5 tips to find the perfect therapist by Jonathan Levy LCSW
Ask friends, family, colleagues, and/or any other people whose opinion you trust. “Word of mouth is still one of the biggest advertising channels for LCSWs and therapists,” according to Jonathan Levy LCSW Chicago, IL. I have gotten many of my referrals by calling institutes (Jungian, Psychodynamic, Psychoanalytic) for therapists in my area (Chicago, IL). You don’t want a therapist who is convenient — you want a therapist who is good. Good and convenient do not often go hand in hand. Many institutes have a service in which a clinic director will do an intake and determine what therapist in the community might be a good fit for you. That is a wonderful way to find a therapist if you don’t have a referral source.
Research online. Do your homework. The internet is filled with all kids of information. You just need to take the time to parse through all the information to find relevant information that will allow you to make much better decision about what therapist or LCSW you should choose. When therapist shopping I would look for therapists who are not selling themselves but rather those telling you about their work and their philosophy of working with patients.
Call them. Do not just randomly call and try to grab some of their time. Be respective and ask for a good time to call back when they have 15 minutes or so. On this call you can discuss their approach to therapy, where they went to school, and a whole lot more. Right down questions before hand so that you are prepared and can get as much information as possible in the tightest time frame. Some possible questions Jonathan Levy LCSW of Chicago, IL recommends: What is their specialty?, Have they worked with people with your issues?, What is their training?, Are they licensed? (If they say that they are, I would still look up the license and make sure. Jonathan Levy LCSW discusses the difference between LCSWs and Psychologists here), Are they now, or have they ever been, in therapy?
Feeling. After talking with the therapist/psychologist on the phone, how do you feel about them? Jonathan Levy LCSW of Chicago, IL recommends writing down your thoughts about the call right after it ends. This way everything is fresh. Go back later and review your notes and see how you feel about then. If you have a good feeling you should try the therapist out.
Be quick on the trigger. Your therapist is an important decision and it needs to be a good fit. Do not think that if you do not like your therapist after the first session you will hurt their feelings if you move on. It is actually best to move on quickly and try out another therapist. “Therapists are professionals and we understand the importance of the right fit. It is nothing personal,” states Jonathan Levy LCSW of Chicago, IL.
If you have any other tips you would like to share with me and others please feel free to comment below. I would love to share these too.