Episode 4 of the Get Psyched with Ayan vlog series.
When you are struggling with your challenges, finding a therapist or a psychologist, who is the perfect fit for you, can be really overwhelming. In this video I am going to break it down for you and show you how to find a therapist, who is the perfect fit for you.
Choosing the right therapist can be like choosing good underwear. If the fit is right, then it is going to provide you a lot of support, while you achieve your personal goals. Otherwise, it will make your life miserable. In this video we will look at how to find a therapist, especially in Ontario and then what to look for in a therapist.
Before we go any further, I want to clarify that when I say therapist, I am talking about any health practitioner who is either licensed or specialized to do psychotherapy. In Ontario, psychotherapy can be provided by psychotherapists, family doctors trained in psychotherapy, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, a psychologist, social workers and occupational therapists.
Psychiatrists and family doctors can diagnose mental disorders and prescribe medications. The others can’t prescribe medication. But often psychiatrists do not have the time to do psychotherapy and have crazy wait lists. To see one of them, you need to be referred through your family doctor or through a mental health institution like CAMH. So for this video, we will exclude psychiatrists from our scope. When I say the word therapist, I am referring to a psychotherapist, psychologist, or a social worker.
When it comes to finding a therapist, there are 2 major ways in which you can connect with a therapist.
Someone close to you is seeing a therapist and he thinks this therapist is really good and so he recommends the therapist to you. Or you go to your family doctor and he refers a therapist to you.
The other great way is to search for a therapist online and there are many sites that provide listings of therapists in your area. The best and the most comprehensive one in my opinion is Psychology
Points to consider when searching for therapists on Psychology Today –
- Location – Search for therapists in your neighbourhood
- Specialization – Psychology Today provides a listing of issues, like depression, anxiety, anger management, etc. Include the name of what you feel you may be suffering from or if you have a diagnosis. Like – “social anxiety downtown Toronto”
- Cost – Psychology Today gives the price range for a session with the therapist. Also, if you have extended health benefits, then see if the therapist accepts insurance
- Therapist Vibe – Therapy has a lot to do with the therapeutic relationship and that is very subjective. Your therapist can be amazing on paper and be extremely qualified and experienced, but if you can’t click with her, then your therapy sessions won’t go anywhere. So take your time to read their profiles and look at their mugshots and listen to what your gut says
- Qualifications – Is your therapist licensed or registered to a particular College, how long have they been in practice, do they have a website or social media presence, where you can know more about them? These are important questions
- Complimentary Consultation – Some therapists, like myself, offer a complimentary phone consultation or a short face-to-face consultation. Call ‘em up or visit their clinic, if they do offer that. This is a great way to connect with a therapist, before you commit to a full session
- Shop Around – Short-list 2-3 therapists from the list and either call them up or try out a session. It is ok to shop for a therapist and therapists understand that. But once you commit to a therapist, it is better to work with them for at least a few sessions and to not keep changing therapists, unless it’s a bad fit or if the therapist does something unethical
What has been your experience when it comes to searching for and finding a therapist?
What is your biggest pet peeve about “therapist hunting”?
What has your experience been like with Psychology Today?
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