Deciding how to choose the right therapist can be difficult. Especially if someone is deciding to try therapy for the first time it can be confusing. Unfortunately, this may be a point in your life when you are upset, overwhelmed and not thinking clearly. (Thus the reason to see a therapist in the first place.) So the idea of making sense of all the different theories, techniques, not to mention the alphabet soup of letters after everyones name is daunting.
It is important that you find the right therapist for you when starting therapy. The fact they have an entire wall covered in certificates and diplomas does not mean they are right for you. Yes, they may be well trained, a great student and highly qualified. But one of the key things for therapy to be successful can’t be hung on the wall. It is what we in the industry call the therapeutic alliance. This is the connection and level of ease or comfort felt by a client with their therapist. Some research has shown that this is more important to the success of therapy than the training of the therapist or even what treatment techniques are used.
You may want to ask someone who knows you well like a close friend or your family doctor who they would recommend for you. It is also possible to do some research online to learn about a therapist you are considering seeing. Learning about their education, credentials etc. is a good starting point. Then you may want to ring them up and have a chat to get a sense of their style, personality etc. to make sure they are the right therapist for you.
An article I wrote that was recently published on the Therapy Tribe website attempts to break the process down into something that makes sense. You can read the full article by using this link.
If you are into research here is a good study on therapeutic alliance.