Life has its ups and downs. Things change, people change, and so do we. Although change is inevitable it doesn’t always mean we’re ready for it. Change may come with questions, feelings of anxiety, sadness, uncertainty, excitement, or you may even feel overwhelmed. The good news is that you don’t have to go through it alone. Speaking with trustworthy friends and family is important. However, at times we also need an objective individual to help us sort through. Finding a therapist can be intimidating, scary, and anxiety-provoking. I want to provide you with a few tips on how to make that process a little less frightening.
1.) Ask Around:
Just as we ask our friends, family, and co-workers for referrals for a hairstylist, mechanic, dentist, doctor, etc we can also ask them for a therapist referral. Our friends and/or family may or may not have referrals for us, but that may know someone that can point us in the right direction. Asking for help can be one of the strongest things we do for ourselves! There’s no shame in reaching out for help. There is power in healing and in seeking help from a professional to get you to your desired goals.
The Internet is a great place to search for a therapist. There are many sites that hosts therapists in your area that are ready to help you! Google search is a good place to start. You can also check out websites: Psychology Today, Counseling California, Yelp, Therapy For Black Girls, Good Therapy, Network Therapy, etc as an on-line resource for your search in finding a therapist that best fits your needs.
3.) Interview The Therapist:
Once you find a few therapists that you want to connect with take a look at their website and get to know a little about them. Most therapists offer a FREE Initial Consultation to get to know a little about you and you get to know a little about them. Most therapists offer this service over the phone, however some therapists may offer a free in-person Initial Consultation. Use this time to ask questions, share a little about why you’re seeking a therapists, and get a feel for if you can connect with this person. I recommend that you write your questions down so that you can make the most of your Free Initial Consultation because they are time-limited.
4.) Trust Your Instincts:
Once you read your potential therapist’s website and speak with them on the phone you have to decide if you feel comfortable. Is this someone you feel you can learn to trust with the matters of your heart. Can this person hold space for your deepest thoughts and feelings? Can this person walk along-side you in this journey of this chapter of your life. Trust your instincts and go with what feels right for you.
Finding a good therapist that you feel comfortable with isn’t always easy, however when you find him/her you will know. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and make the first phone call. Help is waiting on the other side of that line. Best wishes to you and may you find the therapist that best fits your needs!
Melissa Dumaz is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 15 years of experience in psychotherapy. She specializes in guiding clients through the complexities of overcoming emotional and physical trauma. She also helps clients of all ages deal with grief, anxiety, postpartum depression, relationship issues, parenting, transitions in life, family conflict, self-esteem and stress management. Click here to learn more.