Man, finding a therapist is hard - in an effort to practice what I preach - that everyone should have a supportive therapist to practice mental hygiene (it's like dental hygiene but y'know less widely accepted!) I recently decided to get back in to attending my own therapy after a break. But uh-oh my past therapist is no longer in practice!
Cue me reading 4 billion therapist profiles on Psychology Today and googling “Therapist + Mar Vista” multiple times in the vague hope that some new, perfect option would appear in the search results the 4th time I did the search (eternal optimist, that’s me!)
Here’s what I’ve learned from the process of searching for a therapist so far:
- PsychologyToday.com and other therapist directory sites, are great places to start the search if you don’t already have a recommendation to go on (or like me, all the therapists you know are already personally or professionally part of your circle and thus not appropriate as your therapist. Except under quite specific circumstances, your therapist should not be someone you already have a non-therapeutic relationship with).
- There are a lot of therapists in Los Angeles, so there’s definitely one that’s right for me and right for you. That's a big deal 'cos if you don't feel comfy and connected with your therapist that's a massive roadblock to a successful therapy experience, whatever your goals are (unless I guess, your goal is to be uncomfortable, disconnected and pay for the privilege? No - that's not my goal either).
The not so-good…
- After a while of reading, all the therapist profiles start to sound the same in those directories, it’s so difficult to tell if that person is right for you just from the profile….
- It’s even harder to tell because we loooooooove to use ‘therapy speak’ in these profiles - phrases that seem to not really mean much, or acronyms (CBT, DBT etc.) that are mystifying unless you studied psychology or counseling
- And then, when you reach out to a therapist to try and find out if they are a fit for you, you get slow and in some cases, even no reply.
Basically, I found being on the 'client' side of the finding a therapist experience, to be tough. So, here's my pledge to anyone seeking a therapist...
…I will return your call or email within one business day
... I will always make time for a free, no obligation, phone consultation so you can figure out if I'm a good fit for you
…I will not assume you speak ‘therapy’ and will do my very best to talk like a ‘normal’ person
…If we are not a fit, for whatever reason, I will help you find the therapist that is.
And if there's something else you have found super annoying and hard about finding a therapist, please let me know so I can add to this promise and make it easier for everyone to find their perfect 'mental hygiene' fit!