Psychotherapists often feel a calling, finding deep purpose and tremendous satisfaction from helping their patients in their healing journey. Humans have an innate capability to heal. Therapists hold space for healing and bear witness to their clients’ stories. Clients invite therapists to journey with them while they work through stress, trauma, anxiety, loss, grief, depression, and more. Therapists must build trust and establish a sense of emotional safety, allowing clients to explore their healing process and move forward toward their therapeutic goals.

Here are some things to look for when you are searching for a therapist to participate in your healing journey.

► Interview the therapist you are potentially considering working with before you have your first appointment. You want to ensure that your psychotherapy professional has adequate training and knowledge in the areas in which you need assistance. You may also want to find out where the therapist got their training and how long they have been practicing.

► Inquire about the therapist’s style. Some sensitive matters may be better handled by a therapist with a specific style of treatment. A clinical psychologist should establish a consistent, compassionate, and ethical environment which empowers the individual to draw independent conclusions, find answers to problems, and resolve those matters that need freeing from the psyche.

► Inquire about the therapist’s techniques. A clinician may provide guidance, but it is executed in a way that validates a client and permits him or her to do the work of healing. Some clinicians may have a narrative (use of story) orientation, while others engage in humanistic, cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, brain-wise (neuroscientific), trauma-informed, and other types of techniques. Find out what these individual styles mean and how they are used in the therapy process. 

► Make sure you understand the consent given for treatment. This includes the therapist’s practice policies, payment policies, costs, anticipated length of treatment, services offered, cancellation policy, limits of confidentiality, and any other legal, ethical, or business components. Your therapist should review all of this information at the beginning of treatment and answer any questions you have without reservation.

► Find out what kind of reputation the therapist has in the community. What do people you know say about the therapist? Word of mouth recommendations are a good way to end up with an excellent therapist, like a therapist in Palatine, IL from Lotus Wellness Center. You can also review their online presence, such as reviewing their blog, website, published works, podcasts, and more. 

► If you haven’t found a good match, keep on moving, don’t give up, and interview other psychotherapists to find the best fit before you book your first session. Psychotherapists have different styles, personalities, and interventions. It is a good idea to ask your friends, family, and colleagues for a therapist recommendation and do some research about the therapist you’d like to see, as well.

Once you choose a therapist, you can always change practitioners if you are unhappy with the services you are receiving at any point in the therapy relationship. An ethical therapist hears your concerns and will be agreeable to your switching to another professional if it’s a better course of action for you. You want to get the most out of your therapy, so schedule an appointment with the individual you feel is most likely to help, and make adjustments as necessary.