Finding the right therapist can make all the difference when it comes to your treatment. When it comes to therapy, there are different techniques used, and finding the treatment plan that is right for you can be extremely helpful in reaching a positive outcome.
After all, isn’t that what we’re all after? We want to feel better. We want to be in control of our emotions. We want to be the very best version of ourselves possible.
In a recent, candid interview, Brad Pitt details his trial-and-error attempt at finding the right therapist.
In a world where celebrities are championing mental health, and everyday individuals are making that first step to schedule that initial appointment, it helps to know how to go about making such an important decision.
I think that some people have the misconception that choosing a therapist is like being assigned a social security number.
You just take the one that you get and try to make the best of it. But that’s not the case at all. You can actually learn about your therapist through review sites online, and you can often pick up a bit of information from the therapist’s own website.
If you have a particular insurance plan that requires you to select a therapist within a certain network, then that should still leave you with plenty of options. Do your homework and learn which qualities you need to look for in a therapist that will benefit you and your unique situation.
But first, let’s understand the three basic types of mental health professionals who may be involved in providing therapy treatment. This fast bit of education can leave you feeling a bit more preparing when you are looking for a therapist.
Psychologists are specially trained professionals with advanced degrees who are able to diagnose a mental health disorder and start a treatment plan tailored for that individual.
Therapists and Counsellors
Therapists and counselors can provide emotional and clinical support after a diagnosis has been made, with the ability to follow and alter a treatment plan for that patient.
Psychiatrists are physicians who are educated in prescribing medications for mental health disorders, and who may also provide counseling services.
Now, beginning the search for a therapist might seem a bit overwhelming at first. But the most important thing is to really contemplate on what you’re looking for in a therapist.
Just because a therapist really helped a family member or a co-worker doesn’t necessarily mean that person is the right pick for you, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Next, you can follow these simple steps to ensure that you find the therapist that best fits your particular needs and long-term treatment goals.
1. Start With A Good Internet Search
While this may seem like a given, many people may not understand the valuable tools that are available to help you find a therapist.
In fact, there are several search engines specifically designed to help you in your search for a therapist. 
Simply plug in your local area, and you can begin to search through hundreds, if not thousands, of experienced therapists. Most therapists have a complete profile, explaining their practices in detail. You can even email them for more information.
2. Ask Friends And Family
The days of shame and stigma that were once associated with mental health disorders are drawing to a close. Today, discussing mental health is considered a natural thing.
You may find yourself even talking with co-workers about their latest therapy appointments.
With this in mind, as more and more people begin to address their concerns over their mental health in therapeutic settings, it also becomes easier to find out which therapists are making a real difference.
Don’t hesitate to ask your friends or family about their success in therapy. Sometimes contacting a therapist with a proven track record with someone close to you will provide an instant connection.
However, keep in mind that therapy has really changed over the past few years, and there are many programs and treatment plans that many people may not have even known existed, so be sure to still do your research.
A friend’s story about therapy from five years ago might be completely different now.
3. Ask About Patient Engagement
Once you have a therapist in mind, asking the right questions can be extremely important.
Once you begin therapy, ensuring* that you stay focused on your treatment can really make all the difference. Be sure to ask the therapist how they maintain patient engagement.
In other words, once you leave your therapy session, what will stop you from falling back into old routines or bad habits?
Many therapists utilize patient engagement tools to ensure that you stay on track in between appointments.
These tools can include sliding-scale surveys and questionnaires that help you to evaluate your progress or take note of events or circumstances that are big factors in understanding your current emotions. Many companies work with therapists providing this technology, as the instruments from Mentegram
However, not all therapists are currently using patient engagement tools. So if you think you might like extra help keeping up with your treatment, ask them about what they might suggest.
4. Look for a Modern Practice
While the actual therapist is the key component in your treatment, a modern, well-functioning practice can provide several essential services to assist with your therapy goals.
Finding a modern practice is simple, as long as you ask the right questions. Does the practice send patient reminders? Is the patient intake fast and efficient? Do they offer video sessions?
All of these features can help provide you with the treatment that is best geared toward a positive outcome.
As you begin your search for a therapist, you will find that there are numerous professionals in your area, equipped with the right skillset to ensure that you receive the best possible treatment.
We congratulate you on making a choice to acknowledge the importance of your mental health.
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