If you or someone you’re aquainted with is thinking about psychotherapy, among the list of most vital determinants of effective therapy is the connection that’s developed between you and your therapist. Hence, it is important to locate a counselor to work with who concentrates on serving individuals with problems comparable to yours and who is also a good match for your distinctive personality.
Unfortunately, when we’re hurting a lot, we typically don’t think clearly. And this can make the process of selecting a therapist even more difficult than it would be under different circumstances. Thankfully, there are people who can help.
If you’re looking for some recommendations of therapists, consider asking your physician, a member of the clergy, or family and friends whose opinions you trust and respect for a few referrals.
That having been said, getting a handful of recommendations from individuals you know and trust ought to serve as the beginning, not the conclusion, of your research. Thankfully, the Internet can certainly help make the rest of the process much easier than it used to be.
Why You Should Use the Internet When Searching for a Mental Health Professional?
Although the value of referrals shouldn’t be underestimated, there are times when we face situations that we’re not comfortable discussing with others. If this is the case for you, the Internet allows you to look for professionals in your area who can help you without having to involve anyone you know.
Additionally, even if you’ve received several referrals, these may not be best suited for you. Searching the Internet is a quick and easy way of finding professionals in your area that may not be known by people in your immediate circle.
And, of course, reviewing several therapists’ websites is a much more efficient way to get a feel for the personalities, skills, and experiences of multiple therapists than playing phone-tag with numerous therapists, asking them all questions, and scheduling a bunch of initial consultations.
Although there are many ways to use the Internet that may help you locate the best therapist for you, the following are a few of the more essential and immediately beneficial recommendations:
1. Finding therapists within your area
Regardless of whether or not you have some referrals, you ought to use the Internet to look for therapists in your area. For instance, if you live in Lafayette or Walnut Creek, California, you can search for terms like “therapy lafayette” or “therapist walnut creek”. Of course, these phrases are pretty general phrases to search and don’t really make use of the power of the Internet to make your task simpler. In order to find the right therapists for your needs, you’ll want to be specific with your searches by using search phrases such as “anxiety counseling lafayette” or “marriage counseling walnut creek”. Without needing to search through more than a couple of pages of search results, you’ll likely have the websites and contact details for a number of therapists within driving distance that specialize in supporting people with the same issues as you.
2. Learning more about prospective therapists
Regardless of whether you’ve found prospective therapists online using a search engine or have gotten their information from someone you know, you should use the Internet to find out more about them before deciding to schedule an initial appointment. Of course, one of the easiest ways to learn more about a therapist is to thoroughly review their website. A therapist’s website should give you a good deal of information about how they practice therapy, what their experience and specialties are, as well as some insight into their personality. While reviewing the websites of potential therapists can be very helpful in reducing the field of therapists you’re considering, you should also do a couple of searches on each therapist’s name in order to learn more about them. For instance, you may find testimonials or complaints about one of therapists you’re considering, or you may find articles that a therapist has written that give you more insight into their personality and expertise. All of this information can be helpful in deciding whom to work with.
3. Exploring the various types of therapies offered
Even though lots of therapists pratice therapy eclectically — that is they use a variety of theoretical orientations and techniques — most therapists focus on just a handful of treatment orientations or modalities. Should you be looking to overcome clinical depression and a therapist you’re considering uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in helping people eliminate depression while a different therapist uses Solution Focused Therapy, executing a handful of searches on each treatment type may help you understand more about both so that you can decide which technique appears best to you, or at the very least supply you adequate information to ask the therapists more informed questions about how exactly they approach treatment.
4. Discovering what to expect from psychotherapy
Finally, if you’ve been to therapy before, you may know what a positive, life-changing experience professional therapy can be. But, if this is the first time you’ve considered professional counseling or therapy, you may not know what to expect. An hour’s worth of online research will help you discover the many faces of psychotherapy, what you can do to make your therapy as effective as possible, as well as how to find a therapist.
While the Internet can help in all of these ways and many more, you should still call several therapists and schedule a few initial consultations. After all, should you decide to attend therapy, you’ll be working closely with your therapist for some period of time. The only way you can find out if you and a therapist have a chance of working together effectively is by meeting with them, asking them questions, and listening to your intuition about the experience.