How do I choose the therapist that is right for me?
Choosing a therapist can be a very difficult decision. Give yourself credit for going through the process in the first place. When choosing a therapist, I recommend a couple of things. First, check to make sure that the therapists you are considering are qualified. What are their credentials? Are they licensed? How much and what kinds of experience do they have working with the issue that brings you to therapy? It is important to work with someone who has experience in the area you'd like to address. This is particularly true for specialty areas like my specialty, eating disorders. To find out more about my credentials and experience, read my About Me page.
The second thing to consider is how much you like the therapist you're considering working with. Research has identified the therapeutic alliance (a positive relationship between the therapist and client) as being one of the most predictive factors of success in therapy. This tells us it's critical for you to work with someone you like, feel comfortable with, and can grow to trust. Most therapists offer phone or in-person consultations before you start working together so you can get to know what they're like and make an informed decision about whether you are a good fit for working together in therapy. To request an appointment or initial consultation, click here.
Another thing I recommend is to be choosy! Shop around for therapists. As professionals we are used to people taking their time choosing and talking with other therapists before they pick one of us. You won't hurt our feelings by talking with other therapists before making a decision. Or, by choosing someone else. The therapeutic relationship is essential to having a good experience in therapy. Trust you instincts and pick someone you like who is highly qualified.
A final piece of advice I'd like to pass along is to consider switching therapists if things are not working. Before leaving your current therapist, address it with him or her directly. Many times the reason why therapy isn't going as you'd like can be worked through. However, if you're working with someone you know is absolutely not a good fit, consider switching to a therapist who can better meet you needs.