Beginning therapy can be a daunting task for many.
Here are few things to think about when beginning that journey. There are so many practitioners and types of therapy it can be hard to know what will be best for you. I personally look at most of life as an experiment, we try things out, see if they work or don’t work and then make our next moves based on the results. Here are a few ways to help narrow things down when searching for support.
One of the best directories for therapist is Psychology Today or Affordable Therapy Network
Do you have benefits?
If the answer is yes, call to see what they cover, this will help you narrow down your search to practitioners that meet your needs. If you are covered for psychotherapy make sure to find a practitioner that is a licensed RP if in Ontario or pre-licensed and working under a licensed RP. If not you can also look for counsellors that would not be covered under insurance.
Most therapists offer a complimentary consultation call where you can ask them questions and get a feel for their personality and they can do the same with you to see if it would be a good fit. This is a great time to share what is bringing you to therapy, ask them about their practice and how they might approach your case. I like to ask them what brought them into the profession as well since I think this can give you a good feel for who they are.
Consistency and cost
Look at your budget and see what will work for you in terms of cost and frequency of visit. I often suggest clients come once a week for the first two months to really give us the chance to get to know each other and set a solid foundation and consistency. Sometimes this will not work with the clients budget or the therapists schedule. Many therapists offer sliding scale to make the services accessible to populations in need, do not be afraid to ask for your needs to be met. This can be uncomfortable however, if a therapist cannot accommodate your needs they may have resources or referrals that will help!
Training is important and many therapists have a variety of ways in which they work and are trained to approach different needs for clients, however, the relationship and feeling of safety is one of the most important factors in determining of therapy will be a success. It is okay to have an intake session and notice that it is not a good fit and choose to try someone else.
There are so many other pieces that might come up in this process, if you find you have other questions or want to chat about the process leave a comment and I will do my best to respond and guide from my experience. Good luck in your process and I hope this was helpful!
All my best,