Question: I'm looking for a therapist, but I really have no idea how to choose one! Do you have any tips for how I can find the best therapist in my area?
Great question! Your first step might be to contact a local hospital and ask if they have a mental health referral service. Getting a referral from a physician or health care professional that has experience working with a counselor or therapist is often the best way to find a qualified mental health professional.
Some counselors and therapists also offer free initial consultations, which is a really good place to start. Having a great therapy experience can really depend on finding a therapist who is a good match, so it's important to talk to the therapist first in order to find out if you are comfortable talking to him or her.
In addition to looking at the basics (costs, location, professional qualifications), it's really essential to make sure that therapist is someone that you can feel comfortable with. I've had the experience of working professionally with a few different therapists, and they each had dramatically different personalities and working styles. These factors had a major impact on how individual clients related and responded to each individual therapist. So certainly ask for some referrals, get a few initial consultations and then go from there.
black-rose-bielefeld.de's Guide to Panic Disorders, Sheryl Ankrom, has some more tips for choosing a therapist that you should also check out.
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