If there’s one thing I get – often – it’s questions about finding and choosing the right therapist. As I’ve said on the blog before, while I’ve never gone through therapy myself, I had a therapist friend who, after hearing my worries about my future, told me flat out the best advice I’ve ever received in my life: “you need better coping mechanisms.”
And while my problem was easy to spot (big difference from “simple to solve,” though), many are not. Many of our issues are far more complex and ignoring them or wishing them away won’t change the effects those problems have on our day to day lives. If I, as a sexual assault victim, were to simply ignore the fears or nightmares or issues that my attack left me with… then ignoring the attack or “wishing” to go on with my life as if it never happened would not change the fact that I still have fears of men, nightmares of being assaulted again or issues with intimacy. You cannot ignore life-changing events.
The bottom line, here, is that I’m left with questions that I am wholly unable to answer. It was by sheer luck that that therapist friend happened to be there and happened to be willing to listen to me pour out my problems (for free! and y’all know I love free!) and give me what I need. I’m clueless as to how to choose a therapist, but considering how awesome my readership is, I know y’all can help.
What tips do you have for how to choose a therapist? What stories do you have for success with your therapist? Do you have any horror stories that you learned a valuable lesson from in how to choose a therapist? Please share with the class.
And if any of you have a therapist in New York City that specializes in eating disorders in African-American women, do be so kind to e-mail me that info at firstname.lastname@example.org.