Charlotte, NC Psychologists: 5 Tips for Finding the Right One
Therapy can help you develop healthy coping strategies, recognize your strengths, and improve your quality of life. It’s all about creating a safe environment where you can openly express your feelings without judgment. As a result, to get the most out of your treatment, it’s essential to find a therapist you feel comfortable with.
When most people search for a new psychologist, they tend to put their therapist in the driver’s seat during their first few therapy sessions. It’s important to remember that therapy is a collaborative process, and you’re an equal partner in your treatment. So, how can you narrow down your search to find the right therapist for you?
1. Figure out what you want to get out of therapy.
Before starting your search, take some time to identify your mental health goals. If you’re seeking therapy to address a specific issue, that can help narrow your options. For example, you might start individual therapy to navigate self-esteem issues, overcome a phobia, or learn healthy ways to manage ADHD.
If you’re unsure what you want to work on but you still want to talk to a psychologist, that’s completely normal. Some people just want to vent, others wish to find a safe space to explore their emotions, and others desire tools they can implement in their daily lives—and some want a mix of everything.
2. Research different types of providers.
Whether you’re seeking treatment for a specific mental illness or just looking to build healthier habits, researching different types of mental health clinicians can help guide your search. There are several different types of providers, each with different levels of education and training.
Some therapists are well-versed in providing more than one type of therapy, while others might focus on individual therapy, group therapy, or couples counseling. In addition, some clinicians might have specialized training in certain areas, such as mood disorders or child development.
Some different types of therapists you might encounter on your search include:
- Clinical social workers
- Clinical mental health counselors
- Family therapists
3. Ask potential therapists about their style.
There are several different therapeutic styles—from psychodynamic psychotherapy to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)—each with its own unique therapeutic techniques. If you’re starting therapy with a clear idea of what you want to work on, you’re going to want a therapeutic approach that fits. For example, if you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, CBT, a type of psychotherapy, can help you develop healthy coping strategies that you can implement in real life.
In addition, ask your therapist what type of homework they usually prescribe, and what activities they like to do during therapy sessions. Many psychologists do more than just talk, and your therapist may suggest an integrative approach to help you make the most out of your treatment. For example, some counselors incorporate art therapy or mindfulness practices into CBT sessions.
4. Consider their cultural competence.
Although all therapists are trained in compassion, working with a clinician who is part of your community or has experience working with people from your community can improve your psychotherapy outcomes. Many clients find it easier to open up to a psychologist who understands their experiences, especially clients from marginalized groups.
For example, if you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, consider searching for an LGBTQIA+ therapist, or a counselor with extensive experience treating LGBTQIA+ patients. It’s also worth considering your therapist’s gender identity, racial and cultural background, and religious affiliations.
5. Try online therapy.
For many people, online therapy offers an accessible, convenient way to access psychotherapy. Online therapy can be especially helpful if there aren’t many therapists in your area, or you can’t find a psychologist who specializes in treating your mental illness.
Some online therapy platforms make it easy for clients to try different clinicians across North Carolina, so you can try a few different options to find the perfect fit. This way, you won’t have to worry about scheduling countless initial consultations, visiting therapists’ offices across town, or carving time out of your busy schedule.
Finding the right therapist doesn’t have to be hard.
According to the American Psychological Association, your therapeutic relationship—the relationship between you and your therapist—can boost your long-term mental health outcomes, even after therapy is over. Finding an exceptional therapist can make all the difference in your mental wellness, but your search for a new therapist shouldn’t feel overwhelming.
To take the first step, reach out to a therapist through the Therapy Group of Charlotte. Starting therapy isn’t easy, but we’ll go the extra mile to help you find the best therapist for your unique mental health needs. Our experienced, compassionate mental health professionals will help you jumpstart your mental health journey so you can start living a happier, healthier life.