Therapist Shopping – Finding your Match

Picking a therapist can be just as daunting as dating. You may not know what to expect, what to ask or how to act and you hope that you ultimately feel comfortable enough around them to be yourself.

An important place to start is to understand if you are ready to change, and to actively work towards changing, the negative feelings or situation that you are experiencing. Knowing the stage of change that you are currently in will help you to understand the feelings that you experience as you go through the process of advancing from one stage of change to the next. To learn more about the stages of change, click here.

Once you are comfortable with the idea of moving towards positive change, you need to find the appropriate level of help for your needs. But where to start? Like dating there are a few things that we usually want to figure out first about a person before we decide to continue seeing them. When it comes to therapy and picking the right therapist for you, there are three main considerations:

  • Mode of therapy
  • Level of assistance needed
  • Compatibility

To keep today’s post short and sweet we’ll talk about mode of therapy.


Mode of Therapy

There are three main modes of counselling: in-person, over the phone and via video chat. In person counselling involves the client and the therapist travelling to meet at an agreed upon location to conduct their session.

Phone counselling does not require the client and the therapist to be in the same area, let alone city. Phone counselling is the final preferred choice for counselling as it is restrictive to the development of the therapeutic relationship as the therapist is unable to read the body language and expressions of the client, and vice versa. Some form of visual contact is key to effective communication.

Video counselling is similar to phone counselling as it does not require the client and the therapist to be in the same city. (It is advisable for the client and therapist to be in the same province as professional regulations differ by province.) Video counselling is a flexible option for clients and therapists alike. If you live in a rural area resulting in a long commute time, or have a very busy schedule, video counselling would assist in maximising the use of your time.

Stay tuned for the next post in the series ‘Therapist Shopping’ where I will outline the importance of understanding your level of assistance needed. Here I’ll debunk the difference between therapist/psychotherapist, psychologist and psychiatrist.

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