Updated: Jun 7
Therapy, also called psychotherapy or talk therapy, is the process in which an individual approaches a trained and licensed professional, who provides them with psychological guidance, gives them a space to openly discuss their emotions and suggests coping strategies, when required.
We need to get one thing straight - therapy is different for everyone. It might be difficult to start seeking help, but its advantages are literally life-changing! Finding the right therapist who will guide us through that journey is crucial.
Here are a few tips that will help you find the right match.
1. Start with people you trust
You could begin by asking your friend, family, or doctor to refer you to a therapist. This might be your first step, but remember that your goals for therapy m
ight differ from those of the people referring you to a therapist. You could also reach out to your work or study institution, to check if they provide counselling sessions.
2. Choose a type of therapy
While searching for a therapist, it is important to keep in mind what type of therapy you are willing to seek. Choose a type that aligns with the goals you want to achieve.
The types of therapy to consider include the following:
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) - With the guidance of your therapist, you can identify the ideas and behaviours you wish to transform.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) - It's about accepting your thoughts and feelings without trying to change them. By deciding to take action, this therapy enables you to accomplish the things that are important to you.
Dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) - It embodies a dialectical worldview, according to which two opposing beliefs can exist side by side. DBT focuses on substituting productive habits for problematic ones.
Psychoanalytic therapy - It tries to gain access to your unconscious mind to learn the reasons behind your actions.
3. How much is this going to cost?
Therapy can be costly at times, though it also depends on where, with whom, and why you seek it. Before you start looking for therapy sessions, remember to check if your insurance plan covers the expenses and to what extent it covers them. Knowing your budget will help you find a therapist that fits your pocket.
4. Introspect a little
When searching for a therapist, it is important to know what exactly it is that you seek therapy for. Do you want to address a general issue or a very particular one? Knowing this will help you narrow down your search. Keep in mind that with issues such as stress or relationships, it might not be necessary for your therapist to have a specialization, but with delicate issues like self-harm and suicide, it is important to seek a therapist who has a specialization or prior expertise in that space.
5. Are you comfortable?
Last but not the least, it is important to feel comfortable with your therapist during your sessions. Are they easy to talk to? How do you feel before, after, or during the sessions? Do you feel judged? While therapy might be uncomfortable to begin with, since you will essentially be opening up to your therapist about your personal or professional problems, it's highly unlikely that you'll undergo a dramatic transformation after just a few sessions. However, if you don’t feel comfortable even after a few sessions and are completely unable to open up for whatever reason, they might not be the right fit for you and you should look for another therapist. You could even talk to your current therapist about the same, and they might be able to help you find a better fit.
Remember that therapy begins and is dependent on the human connection you develop with your therapist. You do you :)