You have decided it’s time for you to seek the support of a therapist. You start by a search and you’re inundated with websites and directories. You start reading bios or websites and come across language like ‘modalities” or “treatment approach” and maybe wonder – what does that mean?
Time for a little vocabulary break:
Like most fields, psychotherapy has its own language. Therapists are fluent in it, but most others are not. Here are some tips to help you navigate searching for a therapist:
Gain a general idea of what you need from therapy
Are you experiencing anxiety? Having difficulty with a relationship? Are you experiencing a life transition such as job loss or a break up? Knowing what you’re having a hard time with and how it is effecting you will help you narrow down what you’re looking for.
How do you generally approach problems and does that work for you?
If you’re more of an analytical person and that approach works for you, then you will likely want to seek a therapist who uses behavioral modalities. This is just an example, not every modality or approach will work for every person. If you find your usual approach to problem solving isn’t working, it may be worth seeking a therapist with a different perspective than yourself and giving it a try.
Are there personal qualities about a therapist that would make you feel more comfortable or safe?
I don’t mean – are they an A’s fan or a Giant’s fan. Would you would prefer a therapist with a similar identity as yours? This could include race, gender, age or language.
I hope these quick tips on getting started looking for a therapist have cut through some of the jargon and confusion. At the end of this article are some online directories to help you get started. Best of luck and remember that each step you take towards your wellbeing is to be honored.
Online therapist directories:
Directories for Therapists of Color