Looking for a therapist can be an overwhelming ordeal for many of us. We Google, call, and email around and there are so many options! How do you pick a stranger that you'll be sharing your deepest feelings with? Being that vulnerable with someone you don't know can be scary.
It is important to find a provider that you can feel connected to and is a good fit for your personal needs. Before meeting with a potential therapist, it can be helpful to make a list of questions beforehand. These questions can give you great insight into your compatibility.
Some suggestions are
1. What are your certifications/training? 2. What types of insurance do you take? 3. What is your no-show/cancelation policy? 4. Is there an after-hours number for crises? 5. How often/how long will we meet? 6. What is your approach to therapy? 7. Is your therapy goal-oriented? 8. What types of issues do you treat? 9. Are your interventions evidence-based?
If you have concerns about your personal identity being respected, you may ask:
1. Do you have experience working with [insert identity]? 2. Have you taken time to reflect on and put in work to challenge your own biases? 3. Is there any special training you have done to better meet the needs of [insert identity]?
This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but it’s a good starting point! Just remember that it’s okay if it takes calling/emailing a few therapists before finding the one that you click with. A provider won't have their feelings hurt if you decide someone else is a better fit. This mental health journey is all about you and your needs.