So you’re considering going to therapy. Yay! You may be amazed at the positive impact it will have in your life.
At this point you’re probably wondering how to select the right therapist. Your goal should be to find a qualified therapist who meets your needs, and with whom you would feel comfortable in a therapy situation. After all, you will likely talk about uncomfortable subjects, or even share things you’ve never told anyone before. Ultimately you will want to work with someone you can trust and be open with.
Bare minimum, your therapist should hold a clinical license, sometimes indicated by a bunch of letters after the therapist’s name. This means they have received a master’s degree or higher in a counseling-related field, passed a licensing exam, and have completed a certain number of supervised clinical hours.
Even with a license, not all therapists are created equal. Many mental health networks don’t thoroughly vet participating therapists, which can lead to discouraging experiences.
All of Tava’s therapists are licensed, go through a rigorous application process, and receive ongoing training, ensuring that you get the best help available. No matter which Tava therapist you choose, rest assured that you are in qualified hands.
Naturally, you should also consider the therapist’s areas of expertise. When selecting a therapist, it’s important to think about the concerns you’re dealing with and select a therapist that has experience in treating those concerns.
When you sign up for Tava, you complete a questionnaire that allows us to recommend therapists based on your needs. You can get even more details on therapists’ specialties and experience in their written and video bios when you log in at TavaHealth.com
You may also want to think about the type of person you’ll want to work with. Remember you need to be able to open up to this person, trust them, and hear their perspective. A therapist’s bio can give you some insight into their personality and background.
It’s possible that you would feel more comfortable working with someone of a specific ethnic or cultural background. You may find it helpful to work with someone of a certain gender or faith. Would it be easier talking to someone older, younger, or your same age?
Or you may find that none of that matters to you. That’s ok! What’s important is that you are honest with yourself and ultimately comfortable working with the therapist you choose.
Once you’ve identified a therapist you could see yourself working with, it’s a good time to shift your attention to focusing on how it feels when you meet. A solid connection with your therapist, often referred to as the therapeutic alliance, is perhaps one of the most important factors in determining how successful therapy will be for you.
The therapeutic alliance encompasses three key components which you and your therapist should discuss and monitor:
The first is perhaps the most obvious and refers directly to the bond and feelings of connection between you and your therapist.
Do you feel supported and hopeful after your sessions? Do you feel that there is good communication between you both? Do you feel heard and understood? This is something that may take time to develop, but ultimately is a crucial part of the relationship.
Shared goals help you know that you and your therapist are working toward the same objectives, and agree on how progress is being measured.
Do you feel comfortable with how goals are discussed as part of your sessions? Do you feel like you and your therapist are headed in the right direction? Do you agree on how to tell that therapy is or is not working? If the answer to any of these is “no,” that’s a perfect thing to talk through with your therapist.
There are many different approaches that your therapist may take to help meet your needs. As you might guess, what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important that you and your therapist discuss and agree upon the approach that you take together.
Do you feel comfortable with how you and your therapist work through concerns during your sessions? If your therapist makes suggestions for “homework,” or things for you to do between sessions, are you willing and able to do them?
Now, your relationship with your therapist may not feel like magic right off the bat. You may also be unsure about their approach. Feelings of connection and the therapeutic alliance may take a few sessions to fully develop, and sometimes simply trusting the process is the key to achieving results. Regardless, you should talk about any concerns with your therapist. This can strengthen your relationship and allow you to adjust your approach as appropriate.
If after a few sessions you and your therapist are still not feeling aligned, you may determine that it would be best to try meeting with a different therapist. With Tava you can easily change your therapist at any time, no questions asked. Remember that it’s critical to get the relationship with your therapist right, even if it takes a couple tries.
Finding the right therapist can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. This article is one many sources of advice on the topic, but remember that your personal connection and comfort level is the most important factor in positive therapeutic outcomes. Fortunately, Tava makes it easier than ever to find the right therapist, which in turn will help you successfully get back to feel like you!
Hopefully this article is helpful in your selection process! If you have any questions, please connect with us through our online chat at Tava.com or at email@example.com.