How to Find A Great Therapist

On the one hand, it seems like finding a behavioral healthcare provider would be no more difficult than seeking out any other professional service: read reviews, go to websites, and look at pricing options. But there is some subjectivity to finding a “good” therapist fit that’s right for you. While there are definite clear-cut traits of a “good fit,” like qualifications, location, availability, and the insurances they accept, each person’s needs and preferences are a little bit different.  A great therapist for one person, might not be a great therapist for you.

To break down the art and science of finding the right therapist suited for your needs, we consulted Little Rock licensed professional counselor, Eric Etchison from Abound Psychological Services, for some expert insights. At GetTherapy.com, we bring the best Arkansas therapists to you, making your search for a great therapist a little easier. Our online directory gives you quick, easy access to your local clinicians, and makes it simple to find the right practitioner for your unique needs. Keep reading to learn more about some factors that can influence your search for the right therapist, and never hesitate to call 1-888-Therapy to talk to the GetTherapy.com team. We’re here to help you find the right therapist and get the cognitive and behavioral healthcare services you need.

Step 1 - Where do I Even Start?

Eric suggests that you first ask for referrals from your friends and family. Or you might know a therapist socially who could recommend a colleague.  Your primary care physician may also have recommendations. If there are people who know your situation well and have experience with some nearby therapists, ask them whom they would recommend. Personal recommendations may be your quickest route to finding a good fit.

If you have a recommendation, you can easily utilize GetTherapy.com’s search tools to find additional information. If you don’t have any recommendations, our quick and easy search engine can still help you find a clinician who offers treatment for your individual needs. This can include searching for providers who serve specific age groups, address certain concerns, or who are located near you. Having trouble finding what you’re looking for? Don’t hesitate to call 1-888-Therapy. We’re always here to help. Our directory gives you access to more information about the therapist, their office location, hours, fees, and more, which brings us to the second step of your search for the ideal clinician.

Step 2 - Access & Availability

When looking for a good therapist, don’t forget to consider logistics. A therapist whose location is inconvenient, or who does not take your insurance may result in more, not less, stress for you! When you search for a specific provider within the GetTherapy.com network, you should be linked to information about their hours of operation, location, and areas of specialization. If you don’t see the information you need to get started, you can call our team at 1-888-Therapy. The GetTherapy.com team will be happy to help you.

Step 3 - The Basics - Reviews & Qualifications

Next, gather information for a first impression. Starting with any referrals you have been given, search for a therapist online. Check out their GetTherapy.com profile to get a feel for each therapist’s professional expertise, educational background, and therapy approach. Be sure to read these profiles carefully. What a person chooses to say about themselves can tell you a lot and give you a first impression of whether this individual might be a good fit for you. If possible, request a phone consultation with a prospective therapist. Sometimes, just that initial conversation can help you determine if they would be a good fit. If you find a therapist at GetTherapy.com, you can call 1-888-Therapy to discuss scheduling a phone consultation. In most cases, we can schedule you within 24 hours.

In addition to getting to know how therapists view themselves, you can also look to their other patients to find out more. Whenever possible, we link to provider ratings and reviews on their GetTherapy.com profile, and you can also look to third-party review sites like Yelp, Google+, and even Facebook. The number of stars isn’t necessarily the only thing that matters - like we said, the right clinician for you may not be right for someone else - instead, take the time to read what others have to say about their experience in the office. Hearing from current and past clients can be a great way to determine what you can expect from partnering with a therapist.

Step 4 - What about Clinician Experience?

Look for the kinds of experience the therapist has, not necessarily the years of experience. Believe it or not, experience – in and of itself – is not a big indicator of expertise in a therapist. Eric told us that if he were being “picky”, he’d look for someone with at least two or more years of experience. Why? Because a professional’s initial practice will be supervised by another professional, which will help ensure that the therapist is translating their training into sound practice. Beyond that phase of supervision, Eric says, years of experience may not mean much. It is more important to know the areas of expertise that the therapist has and the training they have that is relevant to that expertise. The GetTherapy.com profile provided by the therapist should highlight some areas of experience and expertise. Don’t hesitate to ask for more information from the therapist, and you can utilize the team at 1-888-Therapy to learn more about clinicians in our network.

Step 5 - Other Questions that Arise During Therapy Searches

Throughout the search for the right therapist, you will likely have a number of questions. Below, we’ve included answers to some questions that may arise throughout your search for the best therapist. You can also feel free to reach out to the GetTherapy.com team via our convenient online inquiry form, or you can contact 1-888-Therapy.

How important is the therapist’s age?

Age is only as important as you make it. Sometimes we may feel less embarrassed about confiding to someone that’s the same age as our peer group because they may be able to relate to our struggles. At the same time, a patient looking for affirmation may be tempted to “be cool” and present a false image to someone his or her own age. Consider whether this may be important for you before settling on a clinician.

Is gender important?

Just like with the age question, gender is mostly a matter of preference. Some prefer male therapists and some prefer female therapists, and preference is not always tied to the gender of the patient. Take the time to consider the ways you communicate with friends, family members, and coworkers of each gender. Consider questions like - Do you feel more relaxed with men or women? Are you more likely to try to impress a woman or man?

Should I consider telehealth?

Telehealth is an option that allows you to gain access to therapy services online or over the phone. This option is becoming very popular, but it’s not for everyone. Some people feel completely comfortable opening up over the phone or via video conferencing. Others are more likely to communicate clearly in person. Again, this is something you should take the time to determine through self-reflection. Another consideration is the therapist’s skills as a telehealth clinician. Some therapists do a great job of providing effective services over the phone or online, others aren’t as good with this form of therapy. In most cases, you can schedule an online or phone consultation before your first session, which may give you a better idea of how telehealth therapy sessions will be conducted.

What if I start with a therapist, but then realize they are not a good fit?

There is often a bit of awkwardness and disconnect that occurs with divulging your struggles to a near stranger! If you experience some mild anxiety or awkwardness about the therapy relationship, Eric recommends seeing the therapist for a few sessions before you make your decision about whether this is a good fit for you. Ask questions about the treatment plan, and what you should expect. If you are simply not comfortable with this therapist, don’t be afraid to bring it up in the session or look for other options. GetTherapy.com can help you find a better fit. Just give us a call. 1-888-Therapy

Ready to Start Your Search?

Whether you have a referral from a friend or not, GetTherapy.com has all the information you need to find a behavioral healthcare provider who is right for you. Use the provider directory to find, contact, and schedule appointments with a qualified mental health professional near you! Our directory allows you to quickly search by clinician or practice name, location, gender, treatment age groups, available therapy services, and more. You can simply type in who you’re looking for an area to search at the top of the page. On the left-hand side of the directory page, you can also use our filters to quickly find providers in your area who offer specific services. Take a look today, and don’t hesitate to call 1-888-Therapy to find out more.

WRITTEN BY

Mary Ekdahl

at Arkansas Therapist Connection, Inc.

 

WRITTEN BY

Chief Operating Officer, Licensed Psychologist, PhD

at Arkansas Therapist Connection, Inc.

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