Finding a therapist may take some time. Assuming you have looked on line at various web sites, you want to interview the therapists whose sites “speak” to you and your needs. Choose several. Check the testimonials to get a feel for clients’ responses to their work with the therapist.
Then prioritize the ones you want to call and be prepared to interview them. Here are some things to consider when you have your conversation. And, you don’t have to decide immediately. If they really care about helping you, they want you to feel as comfortable as possible when you make your appointment. And, may I suggest, when you are talking about your life, the way you think and feel, the way your relationships work or not, don’t make cost your decision maker. This is one investment that should take priority over other expenditures.
• Is the therapist specifically trained, certified, licensed and experienced in working with the many-layered complexities of relationships and effects of trauma (or whatever your particular issue?)
• Are you given the opportunity to speak directly with the therapist before making an appointment? Does the therapist seem interested in you and your problems?
• If you want help with your relationship, will you have the opportunity to see the therapist alone as well as with your partner?
• Is the therapist also willing to speak with your partner on the phone so that you have both made a connection to allow for some comfort before coming in?
• Will you learn a communication tool that will enable you and your partner to speak to each other when not in session?
• What is the therapist’s style? Is it one of active involvement where you get feedback and guidance, rather than passive listening?
• Will the therapist teach you coping skills for immediate use in your life?Is the therapist certified and skilled in the use of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and other methods such as Emotional Freedom Technique? If they are, then you know they are up to date with the latest and most effective methods for healing. Talk therapy alone will not get to the root causes in the way that EMDR does! It works for couples as well as for all the symptoms of trauma.
• Has the therapist done their own growth work?
• If you are contemplating divorce or ending a long term relationship, will you be able to understand and break old patterns and leave without carrying damaging scars? Will you be guided to alternative ways to end it respectfully?
• Have you discussed fees and insurance issues?
• At the end of the conversation, do you feel heard and respected?
Remember, you are about to make a most important investment for your life!