Today’s blog entry focuses on the early stages of the therapeutic process: finding a therapist that’s right for you.
I’m posting on this theme to clarify some of the confusion that still exists and to provide a roadmap for anyone interested in taking the next step on their mental health journey.
THE ROAD TO THERAPY
The decision to start therapy isn’t made lightly in most cases. It can be daunting if you don’t know what to expect and can feel like an expensive or time-consuming exercise you just don’t have room for in your already busy life.
Perhaps the biggest deterrent to seeking therapy, however, is the ongoing stigma attached to it and the fear that getting professional help is a sign of failure or weakness. Research shows that men are particularly resistant to therapy because of concerns that society will look down on guys “who can't ‘tough it out.’”
Of course, the opposite is in fact true: therapy can be incredibly beneficial and takes great courage; it is nothing to ever be embarrassed or ashamed of.
FINDING THE RIGHT THERAPIST
Once you’ve made the important decision to see a therapist, the next step is finding the right one.
Finding a therapist in a large metropolitan city like Toronto can be overwhelming. With that said, it is important to remember that therapists, much like their clients, are all different. They have unique disciplines, areas of specialization, educational backgrounds and personalities that all contribute to their overall approach.
Searching for the right therapist requires patience, effort and even an actual session or two to determine whether they are a good fit for your needs. Ultimately, the key to making progress in therapy is finding someone you trust and can connect with in a meaningful way.
Here are some steps for finding a therapist that’s right for you:
The decision to embark on therapy is a big step in anyone’s life. Afterall, it takes courage to admit we don’t have all the answers and might need some extra help. Doing the necessary diligence, as I outlined above, will go a long way to helping you find the right therapist in Toronto and set you on a path to progress in your mental health journey.
Stop Mental Health Stigma!
The Pursuit of Happiness
Lindsay Ross, MSW RSW, is a clinical social worker in private practice in Toronto, Ontario.