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How to Tell Which Therapist is Right for You

So how does someone find out which therapist will work best for him or her?

46030422 © Katarzyna Bialasiewicz |
Source: 46030422 © Katarzyna Bialasiewicz |

One of the most important aspects of addiction recovery is intensive one-on-one psychotherapy. There is a reason that a person uses to excess. That underlying issue must be acknowledged and worked through if recovery is going to be long lasting. Additionally, many addicts have co-occurring psychological disorders, such as depression or anxiety, which can be healed or symptoms relieved through therapy.

So how does someone find out which therapist will work best for him or her? Here are a few simple steps to consider:

Ask for a Referral: If you know someone in therapy who seems to be making improvements in their life or you trust and respect your doctor, clergy, or another individual with connections in the community, ask if they know someone you might call for help. You are looking for someone not only who is licensed, skilled, and takes your insurance, but also someone you can trust. A friend or professional who is familiar with you might be able to help you weed through the candidates.

Learn About the Various Types of Therapy: The kind of therapeutic practice that will work best for you will depend greatly on your history, issues, and personality. For addiction, cognitive behavioral therapy is very commonly useful, but keep in mind that most therapists practice multiple modalities. Be open to seeing a practitioner for a brief period to try a new type of therapy, such as EMDR, while continuing to see your regular therapist. Also consider doing some other practices in addition to your psychotherapy. Your therapist might suggest things like yoga, exercise, meditation, mindfulness practices, equine therapy or even to see another type of medical practitioner such as a nutritionist. Do what is suggested. You won’t know what schools of therapy or other modalities will help you until you’ve tried them.

Find Out About Insurance: As you are checking out therapists, you need to inquire about insurance. Do they take your insurance? Do they bill insurance directly or do they give you a receipt and you have to do the work? If they do not take insurance, do they work on a sliding scale? Therapy is no quick fix, so know that you can meet the financial commitment it takes to do the work.

Make an Appointment: The only way to know if a therapist is right for you is to try him/her out. Go in for a session and talk about what you want to work on. See if you have a rapport with the therapist. Do you feel like you could grow to trust this person? Do you think their treatment plan for you is something you can work with? If you feel uneasy about the therapist, try someone else. It may take two or three “interview” type sessions to find the person who is a good fit for you.

Psychotherapy can be the most rewarding part of addiction recovery or healing from a wide range of psychological issues, because it allows us freedom from the past and the tools to overcome obstacles that previously might have tripped us up. There are a lot of great therapists available, likely not too far from where you live. With a little effort, you’ll find someone who is a good fit for you.

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