HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT PROVIDER?
This is the next important question one has to ask after they decided to try psychotherapy. Although there are plenty of highly experienced professionals on the market, it might take and perhaps should take a while before you find the one who can really help. The reason is – although many therapists are educated and experienced, psychotherapy is first and foremost a relationship.
Frequently people seek therapy because damaging relationships from their past undermined their sense of trust or safety and consequently led to the emergence of psychological problems. Thus, repairing damage from our past relationships requires a new, healing relationship. Within this healing relationship we can explore our inner world, understand how the past affected us and find a new way to be. However, this cannot happen without a sense of connection or some minor amount of initial trust. So, when you schedule your initial session, try to listen to your inner voice.
· Could you feel at ease in the presence of this therapist?
· Does this therapist have a calming, containing energy that makes you feel safer?
· Can you relax in the environment of this therapist’s office?
· Do you feel heard?
· Does the therapist address your symptoms and concerns?
· Does this therapist make you feel seen as a complex human being rather than a diagnosis?
At the end of the day what you’re seeking is a sense of comfort that will allow you to be open. This sense of comfort is something that emerges spontaneously, not because a person fulfilled our requirements for a degree or level of expertise, but because we simply feel connected. Why this sense of connection occurs is a topic for another post. For now, try to meet a variety of providers, interview them about their approach to treatment, get a sense of the therapeutic space - see whether it feels like the space that you would like to visit on a regular basis, whether it feels safe and confidential. At the end of the day, you are choosing a person and the setting that will become a significant part of your life for some time. So, chose wisely and listen to your intuition.