelessness or anxiety it may be important to find a therapist that specializes in depression. Therapists will disclose what they specialize in on their websites.
- What qualities do you value – personally, I need someone who can speak kindly to me, but also can challenge me and hold me accountable.
- You are in control of your treatment – therapy is centered around you, and a tool to help you succeed. Although it may feel like therapists are “interviewing” you in the first few sessions, remember you are also interviewing them.
- Give it time – It took me nearly ten years to find a therapist that supported and challenged me in the ways I needed. It’s okay if it doesn’t happen overnight. This is a learning process.
- Call your own bs – while it took me a long time to find a therapist I liked, part of that was because I wasn’t willing to put in the work, keep an open mind, or speak honestly. Be mindful (which I know is a lot to ask) of whether or not things aren’t working, or if you aren’t ready for them to work.
If you’re considering therapy, I hope that these tips can be helpful for you. Please don’t forget to be patient with yourself and patient with the process. Also, don’t forget to check in next week for some tips on how to begin healing if therapy isn’t attainable for you at the moment.