How do you know if a therapist will be helpful?
May 20, 2008 1:58 PM Subscribe
Finding a therapist: I'm sure I can find one. But how do I know whether the therapist I choose is any good?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (9 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Some details if you need them: I have dysthymia and generally shaky self-esteem, plus the last six months or so have been particularly stressful. Over the past few weeks especially, my moods have been more fragile than I think is healthy. I've been on antidepressants in the past and they've worked well; currently not on them, but I'm taking supplements instead.
I saw a therapist for a few months about four years ago. I didn't much like him – though I can't quite put my finger on why – and I didn't think he helped me. The experience made me skeptical of therapy in general.
I've been feeling kind of broken lately and I'm starting to reconsider therapy. However, given my past experience, I'm not quite convinced. I don't want to waste time and money on therapy if it won't be good for me, and although I have insurance, I still can't really afford to shop around for therapists.
I have a primary care physician whom I like, and I'm sure he could help me with a referral. Getting an appointment with someone doesn't strike me as a big deal. Knowing whether I'll benefit from seeing them, however, is another story. I have a feeling a lot of it is just whether we click, but I don't completely trust my judgment on that, and I'm not sure what else to look for.
What should I be looking for in a therapist, and how do I know if I've found the right one? How long should my trial period with them be, and how do I know when to give up? How can I tell whether therapy is helping me?
My throwaway address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your help!