Seeking therapy is a courageous step towards improving your mental health and experiencing growth. With a wide range of therapists and approaches available, it’s important to find a therapist that’s a good fit for you. The process of sifting through websites and bios to find a therapist you can connect with can be tedious. Not to mention, it can be disheartening when you finally identify a therapist you'd like to work with, only to discover they are beyond your budget or they don't specialize in your concerns. After reading this blog post, you’ll learn the essential factors to consider when looking for a therapist, making it easier to find the best therapist in Gainesville, FL for you.
You should seek a therapist who specializes in addressing your specific concerns and is experienced in working with your particular demographic (e.g. teenagers, young professionals, LGBTQIA+ individuals, etc.) For instance, if you’re a college student looking for a therapist, it’s important to find a therapist that mentions their experience in working with college students or young adults. Similarly, if you want to work through trauma, it’s important to find a therapist with expertise in trauma. You want your therapist to know how to help you and understand the unique needs of your population.
When searching for the best therapist for you, it’s also about finding someone you can feel safe with and connect with. Some people may feel more comfortable working with a therapist of a specific gender, sexual orientation, or race. In addition, some people feel more comfortable with a therapist who is closer to their age, while others want a therapist that is significantly older than them. Reflect on your personal preferences and search for a therapist that you can feel safe and connected with.
Determine if the therapist’s personality and style is a good fit for you. You might align on all other aspects with the therapist, however if you don’t feel comfortable and connected with them, therapy will be less effective. Every person is different, so a specific therapist may be a great therapist for one person, but they just aren’t the one for you, and that’s okay.
Consider whether you prefer want in-person or telehealth therapy (also known as video or online therapy). You may prefer to see your therapist in their office, while others prefer video sessions to do therapy from the comfort of their own home. Since the pandemic, many therapists switched to fully online practices, so check with your therapist if they provide video and/or in-person sessions.
It’s important to consider the prices of sessions when looking for a therapist. You want to be able to financially invest in weekly or every two week sessions starting off. Consider if you want to use insurance or you are open to self-pay sessions. Using insurance can be a more financially affordable option, however insurance comes with its own hurdles. Insurance companies can dictate the number of sessions covered and require a diagnosis to be on file, so many clients with the option prefer to do self-pay sessions. Deciding to see a therapist that does not take insurance enables you to have more control over your therapeutic journey and keeps your information private.
Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to finding a therapist. It’s all about finding the best therapist for you. Therapy is a deeply personal journey, and finding the right therapist can make a significant difference in your therapeutic experience. Don’t hesitate to discuss these factors with potential therapists during initial consultations to ensure you find someone who aligns with your specific needs and preferences. If you're an anxious, self-critical teen or adult who wants to better understand themselves and their pasts to live a more fulfilling, joyful life, you're in the right place. (Click here to learn more about me!) I offer free 15 minute consultation calls for all prospective clients to see if we'd be a good fit. Feel free to text or give me a call at 352-649-3876.
Written by Sasha Larson, LMHC