Mental Health - how to find the right therapist for you
As promised I am sharing how I found my therapist (spoiler: I love her).
It all started a few years ago (or when I was a child really, but that's another story). I have been thinking about therapy for a while, just didn't have the guts to finally do it. Also, it always felt a bit self-indulgent, it still does, to be honest, but now I know that it makes a lot of difference to my life. And that voice that questions who do I think I am to go to therapy, I know now that it is not my voice. It is the voice of years of conditioning and surviving the best I could. But it is most definitely not my voice.
Do you know when you start thinking about something and then you see it everywhere? That's what happened when I decided it is time to search for a therapist. I saw it everywhere. Everything I read and everything I watched was mentioning therapy. And then my mini-breakdown happened, I spoke about it in my last post and my newsletter (you can sign up here). The decision was made and I started googling.
Finding the right one
I actually followed a few therapists on Instagram but all of them were from different countries (I am Russian/Latvian in case you didn't know) but it didn't feel right to go to a Russian therapist as I have lived in the UK for 13 years now and it just felt more comfortable to talk to someone who also lives here. So that narrowed my choice.
Next step was to find a therapist in the UK...and google was very helpful in this instance. I found Counselling Directory which is an incredibly useful website with tons of great information, including Life Coach directory and brilliant blog.
There are different filters that can be used to find a specific therapy and therapist in the Counselling Directory. Because I didn't have any set or serious issues I wanted to work with (like panic attacks or severe depression), I searched geographically. I typed in my postcode and looked for someone near me, for no particular reason to be honest. It just helped to narrow the search for me. Plus, maybe one day we will be allowed to have sessions in person.
After that, I realised that I wanted a female therapist and for her to be older than me. I have a lot of mother-trauma so I felt it will be more comfortable to work with someone who I saw as a mother figure.
It is all about the intuition
The final decision maker was my gut. I know, how unhelpful (or is it?). I read a few blurbs that therapists write to introduce themselves until I found the one that resonated. I felt a big 'yes' and emailed her to say hello and to introduce myself, I also wrote about what I wanted to focus on during therapy. Once my therapist got back to me, we booked an initial 15-minute conversation.
This bit is incredibly important actually. This is where I had a chance to ask questions I had but more importantly to see if we clicked. I am very intuitive most of the time, so making a decision comes very easy to me. It is always a pretty quick yes or no for me. I ended up googling questions to ask on my first session, there are a few good articles written about it. But I didn't use most of them because it was so intuitive for me.
We clicked and I felt that we will work well together. Only a few months in, I learned that my therapist is a trained Reiki master and works with energies. So thank you to my intuition for leading me to this particular person. This really helps me to open up, because I know we are on the same page and I can freely talk about my practices like meditation, yoga, tarot cards, crystals and etc. Would you be interested to learn about that more? Let me know.
Sometimes people need to try a few different therapists to find the right one, but it is all part of the process and don't let that discourage you.
The final thing I wanted to add, is that keeping a small journal or diary is really helpful. After every session, I write down what have we spoken about and what insights I had. And by the way, I have sessions every other week now but it might change.
I really hope this helps and if you are waiting for permission to go to therapy, this is it! I honestly feel like a new person, even though I have been working with a therapist for about 5 months.