Finding a Therapist That Is a Good Fit for You

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Therapy is an excellent option to consider when looking to find relief from mental health problems, regulate your emotions, and improve your overall well-being. It's also a very important resource that can play a crucial role in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). But if you've never gone to therapy before, you might feel a little intimidated and not know what to expect. The good news is that there are ways to go about finding a therapist who is going to be a good fit for you. 

You don't have to go with the first therapist that pops up on your search. Take the time to do your research and consider your options. Having a therapist that is right for your needs can help make the therapy experience more productive for you. At Pathways Recovery Center, we can help guide you in finding a therapist that is right for you. 

Why Finding a Therapist That Is a Good Fit for You Is Crucial

When you go to therapy, you have to be able to get vulnerable and talk about private things that you might not be willing to share with most other people. Thus, it is important that you're comfortable enough with your therapist to open up. A therapist could be great at their job, but if you don't feel comfortable with them, the situation is not going to work. It can take time and patience to find a therapist that you feel secure with. 

You might find that you simply connect better with some people than others. This is why finding the right therapist can sometimes be a trial-and-error process. You might meet with several therapists before finding one that you believe is going to help provide you with what you need. 

You also want to find a therapist that specializes in your specific needs. For example, some therapists specialize in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while others specialize in other conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Others may specialize in eating disorders, LGBTQ+ issues, healing from sexual trauma, marriage and divorce, and more. You'll likely want to find a therapist that is familiar with working with those who are in recovery from SUD.

How to Go About Finding a Therapist That Is the Right Fit for You

There are a lot of different ways that you can begin to look for a therapist that fits your specific needs. You can start off by speaking with your primary care physician. Since they are fully aware of your unique needs and conditions, they can likely point you in the direction of a professional that will be a good fit for you. Remember to also make sure that the service you choose is within your insurance network. 

You may also consider contacting the facility where you underwent treatment. They likely have many contacts that they can provide you with. At Pathways Recovery Center, we aim to help our clients prepare for their ongoing treatment. This involves helping them connect with a therapist prior to them leaving our facility. 

Another great idea is to reach out to trusted family members and friends to see if they have a therapist they can recommend to you. Consider the individuals in your 12-Step support group meeting. Some of them are likely working with a therapist that specializes in long-term addiction recovery. They might know of someone who will be a good fit. 

Don't forget to consider the resources that you have locally. For example, maybe you're currently residing on a college campus. Many campuses offer therapy and other mental health services for their students with free sessions included. This would be a great way for you to find affordable care without having to worry about transportation. 

You may also be a part of a church or religious organization. Reach out and see if they have counseling available. Many people may feel more comfortable working with a therapist who has the same values that they do. 

If Your Therapist Is Not the Right Fit

There are some different things that you can look for in determining if your therapist may not be the best fit for you. 

Consider the following: 

  • Do you find yourself dreading going to therapy?
  • Has your therapist ever made you feel guilty, ashamed, or judged regarding what you share with them? 
  • Do you tend to feel worse after leaving therapy?
  • Does your therapist fail to provide you with “action items” or concrete steps to take to improve your mental health? 
  • Has your therapist behaved unethically or broken confidentiality since you started working with them?
  • Do they disregard your feelings? 
  • Does your therapist spend too much time talking about themselves? 

If your first therapist doesn't end up being the right fit, don't give up. Continue to try out new ones. The right therapist for you is out there. 

Mental health plays a very important role in long-lasting recovery from substance use disorder. This is why it is important to continue to take the steps to protect your mental health no matter how long you've been sober. You might feel as if you're in a good place mentally, but it is still important to continue to attend 12-Step support group meetings and therapy if you need to. This way, when obstacles come your way, you'll be prepared for them. Finding a therapist that is the right fit for you may take time, but it is definitely worthwhile. At Pathways Recovery Center, we can help you find the right therapist for you. Call (888) 771-0966 today to learn more. 

Clinically reviewed by 

Moses Nasser
Dr. Moses Nasser, a double board-certified physician in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, with expertise in holistic healing, addiction medicine, and psychiatric care, holds an X-waiver to prescribe buprenorphine and has extensive experience in mindfulness-based customer service and medication-assisted treatment.

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