Finding a therapist that is right for you is a very important decision. When beginning your search, here are some important qualities to look for:
- Availability–Do your schedules match up? Having a regular time each week is important to creating calm and stability in the therapeutic relationship. Making sure that the two of you have a regular slot in your schedule together sets the foundation for deeper work to take place.
- Personality–Do you feel like you can relax and be yourself? It’s important that you feel comfortable in the therapist’s presence and relational style. You want to feel warm, invited, and encouraged to share what is troubling you.
- Location–is the office fairly easy to get to? If it feels like a major hassle to get there, you’ll find excuses not to go and end up cheating yourself from the benefits of regular meetings.
- Atmosphere–is the room calm and peaceful? Everyone has his or her own taste in decor, however the quality of colors, patterns, and noise level may influence how you feel in the room.
- Genuineness–do you feel an authentic presence and warmth from him or her? Ideally you want to get a strong sense that your therapist is genuinely interested in your well-being, and is invested in helping you heal and grow.
- Non-judgement–do you feel accepted and understood? No matter what your race, social status, sexual orientation, or unique circumstance, you want to feel accepted by your therapist and that she or he is making an effort to really understand differences between you.
- Confidence and expertise–do you feel the therapist’s confidence in your particular area of need? Therapists specialize in different populations and have different skill sets. You want to feel your therapist’s confidence in helping you through your particular issue and having real tools for positive and lasting change.
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