What I Learned Trying (and Failing) to Find a Therapist Right For Me

Like anything, counselling is a learning process. In my attempts, as a personal colour, to find the right therapist (which I wrote about here ), Ive learned through failure and advice. Heres what I would do differently next time.

Think hard about fit

The therapist-client relationship is entirely unique, but it may be helpful to think of it more like online dating than finding a doctor. When you begin your search, first think about what you need. Then read therapist profiles carefullythis will include their location, specialties, pricing, pictures, and languages. Pay attention to how they describe their approach and see if it makes sense to you. Nearly all therapists offer a short free consultation, and this is the time to ask detailed questions about their guiding beliefs and how they run their sessions.(Related: Why are there so few BIPOC therapists in Canada? )

Ask questions, and dont rush into things

If you are looking for something specific, like to have sessions in another language or dive into LGBTQ identity, ask if thats part of what they do. Dont rush into things, and speak to a variety of practitioners. Lean towards the ones whose approach feel not just acceptable, but exciting, and who makes you feel most comfortable. Listen to your gut. Then theres nothing to do but try it outdespite meticulous screening, it still might not work out, but knowing that from the outset helps manage expectations.

Make race part of the conversation

Regardless of your therapists ethnicity, instead of not acknowledging race and letting it become an elephant in the room, dont be afraid to make it part of the conversation . If your practitioner is of a different race, ask them if they feel capable of handling issues that are tied to your background or the racism you experience; if theyre from a similar background, point out how shared experience can help. The relationship should be built on transparency and trust.(Related: Why Its Important to Know What BIPOC Stands For )

Take advantage of the flexibility of virtual therapy

One good thing this pandemic has brought forth is the prevalence of video therapy sessions , and the therapists I spoke to believe that theyre here to stay. For racialized people in rural or smaller communities, this opens up many possibilitiesthere is a growing movement of BIPOC practitioners around the country whose practices are rooted in anti-racism and cultural awareness instead of race neutrality. Im optimistic, cautiously, that one of them can help me feel pride and joy from the skin Im in, instead of seeing it as something I need to be liberated from.Next: Covid Couples Therapy Expert Tips on How to Talk About the Tough Stuff

The post What I Learned Trying (and Failing) to Find a Therapist Right For Me appeared first on Best Health Magazine Canada .

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