The quality of the relationship between therapist and client is the most significant factor in the success of the therapy experience so it’s important to make a thoughtful choice. There are many excellent psychotherapists in Austin to choose from. Here are some tips for choosing a therapist:
Clarify for yourself what your goals are for therapy and what kind of therapist you are looking for. This means define the issue or issues that you know you want to address and how you want to approach the work. This will help when you are calling potential therapists and when asking for referrals.
Ask friends, family members and professionals such as your family doctor for referrals.
Keep the practical issues in mind–fees, location, accessibility, and hours.
Use the internet. Psychology Today has a large directory of therapists that is searchable by zip code and specialty. Many therapists also have personal websites that give a great deal of information about their approach, their practice and their personality.
Prepare a short list of questions to ask potential therapists. This list should include what is most important to you. You might ask about their experience in working with certain issues, how they approach their work theoretically, about fee and billing practices, and availability.
If you have been in therapy before, keep in mind what worked for you and what didn’t and ask questions based on that knowledge.
Talk to several therapists before making an appointment. See more than one therapist before you decide if possible.
Don’t decide on a therapist until after you have met with them in person. If you have concerns about the relationship as it progresses always share your concerns with your therapist.
Listen to your gut–did you feel comfortable with the therapist? Did you feel understood? Were your questions answered clearly? Did the session start and end on time? Was the office a good environment for you to work in? Did the therapist go over essentials about their practice policies, fees, confidentiality?
If you begin work with a therapist and have doubts or concerns about your work together, discuss this with the therapist. A good therapist welcomes your feedback and can be more effective if you are open about your feelings and thoughts. You can decide together where to go from there.