Finding the right therapist
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
So you've made the decision to see a counsellor about something that is troubling you. When you find yourself needing help it can feel quite daunting finding and picking the right counsellor. You might find yourself asking 'who will I feel comfortable speaking to about my inner most feelings and troubles and most importantly how will I know that they will be able to help me?'
Fear not! Here are some useful tips and information that will get your well on your way to finding the most suitable person to talk to.
How do I choose the right therapist for me?
First and foremost it's important to do your research. Ensure that the counsellor you are seeing has the right training and credentials. Are they a qualified counsellor and are they registered with a professional association such as the Australian Psychological Society or the Australian Association of Social Workers. Look them up before establishing contact, find out what their therapeutic approach is and whether it feels like a 'good fit' for you. Will you be able to see them face to face close to home or would you prefer to access support via zoom in the comfort of your own home? Will you be able to claim medicare rebates? All important considerations.
Once you have shortlisted the counsellors you are interested in, reach out to them and speak to them over the phone for an initial consultation where you can. This way you can speak to them about the type of support you are after and get a feel for how they engage with you. Given that the main basis for getting the best outcomes out of counselling relates to building a positive and trusting relationship with your therapist, ask yourself in that first encounter 'Do I feel comfortable speaking with this person?, Are they warm and compassionate, are they open and engaging and do they convey a sense of openness and trust?' It also may pay to seek recommendations from other people, whether it be your GP or friends.
It can be painful and hard opening up to someone you dont know and talking about what needs improving in your life. However once you do over a number of sessions you should be able to feel clearer about your problem solving as well as more in control and hopeful about your'future life choices. Often times during counselling people are supported to develop greater insights into their situation and consider new alternatives or possibilities in order to make positive changes. It might feel a bit awkward initially, but if you have found the right counsellor for you, you will begin to feel supported in experiencing positive change!
If you feel your therapy is going nowhere its important to speak up. A good therapist will welcome your feedback and may even consider referring you onto someone more suitable if they are unable to help you. Find the right person, commit yourself to the process and reap the rewards counselling has to offer you!